Georgia Tech Football: Jackets Make Final ESPN 2016-17 Power Ranking

Paul Johnson’s Yellow Jackets got off to a 3-0 start in 2016, including a season opener in Ireland against ACC foe Boston College and an impressive trouncing of SEC East opponent Vanderbilt, but then dropped the next three games. However, Tech managed a strong finish and in impressive enough fashion to make ESPN’s final 2016-17 Power Ranking.

Ending up 9-4 (4-4 ACC), Georgia Tech went 3-0 versus SEC opponents, including a Taxslayer Bowl win over Kentucky. A late season push earned the Jackets 24 votes for a No. 27 finish in the final Associated Press Poll, and the No. 25 spot on ESPN’s 2016-17 Final Power Ranking.

In its description of the Yellow Jackets, the poll stated that “Georgia Tech obviously had flaws this season, but it ended on a high note.” Perhaps most importantly, the poll had Tech trending upwards going into next season.

Obviously new FBS champion Clemson topped the poll, followed by Alabama. Tech came in just below 8-4 Auburn who lost the Sugar Bowl to Oklahoma.

Perhaps most noteworthy is the fact that Georgia Tech faced three of the other teams making this year’s final poll. Tech lost to No. 1 Clemson, beat No. 15 Virginia Tech, and lost to No. 18 Miami. Adding in No. 8 Florida State and No. 21 Louisville,  the surging ACC landed a total of six teams on ESPN’s Final Power Ranking.

While they finished with a spot in the poll, the Jackets had not been ranked, and did not receive even a single vote in the Power Ranking throughout the entire 2016-17 regular season.

Votes for this year’s poll came from a group of football writers from within the ESPN network. The voters were Edward Aschoff, Heather Dinich, Brad Edwards, Chris Fallica, Rod Gilmore, Chris Low, Ivan Maisel, Ryan McGee, Adam Rittenberg, and Mark Schlabach.

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Here is the full poll from ESPN:

  1. Clemson (14-1)
  2. Alabama (14-1)
  3. Southern California (10-3)
  4. Washington (12-2)
  5. Penn State (11-3)
  6. Oklahoma (11-2)
  7. Ohio State (11-2)
  8. Florida State (10-3)
  9. Michigan (10-3)
  10. Wisconsin (11-3)
  11. Oklahoma State (10-3)
  12. Stanford (10-3)
  13. LSU (8-4)
  14. Florida (9-4)
  15. VIrginia Tech (10-4)
  16. Colorado (10-4)
  17. Western Michigan (13-1)
  18. Miami (9-4)
  19. South Florida (11-2)
  20. Tennessee (9-4)
  21. Louisville (9-4)
  22. West Virginia (10-3)
  23. Utah (9-4)
  24. Auburn (8-5)
  25. Georgia Tech (9-4)

According to ESPN, San Diego State, Kansas State, Western Kentucky, Washington State, Tulsa, Pittsburgh also received votes in the final poll.

Georgia Tech will kick off the 2017 season against the Tennessee Volunteers, a team that finished the poll at the No. 20 spot. The two old SEC rivals will face off on Labor Day in the second of the 2017 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game‘s in the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The other game will feature Alabama and Florida State on Saturday, September 2.

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