Last night, Clemson defeated Georgia Tech 55-31 in a game that was never in doubt. The Tigers dominated the game from start to finish, and the Yellow Jackets appeared as if they had no interest in getting off the bus. The triple-option offense was cute and intriguing for the first couple of years, but now it is just pathetic. Paul Johnson won the ACC in 2009, but not with his players.
Josh Nesbitt, Demaryius Thomas and Jonathon Dwyer, the focal point of the championship team, were not players who Johnson recruited. Those players were drawn to Georgia Tech by the efforts of former head coach Chan Gailey. Sure, Gailey’s teams never won the ACC title, but at least they were competitive and put a decent product out on the field.
Johnson’s teams are filled with misfits and stragglers who no other school desired to recruit. Since his 2009 ACC title has been deemed ineligible, it has all been down hill. After entering the 2010 season ranked, his team finished 6-7 which included losses to Kansas and Air Force. 2011 was a little better as he guided his team to an 8-5 mark, but lost to Utah in the bowl game to close out the year.
2012 might have been the lowest of lows for the Yellow Jackets as they finished 7-7 and embarrassed themselves by getting blown out by Middle Tennessee and BYU. No one takes this football program seriously and it all starts with the high school offense that Johnson believes works so well. This isn’t a service academy anymore.
Fortunately for Johnson, he has an appetizing contract with the institute ensuring that he will get paid regardless what he does on the field.
This season the Yellow Jackets are once again headed for a season that will result in the loss of more fans. A 6-4 record with another blowout loss to BYU does not give fans much optimism for the future. It is impossible to recruit talented players to run an offense that does not translate into the NFL. If you go to Georgia Tech to play football, then you have already admitted to yourself that you will never get paid to play the sport.
Maybe the most alarming result since Johnson arrived in Atlanta, is that his defense’s are always very pedestrian. Clemson dropped 55 on them last night, as well as 47 in last year’s meeting. The past three meetings against rival Georgia, they have given up a combined 115 points to the Bulldogs.
The program has regressed under Johnson and it is only going to continue to get worse. Yellow Jacket fans can get excited every year when they destroy Division-II teams 70-0 in September, but they all know that the car crash is coming once they get into conference play.
Luckily for Johnson, his team plays Alabama A&M next week to ensure that he will have a winning record. However, the celebration will be short-lived as they travel to Athens the following week to face a Georgia team that always enjoys playing them. Stay strong Tech fans, you are officially in the dark days of football.
Travis Patterson, Writer For ACC Rantsports.com. Football Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @tpat20.