Paul Johnson’s option offense has been as effective as any other over the past decade, but his tenure as CEO of Tech football has had its ups and downs.
Johnson was hired by the Yellow Jackets after bringing the program at Navy back from the dead and came into the Power Five like a wrecking ball.
Tech had a nine-win season after Johnson pieced together a simplified option attack with Chan Gailey’s pro-style holdovers, and even beat the Bulldogs in Athens. A season later, there were some ups and downs, but the Jackets beat a talented Clemson squad for an ACC title in Johnson’s second season.
Before we go any further, let’s take a look at Johnson’s time on the Flats by the numbers:
- 75-54 overall, 46-34 Atlantic Coast Conference
- 1 ACC championship (2009)
- 4 ACC Coastal Division championships (2008, 2009, 2012, 2014)
- 3-5 bowl games
- 1-1 BCS/New Years Six bowls
- 3 ranked finishes (2008, 2009, 2014)
- 12-22 versus ranked teams (9-5 at home)
- 19 NFL Draft picks
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One big factor the Paul Johnson era in Atlanta seems to have always been lacking is consistency. There have been plenty of unexplainable losing season, single-game losses and even bipolar performances within games.
One major trend over the past three seasons has been losing games in the clutch and letting teams come back late, or shifting momentum with scores on a low clock before halftime. Over the last three seasons, Georgia Tech is a few minutes and a handful of snaps away from being one of the premier programs in America. Instead, the Yellow Jackets have been a frustrating pile of confusion and inconsistency.
There’s absolutely no question that Johnson’s option offense has been effective at the highest level of college football. Just ask the coaches who have to face it.
We’re far past the point of the triple option being questioned as a “gimmick.” Johnson’s Tech teams have racked up video game rushing yard totals and have won plenty of football games over the last ten seasons. Anyone who still questions whether the offense can work isn’t very intelligent, or is choosing not to see the truth.
The “extra time to prepare” myth is also a tired mantra echoed non-stop since Johnson arrived at Georgia Tech. Extra time helps with any offense. If anyone is looking for the secret to stopping the triple option, the answer is to field three or four NFL level defensive lineman. Works every time.
So now that we’ve dismissed all of the ridiculous nonsense fans and so-called pundits will rehash whenever a Paul Johnson team does poorly, let’s get to the heart of the matter.
Over the past decade, Paul Johnson has had a whole lot of success at Georgia Tech. Over the last three seasons, however, he has failed in his role as CEO of the Yellow Jackets. Is it fixable? Yes. It’s obvious Paul Johnson can be an excellent football coach and motivator of young men. Since time ran out on the 2014 Orange Bowl, however, his teams have been frustratingly inconsistent.
If Johnson has another inexplicably strange and frustrating season on the Flats, it’ll be time for the sure-fire hall of famer to either hang it up or be fired and replaced.