Initial Steele-y impressions

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.


Filed under Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water

8 responses to “Initial Steele-y impressions

  1. DirkDawggler

    “The story of the UGA program in 2007 was the emergency of true frosh Knowshon Moreno.”

    Uh, Knowshon redshirted in ’06.

    I got a little tired of reading “(Tebow not 100%)”, too.


  2. kckd

    That’s disappointing because at least with the bigger teams you rarely see a mistake made.

    I understand his ranking of UGA and considering how much the schedule factors in for him in the past, expected it.

    But in the past he’s also put a lot of stock in returning defenses and having great defenses to win championships. I thought, unlike the rest of the media, he wouldn’t be so google eyed over Tebow and UF’s offense. You don’t win NCs without a stout defense and it’s rare that a defense as bad as UF’s last year will improve so much in one season.


  3. Coastal Dwag

    Pre-season hype is just that, hype. I am fine with all this non-sense because it takes pressure off the Dawgs. As long as we are in the top 10, we can play our way in the the MNC.

    As CMR said this week, win the SEC East, win the conference and let the MNC take care of itself.


  4. Xon

    Yeah, Steele gives the Dawgs credit as a team that can contend for the title, so I don’t have much trouble with him there. But I did (along with others here) find his biting the hook on Florida suprising. Florida deserves some buzz, to be sure, but putting them #1 is the sort of cliched analysis that Steele usually separates himself from. What happened to defense, indeed? Well, part of the weirdness is that Steele actually seems to think that UF’s D is going to be stellar, too. Which they may be, but it’s hard to know how you arrive at that conclusion “objectively” in a pre-season analysis. Sucked last year, will turn around completely this year? Why?

    In any case, who knows. It will be interesting to see the AP and Coaches rankings in late July/early August. My guess is UGA will slip off #1 and end up 3-5. Ohio State, USC, and UF are going to get more “hip” buzz as the summer progresses. The Georgia pick will start to feel old for people, and so they’ll try to shake things up by putting someone else in as the clear favorite.

    I just hope the boys are getting ready for the war this summer. Hit those weights, and focus EVERYBODY. (not just the first week’s opponent)


  5. Steele’s a dumbshit. There, I said it.


  6. Steel placed the Dawgs surprisingly low, but I felt his rationale was somewhat justifiable. Most mags do place the Gators at #1 or close to it, so it’s not an unpopular opinion.

    But it’s just that, an opinion. Georgia and Florida will both control their own destinies. Either (but not both, obviously) can earn a title game berth, even with one loss or possibly even two. That is the level of respect the SEC has now. A 1-loss SEC team is usually the best team in the nation. Last year it was a 2-loss SEC team.

    Who really knows what to expect this season? Most mags are high on the Gators. I’d really rather see Georgia get the majority of the love.

    The #1 bullseye is no favor to a college team trying to win it all. Please, take it.


  7. GP, don’t get me wrong here. I certainly believe Florida will have a better record in ’08 than it did last season. The schedule is more favorable and the offense should continue to perform at a very high level.

    What I don’t get is the widespread assumption that the Gator pass defense will be dramatically improved. Last year’s pass defense ranked 98th nationally and now Steele thinks Florida’s got the 28th best defensive backfield in the land? Based on what?

    With regard to Steele in particular, I don’t quibble over his ranking Florida higher than Georgia, but I’m having a hard time understanding why he ranks Florida over Ohio State.


  8. Well, about that Gator pass defense, Dennis Dodd tells me not to worry:

    … Don’t fret about the Gators slipping in SEC pass defense last season. Heater is doing something about it, and has it covered as recruiting coordinator. Florida’s past three recruiting classes have been ranked in the top five.

    That’s a relief. I guess all those bad angles the Florida safeties kept taking in last year’s WLOCP were due to recruiting.