2023 College Football Rankings: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

For the last few weeks, I’ve been illustrating which NFL teams most overachieved and underachieved relative to their preseason T Shoe Index power rating. We looked at key stats and potential reasons for the drastic change in performance – injuries, bad QB play, coaching changes, etc. This week, I began the college football version of this series, beginning with Virginia Tech and SMU. Today, we will look at the next biggest overachiever of 2023, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

The Mustangs finished the season 7-6 overall and 8-5 ATS, after going 5-7 overall and 6-6 ATS in 2022. Impressively in his first full season as head coach, Brent Key took the Jackets from 99th overall in TSI in 2022 to 48th in 2023.


In the above chart, you can see the Yellow Jackets’’ TSI rating as it climbed throughout the season. You can see the lackluster expectations that TSI had for a program that has been a non-factor in college football in recent memory; however, by midseason, Key’s team was hovering around FBS average, a phenomenal turnaround in just one year.

Georgia Tech Offense

Fair to say the surpassing of expectations in 2023 was largely due to the offense. Tech finished just 111th in TSI offensive rating in 2022, and catapulted up to #31 in 2023. After getting Texas A&M transfer Haynes King at QB, there was optimism that the offense would take a big step forward. King went on to throw for almost 3,000 yards and 27 touchdowns to just 16 interceptions, and despite giving up 15 sacks, they improved their points per play from .215 to .435 year-over-year, almost doubling their points per game from 15 to 29. They also markedly improved their yards per play efficiency from 4.5 in 2022 to 6.0 in 2023.

Georgia Tech Defense

The Yellow Jackets’ defensive rating remained essentially the same last year as it was in 2022, and they actually allowed more points per game and had worse efficiency in 2023, going from .398 points per play to .429 and allowing 0.8 more yards per play.

Georgia Tech 2024 Outlook

Their 2024 win total currently sits at 5, with the Over being juiced to -120. They play a top-30 schedule, but even despite that I have them projected to go over this win total (barely). If they make any improvement on defense at all to pair with year 2 of Haynes King, I think they could be a 6 or 7 win team. I would lean Over 5 wins for the Yellow Jackets in 2024.