Paul Johnson is not a happy camper following the release of the 2017 ACC football schedule.
The longtime Georgia Tech coach expressed frustration upon learning the Yellow Jackets are scheduled to battle three ACC opponents with bye weeks before the matchup. The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports Clemson and Wake Forest will have open dates before taking on Georgia Tech, while Miami and the Yellow Jackets will both have byes before their meeting.
“The conference tries to screw us every way they can,” Johnson told the AJC on Tuesday.
Johnson told the Journal Constitution collusion was in play, with the ACC intentionally scheduling rested opponents against the Yellow Jackets, claiming there was “no other explanation.” A bye week can be particularly valuable before a game against Georgia Tech, as it gives opponents extra time to prepare for the Yellow Jackets’ unusual triple-option offense.
Johnson sounds like a conspiracy theorist, but his point does have merit. Six conference teams including Syracuse and Clemson don’t have any matchups against teams coming off byes. The same thing happened last season, when Georgia Tech faced three teams coming off an extra week of rest.
But where Johnson loses further credibility is his further complaint about Duke’s upcoming matchup against Army. The AJC reports he took issue with Duke playing a similar offense the week before their matchup with Georgia Tech. Since Army runs a similar spread-option offense, Johnson believes it adds further preparation for Duke’s game against the Yellow Jackets.
“Just call it what it is,” Johnson said. “They can call me all they want, but that’s ridiculous.”
His frustrations are understandable, but complaining about something he can’t control really fails to serve any purpose. Though Georgia Tech has undoubtedly been screwed by the schedule maker, Johnson is reading into it way too much, which doesn’t help his case. He’s got a right to comment on the schedule, but should do so with less tin foil on his head.