Georgia Tech showed little signs of progress under Geoff Collins


When Geoff Collins was hired at Georgia Tech, he was put in an unenviable position.

Coming from Temple where he kept up former coach Matt Rhule’s success in a difficult spot with the Owls, Collins was coming in to revamp the Yellow Jackets after coach Paul Johnson’s reign of running the flexbone offense.

In 11 seasons at Georgia Tech, Johnson had only two losing ones as the program was respected, tough to defend and while not exactly thrilling to watch on offense, the Yellow Jackets were productive and successful.

Collins has been none of those things. He bought some time because Georgia Tech needed to be built again on offense from the ground up in many ways for personnel reasons but it just never clicked.

When Collins was hired, SB Nation had a headline that read, “Geoff Collins will try to make Georgia Tech cool, fun and successful.”

Instead, in three full seasons, Collins never won more than three games, finished toward the bottom in the ACC standings and other than one top-25 recruiting class in 2020, Collins never really did all that well on the trail, either.

This was just not working out.

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On the field, Georgia Tech was not really competitive against Clemson or Ole Miss this season and lost to UCF, 27-10, on Saturday in what would be the final straw for the decision-makers in Atlanta. According to reports, athletics director Todd Stansbury could follow behind Collins out the door at Georgia Tech.

It wasn’t just this season and losses to really talented teams. Last season, Georgia Tech lost to Northern Illinois to start the season, dropped its final six games and finished the season being outscored 100-0 by Notre Dame and Georgia in consecutive weeks.

The previous season, Clemson scored 73 on them. In his first year, Collins’ squad lost to The Citadel in overtime – an extra-embarrassing loss since that school runs a flexbone-style offense like Johnson ran at Georgia Tech – and the Ramblin Wreck scored two points in a loss to Temple.

There are sixteen commitments in the 2023 recruiting class so far but Georgia Tech is ranked No. 48 nationally. Recruiting was supposed to be a strong suit of Collins and he had been very active on the recruiting trail early, trying to sell his vision across the country but with limited success on the field, that’s a difficult task.

High three-stars OL Patrick Screws and RB Javin Simpkins lead the way in Georgia Tech’s 2023 class. The Yellow Jackets have tried to pinpoint under-recruited Southeast prospects and turn them into contenders but Collins’ reign there is now over.

Geoff Collins

Geoff Collins (USA Today Sports Images)

Prior to Collins’ three losing seasons at Georgia Tech, the program hadn’t had back-to-back-to-back results like that since the early 1990s. George O’Leary had one losing season there. Chan Gailey had none. Johnson’s record was 82-61 overall, 51-37 in the ACC and finished atop the ACC Coastal four times in a little over a decade.

National titles might not be coming to Georgia Tech immediately but winning can be done there. The Yellow Jackets sit in some of the most fertile recruiting territory anywhere. The campus has complete access to downtown Atlanta. With the ACC Coastal borderline bad to wide-open, Georgia Tech has an opportunity here.

Collins could not get it done and was mired in miscues that never got out of his way. This is not an impossible job, though, as history has shown. The Yellow Jackets are better than three wins per season and the right coach – Deion Sanders or some young up-and-coming vibrant play-caller – should be able to prove it.

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