Men's fall countdown: No. 3 Georgia Tech
Next up on our men's 2014 fall countdown, No. 3 Georgia Tech:
Editor's note: The rankings are those of our college expert, Lance Ringler, as he looked ahead to the collegiate preseason. The official Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings won't be available until a couple of weeks into the fall season. Our staff of Andy Zunz, Cassie Stein and Brentley Romine are writing the individual profiles of the teams.
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Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Preseason rank: 3
Final 2013-14 Golfweek/Sagarin ranking: 2
2013-14 in review: The Yellow Jackets enjoyed an incredible year in 2013-14, posting six wins and only two tournaments with a finish outside of the top two. All five of Georgia Tech's starters posted sub-73 scoring averages, and standout Ollie Schniederjans finished the year with five wins and a runner-up finish at the NCAA Championship. The Yellow Jackets eventually fell to Oklahoma State in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championship, but, considering the unpredictability of match play, the year was a huge success.
Notable departures: Bo Andrews, Seth Reeves and Richy Werenski
Key returnees: Seniors Ollie Schniederjans and Anders Albertson
Newcomers of note: Freshmen Jacob Joiner and Chris Petefish
Circled on the fall calendar: U.S. Collegiate Championship, Oct. 17-19, GC of Georgia, Alpharetta, Ga.
Fall outlook: This team will be a major contender mainly for one reason: the return of the No. 1 player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, Ollie Schniederjans. Head coach Bruce Heppler lost three key seniors last year, but he also may have the best player in college coming back as a senior. While there is plenty of talent and experience lost, Schniederjans can hold this team together long enough for some of the new and younger players to get it together. The development of those guys will be the key to the Jackets' success, and that starts this fall.
Coach's perspective: "We will be more inexperienced than at any time during my 19 years. Having Ollie and Anders at the top of the lineup is a great place to start. I think we have talented players, and it will just be a question of how long it takes them to adjust to quality college golf. Looking forward to watching the development of some younger guys after the last two years of playing pretty much the same team every time." – Heppler