Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Comments on my Blog Poll ballot

The new BlogPoll is up today, and I got the Coulter/Krougman award for the guy who voted his own team the highest on his ballot compared to how they finished in the poll. In other words, I'm the biggest homer in the poll.

In addition to that, in the comments section DJL raises a valid point about ranking GT ahead of Auburn:

I dunno, I mean I know I'm going to incur the wrath of the Golden Tornado here, but Georgia Tech had some trouble at home against UConn and UNC.

I keep hearing about the head-to-head win, which is admittedly a nice feather in Tech's cap, but while Tech has been hit-or-miss against the Huskies and Heels, Auburn has dominated a couple of SEC teams.

Put another way, a 38-point-win over South Carolina's going to get more positive attention than a 6-point win over UNC.

There's a lot more to this than head-to-head.

There is a lot more to this than head-to-head, you are right, and I figure I will address each of GT's wins and explain why I voted them where I did (which wasn't that high, but a lot of people have left GT totally off their ballots which is what hurt the overall ranking compared to my vote).

DJL is indirectly disparaging UNC and UCONN with his comments that Auburn winning big over 2 SEC teams is at least equal to GT's victories. That's not true, partly because South Carolina and Mississippi State are terrible teams, and partly because UNC and UCONN are better than people realize. Georgia Tech's opponents this year are an amazing 13-1 in games not involving GT, 14-4 overall. Outside of GT, opponents have lost exactly one game all year - and that was to a pretty good Winsconsin team.

UNC has solid wins over Utah and NC State, and played Wisconsin very tough in addition to GT. Neither of their wins were "flukey", they were clearly the better team both weeks. That is a decent football team in Chapel Hill, and Bunting has been recruiting well for years - heck, according to the recruiting rankings they should be a better team than GT. UNC finished 3rd in the ACC last year, a fact that seems to slip the memory of anyone outside of the UNC students and alumni.

UCONN has also developed a nice little program over the past couple of years, and while they aren't a top 25 team, they are probably top 50 - heck, they are favored over Syracuse this weekend, and will finish in the top half of the Big East. And remember, GT's starting QB went to the hospital the night before the game forcing a redshirt freshman with no practice experience with the first team into the starting role. And GT didn't "struggle" with UCONN, unless you consider not giving up a first down for the entire second half "struggling". That was a solid win against a pretty good team without the starting QB.

Auburn's wins over Mississippi State and South Carolina are both over bad, bad football teams. Neither of those teams would be favored in matchups against either UNC or UCONN, and neither one of them have beaten anyone of note. Ball State is one of the worst teams in Division 1-A this year, and Auburn's 4th win was over a 1-AA team.

And lasty, GT has handily beaten a legitimate top-25 team on the road (Auburn). Auburn has no such win even close to comparable on it's resume, at least not yet. It's not just head to head, but Auburn hasn't done anything outside that game besides beat up on cupcakes, and that's not convincing me they are a better team than the Yellow Jackets. It wasn't like GT pulled off some bizarre upset, they scored a TD on the opening drive in Jordan Hare and never trailed at any point in the game. The running game was solid, and the defense beat the Tigers up and turned them over. GT was clearly the best team on the field that night, and nothing in the past 4 weeks has changed my mind.

I think there is a national distrust of Gailey's GT teams, even when ranked in the top 15 there were comments like - "But watch them lose to Duke", etc. When GT got hammered in Blacksburg with a sick QB and their best defensive player not even playing, everyone just took it as the excuse they had been waiting for to push Tech back down the line to where they felt like they belonged in the first place (Minnesota and Michigan State suffer from this as well). And GT might very well do that as the season progresses, but at this point in the season I do not understand ranking Auburn ahead of GT, or several other teams who don't have anywhere near the same credentials right now.

Of course, all this is out the window if we don't take care of business Thursday night and send the mangy Amatos back to Raleigh with their tales between their legs.


Blogger djl said...


I appreciate the response. I think we're likely to continue to disagree here, but I think this is a pretty constructive conversation.

GT's opponents' record is admittedly impressive, but I stand by my suggestion that UConn isn't all that good a team.

UConn's wins are over Buffalo, Liberty, and Army. Army hasn't won more than three games in a season since '97, Buffalo's won a grand total of nine games since going I-A in '99, and Liberty's a I-AA school. They're favored against Syracuse, but the Orange are 1-3 this year and haven't had a winning record since '01.

I have a bunch of respect for what Randy Edsall's done with that program, and I was ecstatic about the drubbing they put on Toledo last year in the bowl game. But they lost Dan Orlovsky and 10 other starters from last year's team. Until they beat someone good, I'm not sure there's any reason to think of them as anything but a Big East also-ran with a bunch of potential.

I think you've convinced me that I've been underestimating UNC.

Still, though, to my eyes GT is a team that over the last three weeks has gotten destroyed once, struggled against one very pedestrian team, and put up a six-point win against a team that may crack the bottom of the poll for a week or two.

As I said before, the Auburn win is a nice win. But since that game, Auburn has done absolutely everything you could possibly ask them to do. I don't believe GT can say the same thing.

3:07 PM  

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