Category Archives: Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water

A picture worth a thousand words?

I don’t have my 2014 Steele yet, and I don’t subscribe to ESPN Insider, so this is just an educated guess on my part, but I’m going to assume that an article entitled “Ranking the top five CFB teams” with this picture…

… means Mr. Steele thinks we’ve got a contenda.

Of course, finish fifth this season…

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Filed under Georgia Football, Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water

Phil Steele’s 2014 Preseason All-SEC Team

There’s a part of me that’s ready to say, “Jeff Driskel, 3rd team quarterback”, drop the mike and walk off into the darkness.

(By the way, Steele has Gurley and Wilson on his first team All-Americans list.)


Filed under Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water, SEC Football

Friday morning buffet

Enjoy the morning’s offerings.


Filed under Academics? Academics., Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Clemson: Auburn With A Lake, Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, It's Just Bidness, Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water, SEC Football, Stats Geek!

Thursday morning buffet

Okay, here you go.


Filed under Arkansas Is Kind Of A Big Deal, Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Look For The Union Label, Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water, Political Wankery, Recruiting, SEC Football

Strengths and weaknesses

Friend of the blog Ed Kilgore had a comment last week that I wanted to revisit:

Assuming we might now go a couple of weeks without additional attrition, it’s increasingly clear the ’14 Dawgs will be an outfit with large strengths harnessed to one big weakness and a question mark. When Phil Steele’s unit ratings come out, I betcha Georgia is in the top five nationally at RB, WR and LB. That would be amazing, and usually the sign of a serious national championship contender. But Lord only knows where we would rank in the secondary (not in the top 50), and the OL rating has to be relatively mediocre at present.

I think Steele will also have the d-line ranked respectfully.  But special teams will likely also fall into the “Lord only knows” group.  (For 2013, he ranked Morgan 3rd in the country and the rest of special teams 107th.)

Overall, Ed’s spot on, it seems to me.  This year’s edition of Georgia football will marry big pluses to some very shaky minuses.  Which is where coaching comes in, figuring out how to maximize the strong suits to work around the flaws.  Shoot me if you like, but I’m not particularly worried about Bobo holding up his end of the deal on that.  Last year, despite all the injuries, Georgia’s offense managed to average 112.6 yards per game more than its opponents allowed.  Steele ranks that tenth best nationally.

Defensively?  Maybe Pruitt’s got more to work with than we suspect.  Steele measured Georgia’s 2013 defense holding its opponents below their average yards per game.  Obviously, that doesn’t tell the entire story.  Special teams killed Georgia on several occasions.  So did a poor turnover margin.  (Georgia was +1 in its wins and minus-8 in its losses.)  Turnover margin is partly random and partly good preparation, so there’s only so much you can do beyond putting your faith in our old friend regression to the mean. (Improvement in this category certainly couldn’t hurt.)  But special teams have been crying for a fix for several seasons.  Now would be a good time to do something about that.


Filed under Georgia Football, Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water, Stats Geek!

Mark Richt has lost control of Phil Steele.

With a minimum of ten years’ experience,

What’s remarkable is that two of the coaches on that list – Miles and Richt – have been on hot seats in the last five years.


Filed under Georgia Football, Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water

Familiar faces

Phil Steele’s compiled his 2014 returning starters list, which you can see here.  It’s easy to read too much into this, but there are still a few SEC-related items worth noting.

  • For one, the SEC looks to have plenty of old faces back this season, as nine of its teams are in Steele’s top fifty.
  • Georgia is the only school in the conference to return as many as ten starters on one side of the ball.
  • By comparison, Missouri brings back nine starters total.
  • Tennessee has no returning starters on either of its lines.  That’s no as in zero.  Good luck with that, Butch.
  • Texas A&M, however, brings back four starters on each line.  That won’t make up for losing Johnny Football, but it’s not a bad place to start.

You guys see anything else?


Filed under Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water, SEC Football

Georgia/Clemson, a Steele-y comparison

The season opener is about a month away, so maybe it’s time to get the ball rolling, discussion-wise.  Thought it might be fun to start a conversation by looking at Phil Steele’s rankings of each team’s units and seeing how they stack up against each other.  Steele has Georgia ranked ninth and Clemson fifteenth in his preseason top 40, but has them spaced farther apart in the one power poll he publishes.  In that, Georgia’s sixth and Clemson’s 20th.

Here’s how he breaks down the respective units (he lists the top 45 nationally at each position):

  • Quarterback.  He’s got Clemson fourth and Georgia sixth.  Boyd’s got gaudier numbers than Murray and Clemson’s backup quarterback has more experience than any of Georgia’s do.  Still, those rankings are close enough to be considered a toss-up.
  • Running back.  Monster gap here:  Georgia is first and Clemson doesn’t even rank in his top 45.  Boyd is the Tigers’ leading returning rusher.
  • Receiver.  Another close one, with Georgia fifth and Clemson seventh. Both teams lost one of their top receivers, but still return a lot of depth at the wideout position.  Watkins will be the scariest guy on the field that night.  Georgia has more productive tight ends, though.
  • Offensive line.  Steele projects a pretty good-sized difference here. Georgia has his third-best unit and Clemson only ranks 28th. Both teams bring back experience, but Georgia brings back more.
  • Defensive line.  The shoe is on the other foot here, with Clemson at #15 and Georgia at #42.  The Tigers did lose a big, if uneven, talent in Goodman, but still bring back seven of their top eight from last season. The Dawgs… don’t.
  • Linebacker.  Back to the toss-up – Georgia is 30th and Clemson is 32nd. Clemson actually brings back more experienced players than Georgia does, so take that for what it’s worth.
  • Defensive back.  Close, but not impressive:  Clemson’s at #39 and Georgia is 44th.  And that doesn’t take into account JHC’s suspension.
  • Special teams.  Neither team shows up in his top 45, which in Georgia’s case is a little hard to follow, as he describes them as finishing thirtieth in his 2012 rankings and expects improvement this season.  On the other hand, Clemson’s place kicker has been more consistent than Morgan, who, yeah, won’t play opening night.  Call this the big wild card of the game.

I see two talented offenses, except that Georgia has a more balanced running threat (Clemson does have a couple of freshmen backs from whom it’s hoping for big things).  That’s probably not such good news for the less highly ranked defenses.  Subject to our old friend turnover margin, I’m seeing Gurley and Marshall as difference makers, but I’m a little concerned about who wins the special teams part of the night.  What do y’all see?


Filed under Clemson: Auburn With A Lake, Georgia Football, Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water

Tuesday morning buffet

The buffet table is cranked up and ready to go.

  • Ouchy ouch“Let’s just say Brian VanGorder worked out better as Georgia’s defensive coordinator than he did at Auburn.”
  • Chris Brown breaks down Nick Saban’s breakdown of three plays during his stint at ESPN yesterday.
  • Randy Edsall may not like players transferring, but he’s down with them getting paid.
  • Georgia Tech’s top two receivers have eight career catches between them.  Their backups are redshirt freshmen.  That’s how the genius defines quality depth, I guess.
  • Brace yourselves – Tennessee is coming out with new uniforms this season.
  • According to Steele, if a team had 32 or more starts lost to injury the prior season, they improved or had the same record the next year on 80 out of 102 occasions for an 78.4% success rate.  Georgia lost 33 starts last season.
  • Here’s an attempt to rate coaches factoring in a program’s financial resources.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Georgia Tech Football, Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water, Randy Edsall Is A Dick, Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics

Tuesday morning buffet

Mmm, mmm good…


Filed under Academics? Academics., Big 12 Football, ESPN Is The Devil, Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water, SEC Football, Stats Geek!, The Adventures of Zook