Your attention, please: Minus Mills, I'm picking Georgia Tech to go 8-4

I try not to change a prediction, however silly it might be looking. (As we know, many have looked utterly ridiculous .) My reasoning: I’d rather not be wrong twice. Sometimes, however, circumstances intervene. Back around Memorial Day, I picked Georgia Tech to go 9-3 and win the ACC Coastal. That forecast is hereby revised.

I picked Tech to win its division even though Justin Thomas, its best player, had completed his eligibility. If that was a reach, it was a considered one: Every other Coastal contender is also changing quarterbacks. I also figured that Dedrick Mills might well be the division’s best player. On Friday, Mills became an ex-Techie.

The most important positions in Paul Johnson’s offense (and therefore on Paul Johnson’s team) are quarterback and B-back. In the Yellow Jackets’ best seasons under this coach – 2008, 2009, 2014 and 2016 – they had big-time performers at both spots: First Joshua Nesbitt and Jonathan Dwyer, then Thomas and Zach Laskey/Synjyn Days, last year Thomas and Mills. With holes at both QB and BB, I no longer see a way this team can win nine games. I no longer believe it will take the Coastal.

Which isn't to say all hope is lost. Johnson is smart enough to think of something. There are still enough wins on this schedule to be bowl-eligible. As Tennessee coach Butch Jones has noted, the Jackets were unbeaten in the games Mills missed last season. (Counter-note: Three of those were against Mercer, Duke and Virginia, who were a collective 12-23.)

But enough back-and-forth. Here’s how I now see Tech’s season unfolding:

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About the Author

Mark Bradley
Mark Bradley
Mark Bradley is a sports columnist and blogger for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He has been with the AJC since 1984.
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