I know this is very long. It contains no news, just rambling thoughts of an old Tech fan. If you don't like that kind of thing, just quit reading it right now. You've been forewarned. I liked Coach Johnson a lot. I never doubted that he knew exactly what he was doing. I knew that he hated losing as much as I did. I believe that he gave Tech the best chance to win, with the recruiting disadvantages we have. I did get frustrated with him some times. His coaching decisions about going for fourth downs, when they failed and led to quick TDs by our opponents, were very easy for me to second-guess. And his decision to go for the two-point conversion in OT against Tennessee in the first game of the season is something I still haven't gotten over. However, when he made the same type decisions and they worked, I was ecstatic. And, when I look back on his decisions when they didn't work, I can see that he probably made the call that gave us the best chance to win in those cases, too. When I'm going to court as a lawyer, I often have to choose between doing what will leave the least room for me to be criticized if my client loses, or doing something that gives my client the best chance to win a tough case, even though it is so unorthodox that I will be criticized by the client and his or her family if the case is lost. I think Coach Johnson was is a similar situation. I waver sometimes, but usually end up doing what I think gives the client the best chance to win, regardless of how bad I look if the case is lost. I think Coach Johnson did the same thing, even though I would get really mad at the time when he took one of these strategic chances and failed. For instance, in retrospect, he probably did make the correct decision to go for the win in OT against Tennessee. The reality was simple. The odds are against making two-point conversions. But, the reality is that the offense had a better chance of winning the game right there than the team would have had of winning, if he had tied the game up and relied on our defense to stop Tennessee in subsequent overtimes. That was the basic problem he had, while he was at Tech. He had a great offense, but he had to ask it to do more than it could in big games to make up for the weak defense. I think the reason for this is that he had the football mind and the offensive system to get the offense to play above our recruiting level, but he didn't have a similar magic to make up for our recruiting disadvantage on defense. He reminded me of General Robert E. Lee ordering Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg. Lee was a great General and the Army of Northern Virginia was a great army. But, the Confederacy was at such a big disadvantage compared to the United States that Lee always had to take desperate chances to find a way to overcome the odds and win. So, even though I got frustrated by him sometimes and criticized him at times, I was a big fan of Coach Johnson. I knew he hated to lose, he knew what he was doing, and he was willing to sacrifice himself by leaving himself wide open to criticism in order to give Tech the best chance to win. Therefore, I was sad, when he resigned. And, I'll never forget his big wins against Georgia, Clemson, FSU, Virginia Tech and others. Never. Still, in his last season, it was obvious that he realized he was never going to be able to raise Tech to the elite level that he spoke of at his introductory press conference. Plus, he got a little defensive, talking about our recruiting disadvantages and implying fans should be realistic and compare our record with Tech's average record since Bobby Dodd's time. Therefore, I think he did the honorable thing, when he decided to retire. I think he realized that he couldn't achieve his lofty goals at Tech. I also think he thought nobody else would be able to do so, either. And, I pretty much agreed with that, to be honest. Then, along comes this guy that I had never heard of. "We're getting the head coach from Temple? Man, things are bad." When Coach Collins had his introductory press conference, I thought, "He can talk the talk, but I can't really believe him." I didn't think he was lying. I just didn't think he knew what he was getting into. But, as time went by, and I saw the staff he put together and how relentless he was in recruiting, I changed my mind just a little. I started thinking, "This guy will never get this done. But, damn, he's trying so hard, and he's got this great staff that's working themselves to death." I decided to buy into what he was doing. As long as he and his staff keep believing Tech football can be great again and keep working like hell to make that happen, I'm going to be in his corner. So, here we are, not far away from fall practice. I expect we'll win between zero and five games this year. But, that's not important. It's like Bobby Ross's first two years, when he didn't win a single ACC game. If the coach and staff can stay positive and don't let what happens on the field discourage them, they may turn the corner in season three and pop into national prominence in season four. That's what I'm choosing to believe. But, I and all Tech fans have two things we've go to do, too. We've got to stay patient and supportive. If we do, our coach has got an outside chance to bring Tech back to the glory days. If we don't, I don't think it can be done.