The Newnan Times-Herald

Sports

Paul Johnson perfect coach for Tech


  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • Dec. 17, 2017 - 5:41 AM

If you don’t like this time of year, you are not a college football fan.

A smorgasbord of 41 football bowl games began Saturday and will continue for almost three weeks.

Sure, you have to be a die-hard fan or a graduate of the school to care or even know about some of the bowl games.

No doubt there are even college football fans in Georgia who had no clue Georgia State played Western Kentucky Saturday in the AutoNation Cure Bowl in Orlando.

None of these early games will be a television-ratings bonanza.

Heck, some teams earned bowl bids with a 6-6 record.

Not exactly something to brag about, but with so many bowls now part of the college football landscape, there is no choice but to let these mediocre teams into these games.

Many of these early bowls will probably be played in half-empty stadiums, but once the smoke clears on the so-called minor bowls, the true fans will get down to the business of some serious football viewing, especially on New Year’s Day as Georgia takes on Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl and Alabama plays Clemson in the Sugar Bowl, with the winners coming to Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta in the national title game on Jan. 8.

However, one team is noticeably absent from this year’s bowl party – the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

Tech missed out on the bowl season after finishing with a 5-6 record in a year that can only be described as strange.

Tech started the season with a 42-41 loss to Tennessee in double overtime, had one game against Central Florida canceled because of a hurricane and blew a second-half lead against a very good Miami team and lost 25-24.

However, at one time this season Tech was sitting at 4-2 giving plenty of hope to the Yellow Jacket Nation for a strong finish.

Didn’t happen. Tech won only one more game, an upset over a Virginia Tech club that was ranked No. 17 at the time.

Putting it in blunt terms, Georgia Tech lost four of its last five games, putting together nightmarish performances against Duke and hated rival Georgia.

Tech’s disappointing season blew up social media as many disgruntled Yellow Jacket fans took out their wrath on head coach Paul Johnson with a click of their computer.

Many were calling for Tech athletic director Todd Stansbury to make a change.

There are a couple of questions that need to be directed to these upset Tech fans.

Why should Paul Johnson be shown the door, and maybe an even more important question, who are you going to get to replace him?

Nick Saban is not coming to Georgia Tech.

Paul Johnson has won everywhere he has been, compiling a career record of 182-93, including a 75-54 record at Tech.

Most of Johnson’s critics are tired of his offense. Some call it a triple option. Johnson, who has won everywhere he has coached, including Georgia Southern and Navy, is quick to point that the triple option is only a small part of Tech’s offense.

Regardless of what you call it, it is a run-first offense and when it works, it can give opposing defenses nightmares.

Some say it is outdated.

No, it is not.

Yellow Jacket fans need to look hard at the numbers.

Tech has been to a bowl in eight of Johnson’s 10 years, including two trips to the Orange Bowl. 

In this day and age, those are pretty good numbers.

Tech, after all, will never be a college football factory. Sure, the Yellow Jackets will continue to send players to the NFL.

Georgia Tech will also have plenty of seasons where it contends for an ACC title, has a chance to beat rival Georgia, and plays in a New Year’s Day Bowl.

However, Tech’s tough academics and a limited curriculum are going to mean there will also be some lean seasons.

That doesn’t mean Tech can’t be a Top 25 team most years and win its share of games.

Tech fans, however, need to put things in perspective. A break here or there and Tech would have won eight, nine or even 10 games.

Not great at Alabama or Ohio State, or even the Yellow Jackets’ rival down the road in Athens, but pretty good at Georgia Tech.

Paul Johnson is the perfect man to coach the Georgia Tech football team.

Fire Paul Johnson, but be careful what you wish for.

(Doug Gorman is sports editor of The Newnan Times-Herald)