Just a few items that struck me as I skimmed my new copy of the 2008 College Football Preview:
- (Surprisingly) sloppy editing on Georgia’s section: no, Arizona State is not Georgia’s first non-conference road game, except for Tech since 1995. And if he’d looked at the 2003 results at the bottom of the page, he’d know better.
- More (surprisingly) sloppy editing on South Carolina’s section: no, “SC DC Van Gorder will face his former boss Richt while his son is a walk-on LB at UGA” ain’t true, and that’s an especially strange comment to make given that BVG’s tenure at SC was so short.
- Steele flat out loves him some Florida Gators: #1 QB unit ranking; #15 RB unit ranking; #1 receiver unit ranking; #11 OL unit ranking; #12 DL unit ranking (w. Georgia at #16!); #7 LB unit ranking; #28 DB unit ranking; and #1 ST unit ranking (w. a true freshman place kicker). The only school with a better showing is Ohio State, which he ranks #1 or #2 in four categories and only gives one ranking outside of the top six in any category, QB unit at #12. He ranks Florida’s schedule as the 12th toughest in the country and OSU’s as the 31st toughest. Yet Steele ranks Florida #1 and Ohio State #2 in his preseason top 40.
- Steele provides a breakdown of one of his power rankings, what he calls his “plus/minus” ratings, calculated mainly on the basis of the score of each game from last season and the strength of schedule. Georgia ranks second in that, behind – you guessed it – Florida.
- One thing I give the man credit for, he’s honest even when he toots his own horn. While proclaiming his preseason magazine accuracy ranking in Stassen (#1 over the last 9 years!), he does acknowledge that his 2007 performance was merely “middle of the pack”.
- One more puzzler about Florida: has any team so highly thought of in the preseason been so green? He ranks the Gators 119th in his experience ratings, which is tied for last in all of D-1 with Texas. Some of that may be explained by the fact that the Gators bring back 79% of their lettermen and at least 16 starters from last season – although, again, Ohio State brings back even more.