Georgia Tech Blog

A sports blog about the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia Tech's (not great) history against defending national champions

With Clemson’s win over Alabama Monday night in the national championship game, Georgia Tech will play a defending national titlist for the first time since the 2014 season, when the Yellow Jackets lost to Florida State 37-35 in the ACC championship game.

The date of Tech’s matchup at Clemson has yet to be determined. The ACC is expected to release its league schedule in late January.

Going back to 1936, when the Associated Press poll was introduced, this will be the 15th time that the Jackets have faced the preceding year’s national championship winner (as determined by either the AP or coaches poll).

It has not been a glorious history for the Yellow Jackets. Tech is 1-12-1 in those games, with losses in the past 11. Of the 11 defeats, nine have been by 17 points or more.

The one win, though, rates among the most cherished in Tech history, a 7-6 win over No. 1 Alabama at Grant Field. Mike McNames scored Tech’s only touchdown and made a game-saving tackle. The win broke a four-game losing streak to the Tide. Coach Bobby Dodd called it his greatest victory.

The Crimson Tide had won 19 games in a row to that point and hadn’t lost in 26 games. Rather curiously, Tech has played 11 of the 14 games at Grant Field. (The 1980 game against Alabama was on the road. The 2008 and 2014 games were neutral site, the Chick-fil-A Bowl and the ACC championship game, respectively.) The The Jackets will not have that advantage this fall.

This post was corrected from an earlier version. In 2014, Georgia Tech played Florida State, the 2013 national champion.


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About the Author

Ken Sugiura covers Georgia Tech sports for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.