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Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson could be on shaky ground

The smoke around the status of Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson seems to be growing.

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson (Photo: Associated Press)We’ve heard that it’s not necessarily about wins and losses or any other singular thing. Rather, it seems to be a culmination of a number of things that may put Johnson’s situation in jeopardy.

In 2011, the NCAA put Georgia Tech on four years of probation, fined the school $100,000 and stripped its ACC title game victory from the 2009 season. Then, in 2012, athletic director Dan Radakovich left for Clemson.

Those two things alone are generally enough of an excuse to end a coach’s tenure.

Add in that Johnson, who earns $2.6 million per season, has been pretty average over the past four seasons (6-7, 8-5, 7-7, 5-3 so far in 2013) and his questionable handling of Al Groh’s firing as defensive coordinator last season and you get the feeling something’s just not right.

Then, there’s this: Bobby Dodd Stadium seats 55,000. Last season, attendance was down 9% over the previous year, with the Jackets drawing only 43,955 per game. So far this season the results are slightly better, but not by much. They’ve averaged 47,851 in games against Elon, North Carolina, Virginia Tech and Syracuse.

The chatter around Johnson’s status has been growing over the past week.

Though the Jackets got a much-needed win over Virginia — and another embattled head coach, Mike London — Saturday to move to 5-3 on the season, the next four games could be pivotal.

Of the remaining schedule, its hard to see the Jackets getting wins at Clemson and in the season finale against Georgia. This week’s home game against 4-3 Pittsburgh will be a big one, but regardless, Tech should finish no better than 7-5.

Bottom line, we believe Johnson is in real danger of losing his job.

Photo credit: Associated Press

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