Friday, April 24, 2009

Stadium Checklist

Anyone out there got a goal of reaching certain stadiums? I know I do. I'm trying to hit up the entire ACC/SEC before I pass by my football game traveling prime (young/single) years.

So far my fandom has taken me to the following ACC/SEC houses:

* Alumni Stadium (BC)
* Carter-Finley Stadium (NCSU)
* Jordan-Hare Stadium (Auburn)
* Lane Stadium (VT)
* Memorial Stadium (CU)
* Sanford Stadium (uga)
* Scott Stadium (UVA)
* Williams-Brice Stadium (USC)

I've also been to Notre Dame, Furman, Georgia Southern, GA Dome, and ALL-TEL Stadium for CFB games. The goal for this season is Vandy and FSU so that'll continue my slow completion of the Southeastern checklist. I don't really have much motivation to attend the Mississippi State game despite their inclusion in the SEC. Sort of like all the times I've been offered free tickets to go to Duke...and I just ask myself, "Why bother?"

If I could hit up a few games outside of the Southeast, I'd go to Penn State, Oregon, and maybe Michigan/Ohio State. Those seem like three stadiums where the atmosphere would be similar to the Southeastern stadiums.

Any well traveled fans out there? Got any good stories of travel or dream stadium visitations?

They lost another one to GT

After firing ol' Felton at Jawja, the dogs have lost another recruit to Tech. It's okay though 'cause most dog fans don't realize they've got a basketball team. Interestingly enough Daniel Miller is from my hometown albeit he went to the private school. But I'll pay some attention to the kid.

Also, Tech has a new beat writer at the AJC, Doug Roberson. He's not related to Avery Roberson and he's a dog alum so we'll see how long we can handle the new guy before tossing him under the proverbial bus...just kidding. But seriously, don't let us down.

Looking forward to Clemson. To Hell with the Tigers!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Clemson baseball preview

Tech travels to Clemson, South Carolina this weekend to face one of my least favorite sports personalities of all time: Jack Leggett. Every Clemson game is about 30 minutes longer than it should be because Jack loves to put on a show for his purple/orange minions. I think it's BS and can't stand watching Clemson games just because of him.

Concerning the game itself, Clemson comes into the game with a little momentum after kicking the crap out of archrival USC Wednesday night to the tune of 12-2. Clemson is second in the Atlantic with a record of 28-14 (12-9). Offensively, Clemson is a middling team with a sub .300 batting average and only 42 homers on the season (compared to Tech's .324 average and 68 homers in 5 less games played). Defensively however, Clemson is boasting the conference's second best ERA with a 3.65 (compared to Tech's 4.57). Clemson's man to watch for this weekend is Ben Paulsen who is tied for second in the ACC with 64 hits.

Tech needs two of three from Clemson to solidify the lead over the Coastal Division. It'll be tough but I think my sheer dislike of Jack Leggett will give Tech at least one walk-off homer top of the ninth game winning run against the Tigers.

Anyone making the trip to Clemson this weekend?

The ultimate sacrifice

Local radio sports jockeys asked the other day, "What would you give up to see a national championship from your favorite team?" I'll be bold and say that I'd give up fried chicken (Chic-fil-a, Zaxby's, etc.) forever to see a Tech football championship. If it were basketball, it'd have to be something simpler like fried chicken for a couple of years.

What would you give up to see your favorite team win a championship in its respective sport?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

No ACC/Big-10(11) Matchup for Jackets

The upcoming ACC/Big 10 Challenge will not include the Jackets.Why? Well, because the season just straight up sucked. Taking a year off might be what we need anyways as we've just been playing roughly .500 ball in the Challenge.

NFL Draft Thoughts II

I saw this grading system for players on and thought I'd share it with everyone. Here's a breakdown of some notable ACC players as well as ours:

B.J. Raji (BC) - 4.21
Ron Brace (BC) - 3.88
Michael Hamlin (CU) - 3.55
James Davis (CU) - 3.43
Aaron Kelly (CU) - 3.40
Cullen Harper (CU) - 3.30
Everette Brown (FSU) - 4.25
Darius Heyward-Bey (MD) - 4.04
Andre Brown (NCSU) - 3.23
Hakeem Nicks (UNC) - 3.99
Trimaine Goddard (UNC) - 3.23
Brandon Tate (UNC) - 3.42
Eugene Monroe (UVA) - 4.26
Cedric Peerman (UVA) - 3.63
Victor "Macho" Harris (VT) - 3.50
Sean Glennon (VT) - 2.55
Aaron Curry (Wake) - 4.36
Sam Swank (Wake) - 3.50

GT Players
Michael Johnson - 3.99
Vance Walker - 3.48
Andrew Gardner - 3.40
Darryl Richard - 3.32
Jahi Word-Daniels - 3.29

I linked the GT players to their combine profiles for additional reading. I find it interesting just because I've watched a lot these ACC players for four years thinking they were unstoppable or great at the college level. Then, you see them get torn down like a bunch of mediocre talent by NFL scouts. I think the ratings are also interesting in that Miami/Duke only have one player in the same class as GT's five. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

Also, a shoutout to Brendan From Old Virginia as one of the few Detroit Lions fans left. View Calvin Johnson and the new Detroit Lions jerseys here.

Thoughts on the upcoming draft/college football season welcome.

Updates on Tech alum in pro sports

Currently, there've been some rough patches for Tech alum in the major pro sports. Mark Teixeira is struggling as a Yankee batting a lowly .211 in the New York "Homerun Derby Park." He's got three homers helpin' out his slugging percentage. We'll see what happens. Hopefully, Mark'll pull through and justify his contract to the Yankees.

Everyone's favorite name, Nomar Garciaparra, isn't doing much better batting a .179 for the 5-8 Oakland A's.

For completion's sake, Varitek is batting a .250, which isn't great but ain't too bad for a catcher.

In two playoff games for the Celtics, Stephon Marbury has only scored 2 points but he pulled down a few boards and got a few assists in the first game of the series. Otherwise, the playoffs have been like the rest of Marbury's tenure at the Celtics - less than stellar.

Will Bynum, on the other hand, has become a pretty good bench player for the Pistons and is putting in some solid minutes in a desperate effort against the unstoppable Cavaliers. Like I said a few weeks ago, I never thought the tiny man from our Final Four run would be the most successful NBAer when all of those players ran out of eligibility.

Thoughts on NBA playoffs or MLB are welcome.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

NFL Draft Thoughts

I was thinking about draft picks today and who GT should be sending to the NFL. It got me wondering about ACC draft picks in general (as it did for Tomahawk Nation). Let's assume NFL draft picks are a legitimate method of quantitative analysis for talent.

Since 2000, the ACC has had 269 players drafted (excluding supplemental), which is around 30 per year. The addition of Miami, VT, and BC increased our talent pool tremendously. The increased interest of a twelve team conference increased the yearly average of picks of the old nine from 20 picks/year to 25 picks/year. So anyone that says the addition has negatively affected the average quality of ACC players or ACC play in general is dumb. Actually the only loser right now in the expansion is Miami but that's an entirely different story.

Now, what does it take talent-wise to win in the ACC? Here's a linear regression based on ACC draft picks/year related to total wins/year: 0.375*(NFL picks) + 5.7584 = Total Wins. So basically, no draft picks equates to about 5-6 wins and each draft pick on your team gives you a third of a win. Not too bad.

Using draft picks as an indicator of coaching prowess (winning more with less) is also interesting. If you were to take the draft picks required to win and rank the programs since 2000, here's what you'd get (years with 0 picks = 0.9 picks and BC stats only back to '04/Miami and VT back to '03):

12. Miami - 1.38 wins/pick
11. Duke - 1.70 wins/pick
10. FSU - 1.8 wins/pick
9. VT - 2.34 wins/pick
8. UNC - 2.65 wins/pick
7. NCSU - 2.85 wins/pick
6. Clemson - 2.85 wins/pick
5. UVA - 3.24 wins/pick
4. Wake - 4.08 wins/pick
3. MD - 4.19 wins/pick
2. GT - 4.65 wins/pick
1. BC - 5.46 wins/pick

Looking at the numbers, I can see why Amato, Bunting, Bowden, and Coker were terminated. They were collecting talent but not winning. Now, you must also account for the fact that this is a logarithm with a ~10-11 win plateau while your number of draft picks can go up to 85 (if you're Team America). Hence, VT appears to be poorly coached but in actuality wins a lot and gets a lot draft picks.

Gailey's termination came because he wasn't getting that extra win. Maybe developing 1 or so more NFL prospects a year would've meant Gailey'd still be at Tech. You never know.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Gani Lawal Thinking About Going Pro

Gani Lawal has announced that he will be entering the NBA Draft. He has not hired an agent.

For a little while we all thought that with the combination of him and Derrick Favors, the season next year could be a good one. We could be back to being a young team in desperate need of development.

What are your thoughts?

Baseball Sweeps, Thank GOD

Wake Forest came up on the schedule at the perfect time this past weekend. The 'Deacs were outscored 27-3 over the weekend and got swept.

So, what does this mean? Well in the polls, we moved up. Now we're at #7 in ESPN poll and #7 in the Baseball America poll. But the polls don't matter. There is a legit NCAA Tournament at the end of the season, and I just want to see us host the Regionals and the Super Regionals. Baseball America has an early look on the NCAA Tournament. (created before this past weekend).

We also have taken more than a 1 game lead on the ACC Coastal Division and have claimed the best record in the ACC.

School Conference Pct. Overall Pct.
Florida State 12-7-0 .632 25-12-0 .676
Clemson 12-9-0 .571 26-14-0 .650
Boston College 10-9-0 .526 24-15-0 .615
NC State 7-14-0 .333 19-21-0 .475
Wake Forest 6-15-0 .286 20-19-0 .513
Maryland 6-15-0 .286 18-21-0 .462
School Conference Pct. Overall Pct.
Georgia Tech 13-5-1 .711 26-8-1 .757
North Carolina 13-7-0 .650 31-10-0 .756
Virginia 11-7-1 .605 30-8-1 .782
Miami 11-10-0 .524 26-13-0 .667
Duke 10-11-0 .476 27-15-0 .643
Virginia Tech 9-11-0 .450 24-13-0 .649

I really don't know how we are doing it. We have had to deal with inconsistency a lot over the year, but I'm not going to ask any questions.

Next up is (another) big series against Clemson AT Clemson. This series is always huge and Clemson fans know how to be loud at baseball games. It should be a good one.

T-Day Practice Report

Let me start by saying this practice report is going to be rather short. I was on the field for most of the game because I was helping look after the Reck. I missed several plays and I didn't have the best viewing angle of the team. With that said, it was a beautiful day for a football game. I was excited to see the large crowd that came out to watch and support the team. I expect that number to continue to grow here in the next couple of years. I got to see a lot of former Tech players on the sideline today, and I really got to see how tiny Little Joe is. I'm 5'8" and our eyes were on the same level.

1. Since the first string defense and the second string defense were on different teams, it made substituting players a little strange. When they took a first string player out on the white team they had to replace him with a third string player. This is what happened as the game went on and one reason the gold team offense scored as much as they did. Morgan Burnett played very little, but he looked very good when he was in. Mario Edwards impressed me today after a suspect Spring. I didn't know how he was going to handle the wolf position after Cooper went down. Sedric Griffin continues to get to the ball very quickly and lay some hard hits. He was by far the best LB at the end of last season and I think he has only gotten better since then. The defensive line is still a huge question mark. The first string defensive line is very athletic and quick to the ball, but size is not in their favor. Well, Hall and Morgan are good sized DEs, but Peters and Anderson are lightweights for the DT position. TJ Barnes could add size to the line, but his play seems to rather up and down and he still needs to lose a lot of fat to be in shape. I'd hate to hold out hope for an incoming freshmen (JC Lanier), but that is probably what we are going to have to do.

2. Tevin VS Jaybo! The battle of the two backups was an exciting one. Many believe Tevin had the best day, but I believe it was pretty even. Tevin completed a high percentage of his passes, but you should have seen those passes. Many of Tevin's passes were wobbly and basically end over end. One of his passes should have been intercepted because the ball hung up in the air way too long, but the defensive back lost sight of the ball. His passing has improved, but he still has a long way to go. Tevin also had trouble running the option at times and making the right reads. This was partly due to the offensive line getting blown up. Jaybo had one of his worst days yet of Spring practice. He made several bad reads, had a couple of bad passes, and fumbled the ball. For some reason people still criticize him for holding onto the ball too much and not pitching it (some pitch reads were indeed wrong). He carries the ball as much as he does because that is what defenses are going to give us when we start playing. Virginia Tech and LSU used the idea of making our QB beat them with his legs. They devoted all their attention to stopping Dwyer and the pitch. Jaybo still had several nice runs and completed several last second pitches. The B-backs all looked great today. Preston Lyons continues to impress me. The A-backs also had wonderful a day. The offensive line has gotten better at pass protection and it showed several times. The run blocking still left a lot to be desired though. We really need the rest of the starters to get healthy and get back out there.

3. The kicking game was abysmal. Blair continues to show why he can't continue to do all kicking duties. The backups haven't looked any better all Spring, but that could just be due to not getting enough reps. Hopefully Brady Biggers can come in and give Blair a run for his money.

T-Day Images

I took my Dad and little bro to the Georgia Tech Spring Game on Saturday. Here are some pics from Saturday that'll help you pass the next 4 months until football is played again... estimated about 8,500 in attendance. I'd say that was pretty accurate. The lower deck from the Southeast corner to the lower student section were pretty packed (maybe 80% capacity). The Upper East and Upper North stands had some people in them as well.

Marcus Wright had a good day alongside fellow A-back Embry Peeples. I think we'll see a lot of this guy this year.

Walk-on QB Jim Henry under center. Jaybo was easily in on 40% of the snaps on T-Day but Jim and Tevin Washington got a lot of PT as well.

1930 Ford Model A Sports Coupe + Cheerleaders.

Anthony Allen is a sick dude. I'm ready to see him hit some ACC defenders.

Georgia Tech brass.

Jaybo was definitely putting on a show for the crowd. He was the best passer of the day (not that that was too terribly difficult) and he had some good QB keepers.

Look for a more detailed report for DFJ/Dane/Winfield