Georgia Tech Football: How the Yellow Jackets could take the ACC Coastal

Sure, it”s a long shot for the Georgia Tech football to win, but the ACC Coastal Division never seems to go the way anyone expects.

Before Miami Hurricanes fans start squawking, hear me out. Yes, I know it’s a remote possibility. I also realize that Georgia Tech was 4-4 in ACC play in 2016. And I know that coach Mark Richt is seriously rebuilding the Hurricanes’ program and that the ‘Canes are the heavy favorite to win the Coastal division.

The ACC Coastal is never a sure thing, however, and Tech coach Paul Johnson always finds a way to win important games. Say what you will about the Jackets; this is a team with tenacity, and they continue to surprise every season.

Despite last year’s 4-4 ACC record, Tech does have a real shot, and here’s why.  Tech has a schedule that is very workable. Virginia Tech, North Carolina and Pitt, some of Tech’s biggest contenders for the title, are all at home this season. Miami is stuck with playing Florida State in Tallahassee and must play a tough Pitt team in Pittsburgh. For those of you with amnesia, remember that Pitt was the only team to take down Clemson last season.

Tech had a nine-win season in 2016, which isn’t stellar, but their returning players comprise one of the strongest returning lineups in the division. It has almost 70 percent of its starters coming back in 2017, and it recruited well to replace 2016’s key players like Patrick Gamble and Harrison Butler.

The Yellow Jackets return their entire secondary, most of their offense, and a great array of players at skill positions. Despite the fact that they have to replace their quarterback, so do the four teams that are ahead of them.

From an emotional standpoint, Tech has a tendency to defy predictions and exceed expectations. They win the games they need to win. The ACC Coastal division is always harum-scarum–so why not look to the dark horse candidate? Tech amassed some solid wins last season, and they seem to thrive when they are the underdog. This whole line of reasoning may be wishful thinking on my part, but Georgia Tech is in as good a position as anybody in the chaotic Coastal Division to take the top spot.

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