Take heart Tech, Johnson’s on edge

Like the big board in the back says, that's Georgia Tech's Paul Johnson addressing the media at the ACC Football Kickoff. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Like the big board in the back says, that’s Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson addressing the media at the ACC Football Kickoff. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – If only Paul Johnson’s teams were as defensive as their coach, Georgia Tech would be unbeaten.

This was made clear again here early in the ACC Football Kickoff proceedings, when a young scribe approached Johnson with the presumption that two well-known teams from the other side of the conference standings stand above the rest, Yellow Jackets included.

The question wasn’t fully formed before Johnson stepped in to bat it down. “FSU and Clemson have created a bit of distance. . .”

“Really?” Johnson leapt. “We’re 5-4 against Clemson and 3-2 against Florida State. What distance is that?”

The questioner regrouped: “As far as postseason success. . .”

“We won the Orange Bowl last year (concluding the 2014 season),” Johnson said preemptively. “They’ve been in the national championship game and they’ll be preseason ranked, but perception is reality, I guess.”

(An asterisk here: Johnson is really 4-4 vs. Clemson, a 2009 ACC Championship Game victory over the Tigers having been vacated due to NCAA sanctions).

A much older scribe, hiding his incredulity successfully, I think, eventually asked Johnson if in his eyes he really thought Tech was on par with the likes of a team just coming off an appearance in the College Football Playoff Championship game (Clemson) and another (FSU) just a couple of years removed from winning the thing?

“Probably not right now. Naturally that’s the perception with the year we had last year (finishing 3-9),” he said. Johnson could point to as recently as 2014 when they all did finish the season pretty much on par – FSU ranked fifth, Tech ranked eighth and Clemson ranked 15th.

But, of course, there are deeper differences. A quick comparison between the three programs under their current coaches, just in case there is any residual confusion:

Tech under Johnson: eight seasons, .576 in ACC, .581 overall, three times ranked at season’s end, once in top 10.

Clemson under Dabo Swinney: seven-plus seasons, .766 in ACC, .735 overall, two-time ACC champion, six times ranked at season’s end, twice in the top 10.

FSU under Jimbo Fisher: six seasons, .827 in ACC, .829 overall, three-time ACC champion, six times ranked at season’s end, three times in the top 10.

No, Tech is not the equal of those two. And water is wet and the sun is hot.

But at least Johnson is in there making the pitch for his program.

And, really, Tech people should take heart in the fact that the coach is in this kind of mood (after the 3-9 of last season, “It hasn’t been real comfortable around me,” Johnson said). It is when things get uncomfortable that Johnson seems to do some of his best work.

While, yes, everyone is looking at the likes of Clemson and FSU this season, Johnson will contend that these Jackets are positioned to be much better than the lowered expectations placed upon them.

“I think so. We’ll see,” he said. “We still have to play the games. But I think they have a chance to be better than people think.”

Just having a team not ridiculously crippled by injury would be a great step in that direction.

Another, obviously, involves spitting in the face of reality. Johnson has been working hard on the defiance part of the plan.

Reader Comments 0

60 comments
Drexel-Gal
Drexel-Gal

Face the facts:  With the exceptions of Clemson, F$U, and Thug-U (aka, Miami) the ACC has de-emphasized football.

Peachs
Peachs

You just said a young scribe, and that is the problem with sport's writers today.  You have ,either, old guys who are going through the motions, or young guys who don't know squat, mad because a Johnson or a Spurrier has taken him to the barn for a lesson, like they are above learning.  

TOJacket
TOJacket

Just read where UGA is possibly going to help another top rated QB strive to underachieve?

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TOJacket @DawgNole

"Rebuttal," dummy!

By the way, how many ACC ships did Calvin Johnson win?

Is he another of your so-called underachievers?

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TOJacket @DawgNole

Go back and look at your imbecile comment where you asked how many SEC ships Murray and Stafford had won as your justification for calling them underachievers, fool!

Again, do you consider Johnson an underachiever simply because he didn't win an ACC ship?

Damn you're dumb!

Peachs
Peachs

@TOJacket Richt is down in Miami spreading the disease, bet we see the same thing there.  

TOJacket
TOJacket

@Peachs @TOJacket @DawgNole Exactly!.......doing more with less, that is SOP at GT.......UGA is a fountain of talent and a river of disappointment.

TOJacket
TOJacket

@DawgNole @TOJacket Calm down skippy.......I'm an imbecile and you're comparing a QB who has never started an NFL game with Megatron.....keep talking dummy.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TOJacket: "I'm an imbecile . . . ."

______________

No argument from me on that one.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TOJacket

Very rarely disappointed with the results of that Thanksgiving weekend game.

TOJacket
TOJacket

@DawgNole You're comparing Stafford and Murray to Megatron?....you are stupid huh Mrs.Landers?

Rocker2112
Rocker2112

Just wait and see!   I did not like His offense but I remember that year they went to the orange and beat a  pretty Miss. State teams that were at one  time ranked #1 !  So without injuries you never know ?  One thing with his teams in the past, they were quite explosive until all the injuries and inexperience of last year.

paul27
paul27

The problem with Tech is not just Paul Johnson. But you need to get rid of Ted Roof. He is totally TREBBILE  D.C that I have ever seen in all my years of following GT football. And Tech has had some bad DCs over the past 40 years that I have been watching them. Don't fire him and you will have the same ole season again Tech fans.

rallo
rallo

let's just play ball.  either you're in or you're out......GO GT!!

UpWithTheWhiteAndGold
UpWithTheWhiteAndGold

@SteveHummer Does it give you a chuckle to quote a NCAA sanction punishment that everyone knows is bogus? 


Head-to-Head against the two teams cited his record speaks for itself. 


Oh and he did that with all the 2 and 3 star recruits against the 4 and 5 star recruits of those two opponents. 


Alas, CPJ is right. I guess your perception is your reality. 

GTBob
GTBob

I think CPJ responded to that in about the best way he could. Ask dumb questions to CPJ and he will likely give you an answer that makes you feel dumb for asking them.

jarvis1975
jarvis1975

@GTBob Like when the longer tenured writer asked him if he "really thought Tech was on par"....and Johnson answered "Probably not right now."?

ScooterKelley
ScooterKelley

The whole problem last year was the offensive line. Their play was very offensive. Thomas had no time to throw and the run game suffered because the opponents defense played in their backfield. I believe they are very talented in the skill positions but it comes down to how the OL plays. They have to give enough time for the reads by Thomas and give him enough time to throw. GOOOOOOO TECH.

StanH
StanH

Rutgers out recruits us...nice job cpj....gotta go!!!....and for all you people who say "well we are doing the best w can under the circumstances".....I got news for you.....under the circumstances doesnt cut it....

GTBob
GTBob

@StanH According to Rivals, we have finished a good bit ahead of Rutgers in recruiting rankings for the past 3 years.

Also, we would all love to hear your plan for changing the circumstances that make recruiting difficult for us. None of the GT coaches in the last 50 years could figure it out but im sure you have some brilliant insight no one has thought of.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@GTBob 

The last 50 years???

GT's has some pretty good seasons for a team whose coaches haven't been able to "figure out" how to recruit.

GTBob
GTBob

@DawgNole I was obviously referring to recruiting rankings which are usually used as a metric for evaluating recruiting. No coach in the last 50 years has done all that well in that area and just about all of them openly complained about recruiting difficulties, including Dodd himself.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@GTBob @DawgNole

Doesn't matter what you were referring to. What you said was "None of the GT coaches in the last 50 years could figure it out . . . ." And what I said stands: GT's had some pretty good seasons for a team whose coaches haven't been able to "figure out" how to recruit.

GTBob
GTBob

@DawgNole You seem to be making some assumption that on the field results are a direct correlation to recruiting success. They aren't. Unless you want to publicly state right now that Paul Johnson is a great recruiter because of the great season he had in 2014.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@GTBob @DawgNole

You seem to be deflecting again. What I said twice now stands, so you lost that argument that you created--like you've lost so many others.

And yes, recruiting success generally results in on-field success, especially over time. But that's kinda like saying rain is wet. Perhaps you could start an argument about that?

forexbomb
forexbomb

@GTBob @DawgNole How they finally play on the field is the ONLY indication of how well the coaches recruit... Are you kidding,, Do you know anything about football...?

RBR
RBR

CPJ has a point....GT did beat FSU last year.  If anyone has really risen above the crop, it's Clemson.  They beat Tech like a drum this year and could've easily beaten them in 2014 if Watson hadn't gone down early in the first half.  Folks forget that Watson and Clemson were 2-2 on drives before he went down.  And if you think Watson isn't a difference maker, just ask Saban and Bama (and the rest of the country).  He's that good.  And I'm a GT fan, so please don't try to bash me as a Tech hater. I'm just being honest with myself.  Clemson is a step above the rest right now.  CPJ did what was right in defending his squad, but he knows deep down he has work to do to catch up with the Tigers.  



desamad
desamad

like Peter replied I didn't know that some one can get paid $9904 in a few weeks on the computer . hop over to this website............online.factoryofincome.comᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵᴵ

FreddieBlassie
FreddieBlassie

Tech is 5-4 against Clemson, Humjob. They played it and Tech won. I don't care what the NCAA parasites have to say and you need to vacate, geek.

malik1975atl
malik1975atl

CPJ and the yellow jackets haven't been relevant since he took over the damn program....you're in a top recruiting state and you cant even sniff the top 25 teams in recruiting???....all because of that damn ALL-RUN offense....smh.... fire Paul Johnson and once and for all, FIRE WOODY

TOJacket
TOJacket

@malik1975atl I think maybe it's because Tech players overall SAT average is the highest among college football?.....that and Tech doesn't offer any "easy cheese degrees".

RationalThoughts67
RationalThoughts67

@HarryCrews @TOJacket Industrial Management is basically a business degree with extra math/science requirements thrown in.  A "Physical Education" major it is not.  The GT business school is rated higher than the Terry Business school at UGA.