I almost included new Tech men’s hoops HC Josh Pastner but he will have one season to get the program stable, so check back on that in ’17.
Also, I left front office personnel off this to focus on the courts and fields.
5) Paul Johnson (Georgia Tech HC) – Tech fans have experienced both big highs and frustrating lows under Johnson. The predictions for this season are not good (though when GT isn’t picked to do much, it usually plays well). It’s not just Johnson’s unpopular offensive style or a tough ’15 season it is also… a new boss. Athletic Director changes have left Tech a little unstable. A winning season with a couple marquee wins would push him off this list again.
4) Dwight Howard (Hawks C) – If ‘the player formerly known as Superman’ doesn’t feel the heat to produce in his hometown then it’s likely he won’t. He need not carry the club on his shoulders but he must make the players around him better and push to get the Hawks into the conversation at the top if the East.
3) Matt Ryan (Falcons QB) – Matty Ice melted some the past couple seasons. From being one play from the Super Bowl to having fans question if the team should seek to move on from its $100-million man. Ryan is fully aware he has 5 potential NFL Pro Bowlers playing along side him on the offense. There are no excuses this season.
1 TIE) Kirby Smart (UGA HC) & Jacob Eason (UGA QB) – Over 100,000 fans crammed into Sanford Stadium for a scrimmage. Yes it was free and yes Kirby Smart coming home to take over the team were major reasons but it was Eason most were there to see. UGA fans are putting a lot on his shoulders. Might be unfair but the new HC with his alum status, his phenomenal success as the man in charge of Alabama’s defense and the new hot shot QB have Dawg fans using the term ‘National Title’.