While Georgia coaches are out recruiting this week, Georgia Tech coaches and players are preparing for Saturday’s ACC championship game against Florida State. As Tech coach Paul Johnson, never one to miss an opening, said Tuesday, “It’s kind of neat that somebody else is getting beat up instead of us for a change.”
For more on the unusual situation of Tech being center stage on the local college football landscape, click here.
On another subject, the next-to-last college football playoff rankings came out Tuesday night and they left more questions about what the rankings committee is thinking than any other week. Also, while Tech moved up five spots to No. 11, the chance of them maneuvering into a playoff spot even with an upset of Florida State looks close to zilch.
Here’s the rankings:
1. FSU is being jobbed: I know nobody outside of Tallahassee likes the Seminoles and they’ve had to come back to win many of their games late against mediocre competition. But to be dropped three times by the committee (they once were ranked first) because of unimpressive wins is absurd. Just imagine the uproar locally if this was Georgia or Georgia Tech. The Seminoles are the only remaining undefeated team from a “Power 5” conference, yet they’re ranked No. 4. Something is wrong with that.
2. FSU’s ranking hurts Georgia Tech: If the Jackets pull an upset, which is a possibility, they will have beaten a No. 4 instead of a No. 1, 2 or 3 team. That’s increased justification for the committee to not move Tech into the top four. The committee basically has FSU as a playoff bubble team right now (again, absurd). So that’s one way the Jackets’ went from a long shot playoff team to almost zilch. The second …
3. FSU’s ranking hurts Georgia Tech (Part II/conspiracy): If Tech pulls an upset, the ACC likely will not have a playoff team. So ask yourself this, conspiracy theorists: Does that affect the chances of a fairly officiated game Saturday in Charlotte?
4. This looks like a setup: It would make sense that that the committee (read: television) would want relative East and West brackets in the semifinals. That’s the way it sets up now. No. 1 Alabama would play No. 4 Florida State, and No. 2 Oregon would play No. 3 TCU. If FSU (or Alabama) was ranked second or third, that wouldn’t be the case.
5. Georgia Tech summary: If the No. 11 Jackets win, they certainly would leapfrog No. 10 Mississippi State and No. 8 Michigan State (neither of which play). They also could pass the loser of the Baylor-Kansas State game. But outside of that, the Jackets need total mayhem to make the playoffs, maybe starting with Missouri beating Alabama and knocking the SEC out.
6. The Big 12 issue: I don’t see how Big 12 teams can be weighed equally with those from other conferences because, first of all, their name is a lie (there’s only 10 teams) and, more importantly, they don’t have s conference championship game. I certainly don’t see how TCU can leapfrog FSU last week based on a win over 6-6 Texas. The week before, TCU beat 3-9 Kansas by only four points (34-30). So the committee doesn’t count that against them?
7. Pacific 12 might be the most secure conference: If Missouri upsets Alabama in the SEC championship game, the SEC may not get a team in the playoff. The conference feeling most comfortable in that respect is the Pacific 12, because No. 2 Oregon plays No. 7 Arizona. Even if the Ducks are upset, there’s a good chance Arizona would replace them in the top four. Urban Meyer probably isn’t happy right now because there’s a chance the No. 5 Buckeyes win the Big Ten championship over Wisconsin and don’t get in.
— MyAJC: Rare situation: Eyes are off Bulldogs and on Jackets — MyAJC: Tech’s Bobinski finally stops stalling with Johnson — AJC: Georgia Tech finally offers Johnson contract extension — MyAJC: Finally, a real football team named Falcons shows up — AJC: Falcons’ short takes: Devin Hester says officials admitted mistake — MyAJC: This Georgia season was just another big tease — AJC: Georgia ‘short takes’ on loss to Georgia Tech — MyAJC: As Georgia loses SEC title shot, Tech suddenly has higher ceiling — AJC: Missouri wins SEC East — will it affect Georgia? — AJC: Weekend Predictions: Dogs win, Falcons lose, toys devolve — AJC: Tech’s Johnson long overdue for contract extension — MyAJC: Tech’s season a loud response for Johnson’s critics — AJC: First-ballot thoughts: Smoltz should join Maddux, Glavine — AJC: Georgia vs. Georgia Tech: Which team has had better season? — MyAJC: Gurley’s injury should prompt change in NFL draft rule — AJC: Weekend Predictions: The straight poop–Georgia wins SEC East, Falcons lose — AJC: Is Braves’ pursuit of Lester realistic? — AJC: Braves trade Jason Heyward and John Hart just took huge risk — MyAJC: It makes no sense but Falcons are in first — AJC: Short takes on Falcons’ win over Panthers — MyAJC: Dogs have a statement win, now hope for best with Gurley — AJC: Short takes on Georgia’s win and Gurley — MyAJC: As hoops open, Tech looks far more ready than Georgia