For the first time since 2001, Georgia Tech has beat U(sic)GA in the annual rivalry game. This breaks Georgia’s 7-game streak in the series, maintaining Georgia Tech’s record of the longest streak of 8 games from 1949 to 1956. This is also an exciting win because this is a season in which Georgia was pre-season ranked at #1 and that Sports Illustrated predicted that Georgia Tech’s season would be 3-and-9. Paul Johnson, hired after the firing of Chan Gailey (whose contract was bought out at a cost of $4 million to Tech following last year’s loss to U(sic)GA), brought a whole new strategy to Tech’s game–a triple option offense and a totally fearless way of playing the game. Commentators repeated the refrain that Johnson’s strategy wouldn’t work in the ACC. I saw more 4th-down conversions and turnovers-on-downs than I saw in my entire (5-year) undergrad career at Tech. All of the sudden, our special teams didn’t suck. We succeeded at 2-point conversions. Tech finished its regular season 9-3. So much for a “building season.” Suck it, talking heads.
On a slightly lower note, Virginia’s loss to Virginia Tech cost Georgia Tech its trip to the ACC championship. However, Tech’s standing in the ACC (something like 3rd by default) in addition to its win over Georgia makes it somewhat of a favorite for the Chick-Fil-A bowl here in Atlanta. The Gator Bowl, the Champs Sports Bowl and the Music Bowl are also among the possible bowls that might pick Georgia Tech to play. Most Tech fans will likely agree, however, that beating the mutts is totally worth both missing out on the Orange Bowl and the $4 million we’re paying Gailey to be rid of him.
So…what does this mean to me? Well, I’m sad that this victory didn’t come until after I “got out,” but I’m still ecstatic that it happened while there are still people at the school that I know! I did my best to extend my undergraduate career until Tech finally won (not really), but there were only so many classes I could take. And I couldn’t quite manage getting into grad school at Tech this semester. That was more because I don’t know how to use a calendar, though. 😉 But I digress. I feel like this is the start of something beautiful. If Paul Johnson and the Jackets can keep this up next season and in subsequent seasons, maybe we’ll start seeing more Tech merchandise in more places than just the Georgia Tech bookstore. But that’s a topic for a certain, super-secret, future guest columnist to discuss.
So with that, I leave you with the following:
*Sing to the tune of the refrain of “Battle Hymn of the Republic”*