Calculating Georgia Tech football wins needed for College Football at-large bid

Brent Key had an impressive first year at Georgia Tech last season, but with a loaded non-conference schedule in 2024, the Yellow Jackets will need to make an even bigger leap to contend for a spot in the College Football Playoff.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets quarterback Haynes King (10) talks with head coach Brent Key
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets quarterback Haynes King (10) talks with head coach Brent Key / Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

In Brent Key’s first full season leading his alma mater, Georgia Tech had its best season and first bowl game appearance since 2018. Key led the Yellow Jackets to 7-6 after going 4-4 as the interim head coach in 2022. He now has 11 wins over about a season and a half, but he may not even need that many in 2024 to get Georgia Tech into the College Football Playoff conversation. 

It may seem like a longshot to talk about Georgia Tech in the CFP, but the Yellow Jackets have a tough ACC slate and a ridiculously difficult non-conference schedule featuring Notre Dame and Georgia. With a 12-team CFP field for the first time, there is a chance that it wouldn’t even take double-digit wins for Key’s team to be in the mix. 

According to a graphic from Kelley Ford, of, Georgia Tech only needs 9 wins to be in the CFP conversation. 

Where will 9 wins come from for Georgia Tech in 2024

The Yellow Jackets have nicely split their non-conference schedule this season. There are two very difficult games that will either be signature wins or understandable losses and two games that should help inch the win total towards nine:

  • vs. Georgia State
  • vs. VMI

Then, there are the winnable conference games:

  • at Syracuse
  • vs. Duke
  • at North Carolina
  • at Virginia Tech
  • vs. NC State

Georgia Tech needs to handle its business in those five games to lock up bowl eligibility and that won’t be easy. With new coaching staffs, Syracuse and Duke should take a step back, and the same goes for North Carolina after losing Drake Maye to the NFL draft. However, Virginia Tech and NC State will be very competitive teams, both on an upward trajectory. 

Now, to get into legitimate CFP contention, Georgia Tech will need to fight up a weight class or two. The Yellow Jackets have non-conference bouts scheduled with Notre Dame and Georgia, as well as ACC matchups against Florida State, Miami, and Louisville. The most realistic path to nine wins is to pull off upsets on the road in Louisville and at home against Miami. 

  • at Louisville
  • vs. Miami

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