Georgia Tech to play Florida State in ACC Championship Game

Miami's self-imposed sanctions pave way for Georgia Tech

Monday, Nov. 19, 2012 1:55 PM
Last updated 10:18 PM
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ATLANTA — A team that was routed at home by Middle Tennessee and fired its defensive coordinator at midseason will get a chance to play for a BCS bowl bid.

Georgia Tech (6-5) automatically claimed a spot in the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship Game on Monday when Miami self-imposed a postseason ban for the second consecutive year, looking to lessen the sanctions from an NCAA investigation into its compliance practices.

The Hurricanes (7-4) could have clinched the Coastal Division title with a victory over Duke, which would leave both Miami and the Yellow Jackets with 5-3 conference records. The Hurricanes would win the tiebreaker since they beat Georgia Tech 42-36 on Sept. 22.

Now, it doesn’t matter. By self-imposing a postseason ban, Miami is ineligible to play in the Dec. 1 title game at Charlotte, N.C.

“Playing for an ACC championship was one of our goals when we began the season, so we are pleased that we will have that opportunity,” coach Paul Johnson said. “I’m proud of our players and coaches who, when things weren’t going too well early, remained focused and determined.”

The Yellow Jackets gave up late leads to Virginia Tech and Miami, losing both games in overtime. There also was that embarrassing 49-28 defeat to Middle Tennessee, which came in the midst of Georgia Tech giving up more than 40 points in three consecutive games for the first time in school history.

“It’s not in my nature to quit or give up,” Johnson said. “I wasn’t going to throw the season away. I never was convinced the season was over.”

In an interesting twist, the Yellow Jackets are getting a shot at the conference title thanks to another school’s wrongdoing just three years after losing an ACC crown under similar circumstances. Georgia Tech won the 2009 title, only to be stripped of the championship later when NCAA violations were discovered.

“Did the season to this point turn out the way we would like? No,” Johnson said. “But it’s not a complete wash either.”

The defense continues to struggle but Georgia Tech has won three in a row, mostly on the legs of its explosive triple-option offense. The Yellow Jackets defeated North Carolina 68-50 two weeks ago, knocked off Duke 42-24 last Saturday and are averaging 38.6 points per game, which ranks 16th nationally. As usual, the run-oriented team ranks near the top of the country in rushing yards (third at 324.9, trailing only Army and Air Force).

Defensively, it’s another story. The Yellow Jackets are 61st in yards allowed (393.1) and 76th in points (29.6 per game).

Not to worry.

Georgia Tech will get to play for the ACC title against the Atlantic Division champion, No. 10 Florida State (10-1).

This Saturday, the Yellow Jackets will face No. 3 Georgia (10-1) in the regular-season finale. The Bulldogs have a shot at playing for the national title if they win the next two weeks, but Johnson isn’t conceding anything.

He also stressed that his team is focused solely on its state rival this week.

“Who knows? I’m sure nobody gives us much of a chance,” the coach said. “But that’s why you play the game.”


WHO: No. 10 Florida State (10-1) vs. Georgia Tech (6-5)

WHEN: 8 p.m. Dec. 1

WHERE: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, N.C.

TV: ABC-Ch. 6 or ESPN

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justthefacts 11/19/12 - 02:58 pm

Good news for Tech. Backing in still counts.

Just My Opinion
Just My Opinion 11/19/12 - 03:47 pm
Good news? Really?? If I

Good news? Really?? If I was a Tech fan, I'd be utterly and totally embarassed! What a sham and a pitiful excuse for a college football conference. FSU needs to beat the stew out of Tech and get out of the ACC while it can still hold it's head up with dignity. Do you ACC fans know how much a ticket to the ACC Championship game is going for on StubHub? $8!! That's about the price of a large coke in those big stadiums....$8! I was going to compare this price with the price of tickets to the other football conferences, but I think the $8 price speaks for itself.
Now that I think about it...maybe Tech SHOULD win the ACC title! That'd show the rest of the nation what's really going on. No wonder Maryland (one of the least stellar ACC teams) is leaving after next year.

Okay...maybe I'm being too hard on Tech and the ACC. To be honest, if it were Georgia "backing in" to the SEC Championship game, maybe I'd be happy as well. Can you be disappointed and happy at the same time?

F4therTime 11/19/12 - 03:52 pm

Biggest pimps in sports history. Making billions off the backs of kids and punishing them for things they neither knew of nor had control of. What should be happening is banning alumni for life and putting people in jail for fraud.

justthefacts 11/19/12 - 04:42 pm
Mr Time

With you on that brother.

rmwhitley 11/20/12 - 05:52 pm
A team

that will most likely go 6 and 7 and wind up in a better bowl than a team with a 10 and 2 record.

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