Surprise, surprise team

Meet Phil Steele’s number one preseason surprise team for 2014:

1. Georgia Bulldogs

Georgia was a much stronger team at the start of last season than the one that finished 8-5 with a loss to Nebraska in the Gator Bowl. The key to the downfall of their season was a huge amount of injuries at the skill positions on offense. This season’s team caught a break from last season’s misfortune, as quarterback Hutson Mason got in nearly three games of experience at the end of 2013. He will also be surrounded by my No. 2 set of running backs in the country, led by Todd Gurley, and my No. 10 set of receivers. The offensive line is a bit of a question but does have 54 career starts among its members.

Last season, they had just three returning starters on defense, and, as you would expect, the inexperienced unit allowed 29 points per game. This season they have eight returning starters, led by a linebacking corps that I rank No. 1 in the country. In 2013, they played Clemson and South Carolina in back-to-back weeks but have a bye between them this time. I really like new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt’s attitude on defense, and keep in mind he has coached on the past three national championship teams (Alabama 2011 and 2012, Florida State 2013) and could make it four in a row here.

For what it’s worth, last year’s pick was FSU.

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20 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water

20 responses to “Surprise, surprise team

  1. Mayor

    I’m all for it!! If the Dawgs win the first 2 games the sky is the limit!

    • He said athletic scholarships “have never been considered payment … but the cost of education.” He then explained that to mean the “expenses incurred through being a student.” Any compensation beyond that, Emmert said, would constitute “pay for play.”
      Does this man not know anything about Auburn?

  2. Spike

    Oh My! I’m gonna have a smoke and stare at the ceiling for a while.. If you get my drift…

  3. Dog in Fla

    Oh my Phil, I do declare you give me the vapors

  4. DawgPhan

    He was on SVP today talking up the Dawgs…good on Phil.

  5. Keese

    Anyone have a history on Phil Steele’s surprise team going further back than FSU?

  6. OhioDawg

    I always enjoy reading Phil’s stuff. Probably because he seems to always have a favorable outlook on our Dawgs. :)

  7. TennesseeDawg

    Put down the Kool-Aid, Phil. We’d be lucky to get in the Cap One.

  8. CannonDawg

    If Mr. Steele turns out to be right, then I think I’ll have him review my retirement plan and my latest x-rays and lab work. Can’t hurt, right?

  9. Skeptic Dawg

    I simply don’t see it. In the past 6 years UGA has faced 17 SEC teams that finished above .500 in conference and only won 4 of those games. http://t.co/iVC5F6iZ03. I also like how Phil glanced over the O-line issues. No LT, RT, LG. No problem! 8-4 is the most likely outcome this season.

    • sUGArdaddy

      How about auburn went from 0-8 in sec play to 7-1 and sec champs…all because of coaching. I believe Pruitt can make that big of a difference. Toward the end, I became resigned that grantham didn’t know what he was doing. His job was to get college kids to play good defense, and I just don’t think he was very good at that job.

      And we have Todd Gurley, so there’s that.

    • PTC DAWG

      So we have only been playing ball the last 6 years? Sounds like some UF type if football history to me.

    • Rebar

      Well, gee, in the last three years, Georgia has played in the SEC championship game twice as the East champion. We lost to LSU & Bama but we played for the championship. You can cherry pick stats to support anything.

  10. uglydawg

    Is Phil Steele a Medical Doctor? Should he just be handing out Viagra like this? I’m telling you…the thing that’s getting me is CMR’s smugness…The man is playing it all sooooo cool. Something good’s going’ on in Athens.

  11. Derek

    Just go out and play like it means what it should mean and everything will be as it’s meant to be. GATA, GATA, GATA!!!! We know what that looks like and its all us real fans will ever ask of you.