Over the course of the next three games, the Georgia Tech football team can redefine their season.
After eight games, the Georgia Tech football team holds a 4-4 record and 3-3 in conference play. Not exactly the season the Jackets were hoping to have following up a 9-4 season a year ago which included a TaxSlayer Bowl victory over Kentucky.
At this point, the best case for the Yellow Jackets for the remainder of the season is to win out. Even with just 11 games, the Jackets would then be 7-4 with a chance of an eight-win season with a potential bowl game victory. As reported yesterday, the Jacket are trying to add a 12th game to the end of the season, allowing for a potential eight-win regular season.
For the sake of this piece, let’s presume the Jacket do not add a 12th game and remain with just 11 regular season games. While they need just one additional victory at this point for bowl eligibility, the Jackets season at this point will be remembered for all the close misses. It will be remembered as a “what if?” type season.
While they do sit an even .500 record in both conference play and overall, the Jackets record could be drastically different had a few plays gone their way. Realistically, the Jackets could’ve been entering Saturday’s game against Virginia Tech with a 7-1 record and 5-1 conference record.
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The only loss this season that the Jackets didn’t have a realistic chance of winning in the end, was the 24-10 defeat to Clemson. Outside of that loss in Death Valley, the Jackets have lost three games by a combined six points. Two of those losses were by a point each.
Right now, the season will be defined by the Yellow Jackets incapability to make one last play when they needed it the most. A lot of it comes down to the defenses’ inability to make plays especially. In the three one-possession losses, the Jackets offense averaged 33.6 points per game. It’s hard to blame an offense for a loss when they put up 41, 25, and 36 points respectively. However, the Jacket offense did make their fair share of costly mistakes in each of the three losses.
With all that being said, the Jackets have a chance to end the season on a high note and change that view. If the Yellow Jackets can win out, it will not only give them a 7-4 record but it would mean two top-25 victories including a victory over a top-10, potentially even top-5 UGA team.
Winning out the remainder of the regular season would surely make up for all the near misses the team has suffered this season, especially with the potential ruin Georgia’s season. That being said, ESPN’s FPI currently gives the Yellow Jackets just a 42.5% chance to beat Virginia Tech on Saturday and a 21.5% chance to beat Georgia at the end of the season.
Ultimately, the Jackets chances at this point to finish the regular season with a winning record are slim. The most likely scenario as it appears right now would be a 5-6 record but still bowl eligible with a chance to finish .500. Right now, the Jackets 2017 season without at least one win over Virginia Tech or Georgia will feel like a lost season with all things considered.
Sandwiched in between the Hokies and the Dawgs are the Duke Blue Devils, which on paper should be a victory for the Jackets. But if last week showed anything, it’s hard to think anything will be easy for this team.
If the Jackets hope to win out or even just defeat Virginia Tech and Georgia, they’ll need to make the extra plays that they’ve missed all season. If the Jackets can it will make a season of missed chances feel better but still leave plenty of “what if” questions remaining.
While there will always be “what if” questions remaining, the Jackets have the chance here in the last three weeks to redefine their season as a season of near misses and missed opportunities.