Georgia Tech needs about eighteen different things to fall into place for it to have a shot at playing in the ACCCG (aka, Jim Donnan’s “The World’s Smallest Outdoor Cocktail Party”), so it can get its arse whipped by FSU and finish up another five-loss season in a relatively minor bowl game. In other words, life is still Chantastic on the Flats.
But there’s still a chance to make chicken salad out of chicken shit, if you’re Paul Johnson. You can beat your hated in state rival for the first time since W was still in office. You’d think that would be a pretty big deal, no?
So I asked Paul Johnson if beating Georgia would make this season special.
“I think that the Georgia game is a very important game,” he said. “Clearly, we want to win the game. But you need to get away from this (mindset of a) one-game scenario that it defines your season. It plays a part in it, but one game doesn’t define your season. I don’t care who it is. Do we want to win the game? Yeah, but I don’t know that it changes us wanting to win the ACC by wanting to beat them. You’re still disappointed if you didn’t do that.”
A long way of saying no.
This is why you can’t have nice things, Georgia Tech. Johnson’s not being asked if he’d trade a win over Georgia for a division title. He’s being asked if the Georgia game is a big deal. That he feels the need to hedge his answer says that he’s not willing to accept the cost of a loss in a rivalry game. Which makes him beaten before he’s started. And don’t think an attitude like that doesn’t filter down to the players.
Jeff Schultz says Tech wins Saturday, in part because: “While Georgia players are saying all of the right things, I’m just not sure this game is that big of a deal to them.” If he really believes that, then he doesn’t get the rivalry anymore than Johnson does. I guarantee you Mark Richt disagrees with both of them.