College Football Update
To say Georgia Tech football coach Paul Johnson is a crab understates the case.
He has claws (nah). He molts (uh, no). He’s better with Old Bay Seasoning (and who or what isn’t)? And he’s best served at a full boil. (This one is true)
So Johnson’s Yellow Jackets come out of their Monday-night opener 0-1 and a piece of that clearly hangs on Johnson’s state of mind going in. But first, some background…
Way back when, the TV conspiracy that governs college football (and everything else) had Tech opening on a Monday night. Nice, Kickoff Classic in Atlanta, your hometown playing in the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in front of a national TV audience?
Ah, Johnson saw the cloud and not the silver lining. Game 2, against a solid FCS team in Jacksonville on Saturday, would be less than five days away. Kind of a squeeze, no? Jackson had beefed about this enough to earn an Omaha Steaks franchise, but then came the opener against Tennessee.
The Jackets led 21-7 at one point, and then failed to defend it. A 28-28 tie in regulation meant overtime. Overtime meant more time on the field and more snaps for the Jackets.
So after they scored on their second OT possession and trailed 42-41, Johnson opted to go for a two-point conversion. He was going to win, or he was going to spare his team another 10-12 snaps.
Johnson went for two and for getting his team off the field. This fat old blog has seen enough football games to say this is neither good nor bad. 1-0? Bad. Some late and unseemly injury? Bad. Ability to keep team healthy and at least be in a position, after such wear and tear, to win the second game? Good. A statement about how TV screws up some teams and gently massages others? Well said, Coach Johnson.
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman