Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Face a Critical Offseason

By M. Shannon Smallwood
Kevin Liles – USA TODAY Sports

The 2012 ACC Football campaign was quite the roller coaster for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and Head Coach Paul Johnson.

Things seemed to be lost after the debacle that was losses to the Miami Hurricanes and the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders.

But to Johnson’s credit, he fired Al Groh and got his young men to rally around the fact they could still play for an ACC Championship.

And that is exactly what Tech did…

Thanks in large part to the self-imposed sanctions by the Hurricanes and the North Carolina Tar Heels as well as the fact the Duke Blue Devils ran out of gas down the stretch.

But making the ACC Title game any way you can counts and it is something Johnson and his Jackets used to build upon their impressive Sun Bowl win against the USC Trojans.

So all in all, 2012 was a success for Georgia Tech.

But there is a lot of critical work that needs to be done to assure the momentum continues in Atlanta, Georgia.

First thing’s first, there are three critical question for Tech to solve quickly this off season.

One… How will new AD Mike Bobinski respond to the challenges Georgia Tech faces in its football revenues?

It has been a while since Tech had a sell out and a lot of students and alumni seemed to be non-existent at times over the past few years. Yes, there are the die hard fans, but Bobinski has to quickly get the desire and passion back for Tech football. Season ticket sales should improve with the Jackets 201 3home schedule that features Georgia Bulldogs, Virginia Tech Hokies, North Carolina and both of the newest members of the ACC in the Pittsburgh Panthers and the Syracuse Orange. Those games are all big draws and should help sell the building out and a schedule Bobinski can work with.

Two… How quickly will the defense buy in to new Defensive Coordinator Ted Roof?

Roof returns home to his Alma Mater looking to continue the grand success he had with the 2012 Penn State Nittany Lions and with the 2010 BCS National Champion Auburn Tigers. Penn State had one of the best defenses in the nation which was the key ingredient to its 8-4 mark. He has a tough job ahead, though, as Tech will face some of the best offenses in the nation in 2013. His ability to get the defense rolling with be the key to the Jackets success in 2013.

Three… Who will Georgia Tech land on signing day?

The Yellow Jackets will still have a lot of solid weapons on both sides of the ball including QB Vad Lee who will be the sole leader of the team with the graduation of Tevin Washington. But Tech needs a couple of solid offensive linemen, some play makers on the outside and some beasts on the defensive line. Now whether they can get those guys are not will be key to improving the depth and talent Johnson needs to contend to another trip to the ACC Championship.

So there is a quick list of some critical areas Tech needs to have on it’s To-Do List for the next few months.

Things are moving in the right direction, but the next few months are critical to the future and tenure of Johnson as the leader of the Yellow Jackets.


M Shannon Smallwood is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the US Basketball Writers Association.

Follow him @woodysmalls.

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