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Posts Tagged ‘Paul Johnson’

No. 27: Georgia Tech

Remember when the forward pass came to Georgia Tech? Now, it didn’t last long: four games, give or take. But the passing game’s arrival lent another supremely dangerous dimension to Paul Johnson’s already potent running attack, and for the season’s first month and change, the Yellow Jackets had as good an offense – as productive, explosive and frightening – as could be found in college football. But then it was gone, as the Jackets returned to recent tradition once the calendar turned to A.C.C. play. In a perfect world, perhaps, Johnson could keep the forward pass as a permanent part of his offensive philosophy from September through December. Or from September through January, should Johnson and Tech return to B.C.S. play. It wasn’t that long ago that the Jackets were taking on Iowa in the Orange Bowl: In 2009, Johnson’s second season with the program, Tech beat Clemson to earn that marquee date with the Hawkeyes. To get back there, Tech must be dangerous through the air not only during non-conference play but over 12 games – or 13, rather, if not 14.

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    Jackets’ Spring Centers on WR, NT, QB

    Christening spring practice today: Georgia Tech. Last seen blowing a second half lead in the Sun Bowl against Utah, the Yellow Jackets open the spring with two primary concerns, one on each side of the ball, and one looming question. What does this program need to do in order to return to the 2008-9 level — you know, playing for the A.C.C. crown and a B.C.S. berth? Some strides were made last fall, when the Jackets added two wins to a disappointing 6-7 finish in 2010, but to reclaim its spot atop the Coastal division, the Jackets need to find a new weapon in the passing game and a new anchor in the middle of the defensive line.

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      Future Members of the Hall of Fame: Coaches

      So there are issues with the College Football Hall of Fame’s eligibility criteria for coaches, as discussed at length earlier today. Eliminating those whose career spanned less than 10 years is silly; excluding those with a career winning percentage less than 60 percent is ridiculous. But rules are rules: Howard Schnellenberger deserves a spot in the Hall of Fame, but he’ll continue to be ineligible until the National Football Foundation alters its criteria. For now, active or recently active coaches who deserve Hall of Fame consideration must meet the Foundation’s existing — and puzzling — stipulations for inclusion.

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        The Year in Review: Georgia Tech (8-5, 5-3)

        Remember when the forward pass came to Georgia Tech? Now, it didn’t last long: four games, give or take. But the passing game’s arrival lent another, supremely dangerous dimension to Paul Johnson’s already potent running attack, and for the season’s first month and change, the Yellow Jackets had as good an offense – as productive, explosive and frightening – as could be found in college football. But then it was gone, as the Jackets returned to recent tradition once the calendar turned towards A.C.C. play. In a perfect world, perhaps, Johnson could keep the forward pass as a permanent part of his offensive philosophy from September through December.

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          Army-Navy Remains The Sole Constant

          Once again, Army and Navy have our undivided attention. And for the first time since 2002, the game holds no postseason implications. That fall, Paul Johnson’s first in Annapolis, might have been the worst game in the series’ history: Navy was 1-10, as was Army, and the latter, though it was unaware at the time, was in the early stages of a 19-game losing streak. Yet the game still mattered; it mattered for all the reasons this game always matters, because Army’s on one side, Navy’s on the other, and that’s all there is to say about that.

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            Hawaii: Run-and-Shoot or Run-and-Run?

            Hawaii’s next coach will have it easier than Greg McMackin, who replaced a legend in June Jones and suffered from the inevitable comparison. Even if Jones did strike while the iron was hot, leaving for S.M.U. just as Hawaii was entering a bit of a rebuilding phase, McMackin’s four-year tenure can be described in one word: underwhelming. He posted only one winning season, a 10-win finish a season ago, and even if his teams never lost more than seven games in any given year the program’s brief malaise looks worse when held against Hawaii’s high-flying, run-and-shoot days under Jones’ direction.

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              Positive Early Returns for the Jackets

              Georgia Tech was 1-1 through two games last fall, thanks to an ugly loss to Kansas. Ugly pretty much sums it up: K.U. was terrible, not just in September but all season, and the then-No. 15 Yellow Jackets shouldn’t have lost that game nor several others in October and November. It’s clear that the bitter taste last season left in Georgia Tech’s mouth led to a winter, spring and summer of meaningful soul searching. The result? Through two games, you’ve seen a more polished, explosive and potent offense from Georgia Tech — a development few expected following another substantial roster overhaul after last season.

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                Good, Bad, Otherwise: You’re Fired

                Lane Kiffin has one. Of course. So does Dabo Swinney. And Paul Rhoads, strangely enough. Mike Riley has one! And you know Ron Zook is represented. Kirk Ferentz might have one, had Iowa not jumped in ahead of the curve. I’m talking about www.fire_____.com, the ubiquitous coach-unfriendly Web site typically purchased by an intrepid, capitalistic fan in the days following a coach’s hiring and either maintained or left to languish depending on the ensuing results. Careful research — spanning several minutes surfing the Internet — has yielded the following conclusion: bad coaches get them, good coaches get them, nice coaches get them and mean coaches get them. So there’s little rhyme or reason to the whole thing.

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                  The Countdown

                  A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.