Steele sez – you’re only going so far, Georgia.

Now we know that Phil Steele’s got a ceiling to go along with that “Biggest Surprise” floor for the 2014 edition of Georgia Football:  the Dawgs do not fit his national championship mold this season.

Wouldn’t it be easy if there were key indicators that could trim down a list of National Title candidates prior to each year? I recently went and looked through every imaginable stat from each team that won the National Title and also those that got to the BCS Title game. I also included those few #3 teams that had a legitimate beef about being about being left out. I searched for common threads in numerous categories and was very pleased with what I have found.

The downfall for Georgia shouldn’t be much of a surprise.

Naturally the next category was defensive ppg where the 2009 Auburn Tigers the year before their national title in 2010 allowed 27.5 ppg, which was the highest in the last 22 years. In order to fit the National Championship mold the remaining 59 teams would have had to allow less than 27.5 ppg last year. This category would eliminate 7 teams as Old Dominion (34.0), Texas A&M (32.2), San Diego St (31.7), Texas Tech (30.5), Fresno St (30.3), Georgia (29.0) and Toledo (28.6) failed to make the cut. Now we are down to 52 teams.

What stings about this is that Vanderbilt survived two more rounds of cuts.

Now, to be fair, Steele expresses a tinge of misgivings about Georgia not showing up in his final fifteen – “While there may be a couple of teams left out (UCLA, Oregon, Georgia, Auburn, South Carolina), 14 of these teams made my preseason Top 32…” – he doesn’t have Georgia in his bunch making the national semi-finals.

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31 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water

31 responses to “Steele sez – you’re only going so far, Georgia.

  1. I’m not holding out much hope that we make the play-off because I think we have to win the SEC to get in. I’m not sure we can run our murderers’ row schedule to be 11-1 or better entering the SECCG to be in the conversation the 1st weekend in December especially with the secondary we’re going to be throwing out there against Clemson and USCe.

  2. DawgPhan

    murderer’s row schedule? For a schedule where UGA is favored in all but 1 game?

    • That’s what Vegas says. It doesn’t mean what’s going to happen. I’m not comfortable with Clemson, USCe, Missouri, Florida, or Auburn. While we are heavily favored at home against UT, Vandy and NATS and at Arkansas, those could be competitive as well. I think we’ll go 10-2 and not be in Atlanta, so yes, it’s a tough schedule.

  3. Scorpio Jones, III

    Oh…so this means there is no point in worrying about hats?

  4. Dawg19

    What did Steele think of Auburn last year?

  5. Beer Money

    One thing not mentioned here though is that you were seeing ridiculous numbers of points put up almost across the board in SEC play last year. We may never see offenses as productive as they were in ’13. But with the QB exodus, I have to think those #s must come down this year.

  6. Slaw Dawg

    I love my Dawgs, but after those horrifying displays on 3d and long and STs last year, no way in Hell would I have them going to the final four either.

  7. Not sure anyone outside of UGAs fan base should have Georgia in the playoffs. Too many unknowns if you ask me, and those include some positional groups people seem to assume will be just fine (WRs being atop that list).

  8. Redfoot

    What Steele overlooks is you can be 1 dimensional and win it.

    Look at Auburn with Cam Newton. Defense gave up a ton of points, but offense just outscored everybody.

    Or Bama had some great defenses, with some ok offenses.

    I predict UGA will be a lot like that Newton led Auburn team offensively from a points perspective in 2014, outscoring every team they play with a prolific record setting, jaw dropping offense that will leave defenses dumbfounded.

    Bobo’s offenses put up a lot of points on Bama last time, supposedly the best defense.

    Nebraska had a solid pass defense, Mason slung it for over 300 yards in the Bowl game, outta won that one, got some untimely drops near the goal line.

    Forget the 29 categories, if you can outscore everybody, you won’t lose. Ain’t rocket science.

    But this team is more loaded offensively at WR and RB, might be the best offense I’ve looked at in some 25 years.

    UGA will win it all this year,

    • IAmAGurleyMan

      Where did you buy your Kool-AId? I need a fix.

      • Moe Pritchett

        freebasing

        • Redfoot

          Offense beats defense, as Auburn proved when they outscored Bama last year.

          Bama had the best defensive talent, coaches, and Auburn won the game.

          • Offense beats defense, as Auburn proved when they outscored Bama last year. Bama had the best defensive talent, coaches, and Auburn won the game.

            What if we had a little defense, too? That prospect doesn’t seem unrealistic to me at all, and I’ve never done Kool-Aid. Throw that into the equation, along with some solid ST’s, which also seems realistic now, and we can see the potential.
            We can win every game on our schedule if things go our way, and we don’t do things, as we have in the past 9 years, to beat ourselves.

            But if we are a solid team, we’ll be tough to beat, very tough. So it’ll come down to how Richt manages the team’s psychology/mentality through the schedule. That’s the one thing that hasn’t been talked about, and the one thing I’m not sure about (in terms of an issue being addressed).

            It’s tough to go undefeated with a schedule like this, or even lose one close game (which would hopefully be a really good game for the people watching). But that’s the great thing about a culture change. Suddenly the team’s psychology becomes much easier to manage.
            ~~~

            • Bulldawg165

              “What if we had a little defense, too?”

              That one hypothetical is what grinds my gears the most about UGA football. We’ve flat out wasted some amazing talent on offense because we’ve been so dad gum complacent with mediocre (at best) defensive play.

              • I know. We have.

                Personally, I haven’t been complacent as I’ve been complaining about our defense for 7 or 8 years now, and have never been happy with it. But it is true. Sometimes I think many Georgia people have forgotten what good defense its.
                ~~~

      • Dog in Fla

        Here’s how the deal went down. Redfoot had a good reputation. Seemed like a good guy. Still, we should have known better

      • Redfoot

        UGA was very similar to Auburn last year in points scored, and points allowed.

        The UGA-Auburn game was very close, Auburn won on a fluke mistake.

        UGA last year had the Championship formula in 2013 if Auburn did. Auburn’s defense in 2013 stunk and they ended up in the BCS Natty.

    • Bulldawg165

      “What Steele overlooks is you can be 1 dimensional and win it.

      Look at Auburn with Cam Newton. Defense gave up a ton of points, but offense just outscored everybody.

      Or Bama had some great defenses, with some ok offenses.”

      All stats are against SEC competition: Auburn’s scoring defense in 2010 was 26.8 ppg. Not great, but far from giving up “a ton of points.”

      For the three years Bama won the MNC (2009, 2011 and 2012), their worst offensive year was 2009, when they finished third in the conference in scoring offense.

      You really can’t be THAT one dimensional and win the SEC. Auburn is of course an anomoly with the 8th ranked defense, but they also had a QB who had the single greatest season in CFB history.

      For 2008, Florida had the conference best scoring offense AND defense. In 2007 LSU was tied for third in scoring defense and second in scoring offense.

      Being one dimensional is not the key to winning the SEC (even this year Auburn’s scoring D was better than our’s).

  9. Skeptic Dawg

    Sadly, the new play-off format will not benefit the Dawgs in any form or fashion. As far as 2014 is concerned, the Dawgs have far too many issues and shortcomings to worry about the 4 team play-off (specifically the defense as a whole and the O-line). As eethomaswfnc stated above, Clemson, USC, Mizzou, UF and Auburn are all potential (if not certain) losses. Anything better than 7-5 or 8-4 will be a great year for this team.

    • Dog in Fla

      “This is supposed to be a happy occasion, let’s not bicker and argue over who killed who”.

    • PTC DAWG

      Certain…..you must be a load of fun on Gameday…

      • Skeptic Dawg

        So you’re saying that you agree with my assessment of the 2014 Dawgs? You are welcome to join our tailgate any home game! The more the merrier!

    • Skeptic, I’m afraid if this team goes 7-5 or 8-4, our fan base will hit DEFCON 5. It will not be pretty and may not hit 2010 levels. Regarding the five games I mentioned, I believe we will beat Mizzou and UF. USCe looks like a loss at this point to me, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we ride #3 to a win. I lean win against Clemson and loss to Auburn.

      • Skeptic Dawg

        This team appears to be lacking quality talent in too many key position groups (the entire secondary, LT, RT, LG) with question marks at QB and TE. I like what I am hearing from Pruitt, but I’m afraid we won’t see the results due to a lack of talent. Additionally, teams will stack the box to stop the run game until Mason proves he can beat them. Mason should be ok, just not early on. I see an 0-2 start followed by losses to Mizzou and Auburn. Florida is bad, but always a struggle Given the general lethargic approach to season openers and the usual mid-season unprepared loss, 2014 could get ugly and out of hand in a hurry.

        • This team appears to be lacking quality talent in too many key position groups (the entire secondary, LT, RT, LG) with question marks at QB and TE.

          I agree, except for QB, and I think the secondary has more talent than you might think. But I agree it’s subpar on the whole, except for QB, however unproven.

          I like what I am hearing from Pruitt, but I’m afraid we won’t see the results due to a lack of talent.

          I get it, and can’t disagree, overall. We don’t have as much talent as most Dawgs think, compared to what we should have. But good coaching can go a long way toward making up that difference. And I think there’s a good chance that will happen.

          Additionally, teams will stack the box to stop the run game until Mason proves he can beat them. Mason should be ok, just not early on.

          I’m not worried about that so much. It could happen that Mason gags and we end up one dimensional. But I don’t think so. Somehow I think Mason is up to it. I believe he can handle it.

          I see an 0-2 start followed by losses to Mizzou and Auburn. Florida is bad, but always a struggle.

          Certainly might happen, and I agree Florida will be no pushover, no matter what.

          Given the general lethargic approach to season openers ….

          Geez. Certainly agree with you there. It’s hard to imagine we’ve been lethargic in our approach to these big season openers, but we sure have played that way. And that is the biggest indicator, bar none.

          and the usual mid-season unprepared loss …

          Well, I addressed that somewhere earlier today. The question of whether Richt can guide us through an entire schedule is real and still up in the air. We almost got through the 2002 season, save for a dropped pass. But there’s been no other indication that Richt can do the psychology thing for an entire season.

          Honestly, IDK. But it hasn’t happened in quite some time now, if it ever did.

          2014 could get ugly and out of hand in a hurry.

          Well it could. Pretty much any season is that way. But I think we’ll be better than that. We’ll soon know.
          ~~~

        • Teams who stack the box typically will not have the talent in the secondary to deal with Mitchell, JSW, Conley and Bennett with a Jay Rome thrown in. That assumes everyone is healthy. Mason doesn’t have the arm strength of Murray, but he also should be able to benefit from having multiple weapons at his disposal. I like this offense. Defense still has me waking up with night sweats.

  10. Will Trane

    ppg. stats from a prior year. elimination.
    This past weekend I watched the BCS title game so I could see how the “Noles” played the “fast paced Tiger offense”. From the second quarter on I thought FSU’s D front took charge of the game. That was my take during the game last January. Even though outnumbered the Noles front four became a presence for Auburn’s alleged dominating guards. For some reason I never got into the mindset of announcers the front four were the “soft underbelly”.
    Can we see that kind of play this year based on last year’s D performance, keeping in mind we played on the road against AU, an opposing officiating crew, and 2 players who transferred [missed played the route, no hard pressure, and a position coach on his way out]. ppg; elimination, etc.
    Game one will tell us where Pruitt and staff has taken the D. Pruitt’s disadvantage…he does not have the players left to him at FSU. Why? Recruiting by former D coaches and coordinator.
    CMR, has he made some good hires since that last fiasco in JAX. And has he cleard the doghouse of malcontents and players who do not play ever down with energy and focus to win the play and the game.

    • Game one will tell us where Pruitt and staff has taken the D. Pruitt’s disadvantage…he does not have the players left to him at FSU. Why? Recruiting by former D coaches and coordinator.

      Agree 100%, Will.

      CMR, has he made some good hires since that last fiasco in JAX. And has he cleared the doghouse of malcontents and players who do not play every down with energy and focus to win the play and the game.

      That has been a problem since BVG left. It is also something that is very noticeable, as it is quite the contrast from the way we’ve been playing all these years. We’ll see if Pruitt can get that out of them.
      ~~~

  11. I think we will make the playoffs if gurley doesn’t get injured. I also think we win the sec as well. 2014 will be the year of the dawg!

  12. Ed Kilgore

    I haven’t read the Full Steele yet, but he’s got our LBs ranked 1st nationally, our RBs 2d, and our WRs 10th. He says in the GA essay that he expects our secondary to be one of the most improved in the country (that was before Matthews bounced, but other losses were mentioned). And most of the statistical factors he touts to predict turnarounds–turnover ratio, close losses, and (Lord Knows!) starts lost to injury–are positive. He also thinks coordinators matter a lot. So his formula for predicting MNC contenders is undercut by a lot of what he’s saying about the Dawgs, and I think he knows it.

    • Matthews wasn’t going to start anyway. Maybe not play. Unless he did a 180, which he obviously wasn’t going to do. Whether Steele counted him or not, it won’t affect his prediction.
      ~~~