Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Historically bad: Georgia Tech in 1994
By Heather Dinich
There is bad, and then there is historically bad.
ESPN.com today is interested in the latter, and the 1994 1-10 Georgia Tech team fits the bill, as it hit rock bottom with an 0-8 record in conference play that resulted in the firing of Bill Lewis with three games left in the regular season.
Georgia Tech was only four years removed from its 1990 national title and the program had fallen quickly. The Jackets suffered through back-to-back 5-6 seasons before plummeting to one win in 1994. Everything Bobby Ross had built up came crashing down that year. Georgia Tech’s only win was against Western Carolina in the second week of the season, and defensive coordinator George O’Leary was named interim head coach heading into the Nov. 12 game against Clemson. Many agree this team woefully underachieved, but expectations were also too high because of the national title under Ross.
“It was a rough year all around,” said ESPN.com's Tom Luginbill, who was the quarterback of the team that year. “The expectations were to be much better than that, but I don’t think we had the right recipe for success when it came to personalities and things of that nature as a whole.”
Despite its abysmal record, Georgia Tech set five school passing records that year and Luginbill was named the ACC’s Rookie of the Year. He still ranks among the school’s best signal-callers, even though he only played there one season. Luginbill had transferred in from a junior college and won the starting job.
“In my opinion, our losses had more to do with internal dynamics and lack of team chemistry and camaraderie than it did talent,” said Luginbill, now the senior national recruiting analyst for ESPN.com. “We weren’t a very good team, but we weren’t 1-10. We were talented enough to be a .500 team, maybe even better. We were more talented than what our record was, but in the intangibles, we were exactly what our record was.”