Clemson’s Dabo Swinney was not the only ACC coach sharing some hot takes today while going through the annual ESPN carwash in Bristol. Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson also made some heads turn with his comments about Ohio State getting in the College Football Playoff and rival Georgia. Well, they were not so much boiling hot takes, but still bringing enough sizzle to make it worth sharing and reacting.
Johnson’s Georgia Tech team put Florida State to the test in last season’s ACC Championship Game. With the win in the conference title game, Florida State locked down a perfect regular season to help grab a firm hold on one of the four playoff spots in the College Football Playoff. Meanwhile, Ohio State made one last case to get in ahead of Big 12 co-champions Baylor and TCU. As has been suggested by some, including TCU’s Gary Patterson, Ohio State may have gotten in due to being a more recognizable brand in the college football landscape compared to either Big 12 co-champ. Johnson seems to agree.
Asked if brand names come into play with the playoff, Johnson said “It already came into play with TCU and Ohio State. It’s the world we live in.”
Johnson also sees little difference between Georgia and top ACC programs like Florida State and Clemson.
“I can assure you Georgia isn’t any different than Clemson or Florida State or some other teams we play,” Johnson said at one point during his carwash experience. Johnson has some merits to back up his statement, having coached Georgia Tech to victories over both Georgia and Mississippi State last season.
Johnson was also asked whether or not the SEC champion should automatically be rewarded a spot in the College Football Playoff (why this question was posed to Johnson is beyond comprehension).
“Why so? I don’t get it,” Johnson said.
Just for good measure, Johnson joined Swinney in commenting on Notre Dame’s independence, saying the Irish should be in the ACC. “It’s another brand program to strengthen the conference,” Johnson said.