Georgia Tech missed out on a bowl game for the second season in a row under head coach Geoff Collins last season.
But Collins still has his sights turned towards making the Yellow Jackets relevant in the national conversation as he enters his third season as the head man.
“I want to be back in that position like when I was a young coach and Georgia Tech is in that conversation,” Collins said at the ACC Kickoff on Wednesday. “Whether it be four teams or 12 teams I want Georgia Tech to be positioned that we are a part of that discussion and conversation.”
Collins makes a good point it hasn’t been that long since Georgia Tech was part of the national conversation
In 2014, the Yellow Jackets competed for an ACC Championship when they fell short to Florida State but went on to convincingly win the Orange Bowl over Mississippi State 49-34. The program won an ACC title in 2009 and a national championship in 1990.
But Collins knows in order to become relevant again his program has to go toe to toe with the cream of the crop in the conference, Clemson.
Currently Clemson holds its longest streak in series history over Georgia Tech winning the last six matchups by a wide margin. Last year the Tigers steamrolled the Jackets in Atlanta 73-7 the widest margin of victory by either team in the series since Clemson won 73-0 in 1903.
When The Clemson Insider asked what it would take for a program like Georgia Tech to unseat Clemson, Collins first zoomed in on what it takes to return to consistency in competition on a weekly basis.
“Every single day relentlessly attacking our development with a focus on every single thing we can do to win each and every week,” Collins said. “I think Jeff Sims said it best earlier when we were in a breakout room, the sole focus of one game at a time then getting to the next week learning from your mistakes and building on what you did well one game at a time.”
Last season Georgia Tech finished 3-7 and finished near the bottom nationally in penalty yards with 74.9 yards per game, the 12th highest mark in the FBS.
Collins boiled down the self-inflicted issues to a lack of veteran leadership among the team but feels the tide starting to turn as the Yellow Jackets enter the 2021 season.
“That mindset I think we are finally in that place with the maturity level and leadership on this team are at that place,” Collins said. “When that messaging isn’t always coming from the coaches it’s coming from the guys in that locker room understanding where we are, where we’ve been and how we need to take that next step it’s not always coming from the coaches which is really cool.”
Georgia Tech opens ACC play at Clemson on Sept. 18 at 3:30 p.m. at Memorial Stadium.