Georgia Tech Blog

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

Tech Throwback Thursday



We're coming off the bye week for a return to Throwback Thursday, presenting a series of Georgia Tech-related items in the possession of the College Football Hall of Fame. There's a two-fer this Thursday, with two pieces of memorabilia celebrating Tech's share of the 1990 national championship.

Kent Stephens, the curator and historian for the hall, said that previously, the hall asked schools that had won national championships to send memorabilia for a display. Tech sent this poster and pennant (and, hopefully, other items).

The poster doesn't exactly knock your socks off, although I wonder how many hours this took someone to make on presumably primitive desktop publishing software. But you'd think you'd want pictures on it.

I don't know the last time I saw a pennant for sale. Maybe they're around and I just don't notice them, but they're not exactly a big seller, I'm guessing. (This is apropos of nothing, but I remember my dad got me a pennant from the first baseball game I ever attended, a Cubs-Cardinals game at Wrigley Field in 1979, and it hung in my room several years.) You can buy small pennants at the Tech website and plenty on ebay, it turns out. I do like felt pennants, I must admit.

Interesting that the formation on the pennant is a split T, which was developed in the 1940's and is regarded as the original option offense. I kind of don't think that's what Ralph Friedgen was running in 1990, but I suppose there wasn't a lot of room on the pennant. Also, the defense only has nine players.

I'm not so sure about the design of the play on the pennant. It appears to be trying to option the second defensive lineman from the right - to either make him commit to the quarterback or the back - but the quarterback is dropping back to make the mesh with the running back. Or it's a toss to that back, and then that defensive lineman on the right side is unaccounted for. I also have a hard time believing the right offensive tackle would be able to get to that linebacker in time to block him.

A little Google work dug up this story about Don Faurot, the Missouri coaching great who developed the split T and the option offense. (Missouri's field is named in his honor.)

Faurot once told Maury White of the Des Moines Register that basketball's two-on-one fast break influenced his Split T option concept. As MU's basketball captain in 1924, he said, "we ran a lot of two-on-one fast breaks ... forcing the defender to make a decision ... and that made me wonder if the same thing couldn't be done in football."

I think that's enough for this week.

Week four: Bobby Dodd portrait

Week three: Game ball from 1956 season

Week two: 1991 Kickoff Classic tankard

Week one: Greg Gathers’ jersey

Behind the scenes at the College Football Hall of Fame


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About the Author

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