Georgia Tech Football: Why Are the Jackets Ranked No. 17 in the Preseason Poll?

Bill ThrasherContributor IAugust 8, 2010

TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 28: Quarterback Josh Nesbitt #9 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets releases a pass against the Clemson Tigers in the 2009 ACC Football Championship Game December 5, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

The recently released Coaches' Poll has the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets listed at #17 for its preseason rankings.

Yet again, the reigning ACC Champs will have to prove they are better than at least two of their divisional opponents currently ranked higher than them (Virginia Tech #6, Miami #13).

The Ramblin Wreck finished the 2009 season ranked at #14 in the Coaches' Poll after a disappointing loss against a top ten Iowa squad. With the added doubts of NFL Draft defections from four all-star juniors, the firing of their 2009 defensive coordinator (Dave Wommack), and an upcoming brutal road schedule, most are expecting the Yellow Jackets to take a step back this season.

Yet in the face of those doubts, there appears to be a renewed level of respect (albeit small) being tossed Georgia Tech's way; a respect unknown to Tech teams of recent past, a respect of moxy, toughness, and the sheer will to win. A respect earned.

This growing sense of respect can be found maturing in the on-field production of the Jackets two most important men:

Starting QB Joshua Nesbitt - a growing campus cult legend - and head coach Paul Johnson - a coach on the same path as such Georgia Tech luminaries as Heisman and Dodd - have put their "punch you in the mouth" imprint on college football's national conscious.

Even in the face of such overwhelming odds, it would appear many cautiously believe Georgia Tech is a contender.

Coaches understand how a unique well designed system and a Sr. quarterback who completely knows that system can dominate a season.

Are the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets there yet?  If the coaches poll is an indication, the answer is a solid maybe.

What Georgia Tech's 2010 Coaches' Poll preseason ranking reveals is that many believe Nesbitt and Johnson's Yellow Jackets are on the precipice of breaking through, but they also understand that this season's immense obstacles might prove too much for such a break through to occur.