“If you don’t want to play against it then
beat them every year and pretty soon you won’t have to.”
Kirby Smart's one-liner of the day. When asked about having to prepare for the option all year long..."beat 'em every year and eventually you won't have to" #UGA #GaTech #CleanOldFashionedHate pic.twitter.com/D0yJP10mbH— Cody Chaffins (@Cody_Fox5) November 24, 2018
It seems lazy to think this way, but the Sabanization of Athens just went up another level.
Coaching changes have happened at quality programs, LSU and Auburn due in large part to not being able to take down one specific team.
So let’s recap, here. Shortly after throat-punching being throat-punched by Georgia last year, Tennessee, and later Florida, made coaching changes.
Now, in perhaps a consequence of how far the gap between a triple option offense and Kirby’s program is growing, Paul Johnson announced his retirement on Wednesday.
Simply put - it was going to be tougher and tougher for Tech with its offense and smoke and mirrored two and three-star athletes to compete year to year against Georgia. It may not be the sole reason that a coach, whose fan base obsesses over Clean Old Fashioned Hate, chose to step away from the game, but it’s hard not to deny it may have played a role.
In truth, Paul Johnson fit Tech perfectly. The inferiority complex of the ‘other’ program in this state fit him and his offense perfect. The whole college football word, most of it, looked down on the ‘high school offense,’ and the Yellow Jackets relished being that little pest, that team that was going to give you fits, whether you like it or not.
Of course, his penchant for getting jabs in at Georgia made losing to Tech’s teams under Johnson tough to swallow. Much like Spurrier, Johnson knew what buttons to push toward Georgia people at the right time - it’s part of what made losing to Tech insufferable.
With Johnson leaving, Tech will at least have, in theory, as easier time bringing in more typical offensive players. Assuming that there’s no option offense going forward, the odds of getting an underrated player on offense (think Stetson Bennett or Brian Herrien types) out of high school increase. Offensive players looking at the next level avoided Tech under Johnson, and what defensive player would want to scout team against the option each day for a year or two?
Tech has the unenviable task of finding someone to be head coach knowing that they are fighting uphill. It’s the football version of coaching basketball at NC State with Kirby Smart, Dabo Swinney and Nick Saban plucking any recruit you would have a high interest in, if they want them.
For Georgia fans, the dream come true would be Tech going for a coach with NFL and College experience and hiring a Brian Schottenheimer, but UGA cannot be that lucky.
The worst-case scenario for Georgia fans would be an air raid offense coach like a Neal Brown or Chris Hatcher to throw wrinkles at the Bulldogs that would give them fits, and a pass-happy offense that could rope in a few offensive skill players that would otherwise not have an interest in The Flats.