The 2014 Georgia Tech football season is being called a make-or-break campaign for head coach Paul Johnson by many. Whether or not that statement has any truth to it is unknown, but the Jackets do need to rise above mediocrity this season.
It’s true that Johnson probably needs to have a signature win or championship to hang his hat on, but the schedule plays out so that a division championship is well within reach, and could be locked up by the Yellow Jackets in a four-week span.
The probable players in the ACC Coastal division will consist of the usual suspects; Virginia Tech, Miami, Georgia Tech, and last year’s champion, Duke.
All four teams are probably going to be better than last season, and all four ended up bunched at the top, with Duke taking the crown by a one-game margin.
So when September 20th rolls around, and the Yellow Jackets travel to Blacksburg to take on the Hokies, it begins a month-long stretch that could put Tech in perfect position to capture the Coastal division, or (as it did last season) nearly kill their chances.
Sept. 20 – at Virginia Tech
Sept. 27 – Open Week
Oct. 4 – vs. Miami
Oct. 11 – vs. Duke
If Georgia Tech can come out of that part of the schedule unscathed, they will probably be close to a lock to win the division.
Of course, the Jackets still have games later in the season against Pittsburgh, North Carolina and Virginia that they must win, but those are opponents that Tech should be able to handle.
The other possible stumbling block is Clemson.
While the Tigers aren’t in the same division with Tech, they are the last ACC game of the season. If there is a bunched-up group at the top of the Coastal division, and the Jackets get tripped up by Clemson, it could essentially knock them out of first place.
Obviously all of this is just speculation, but if things play out the way they look to, then that three-game, four-week section in September and October could be the key to getting back to the ACC Championship game for the Yellow Jackets.
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