Phil Steele, messing with my mind

I’m not sure how this all works out (I’m hopeful of getting my hands on the mag today), but Steele has Florida as his tenth-ranked team, lower than Georgia, but also his surprise pick to win the SEC East.  Which would be a definite bummer for a number of reasons.

For what it’s worth, I don’t see the Gator backfield being good enough to get them to Atlanta.  Your mileage may vary, of course, Florida fans (and Steele).


Filed under Gators, Gators...

48 responses to “Phil Steele, messing with my mind

  1. If Steele is picking Florida to go to the SECCG despite Georgia being, on the whole, the better team, then that almost certainly means he’s picking us to lose in Jax. Needless to say, I hope that doesn’t happen. Were Georgia to earn its first two-game winning streak over the Gators since Milli Vanilli was popular, that’d be a huge boost indeed.

  2. simpl_matter

    Anything can happen, but that ain’t happenin.

  3. Macallanlover

    While that isn’t my analysis, it is certainly possible. Wouldn’t be the first, or ten thousandth, time the better team has lost or under-achieved in CFB. It is why pre-season rankings are so silly to debate. Anyone could be right, but no one usually is. I like, and respect, Steele a lot but UGA starts out better on paper and CMR will have the players ready to extend our dominance over UF

    Who knows who will even be playing come that particular weekend with injuries, suspensions, etc., or any other weekend this fall? I still think teams should be ranked by tiers/groups until the end of September to prevent voters from getting too dug into their pre-season opinion and try to be objective based on results from performance on the field. About 12 teams put into 3 different tiers with the ability to move up or down the first 4-5 games is my recommendation. So if a team were in Tier 2 at the start of the season, rather than being ranked Number 15 in the country, they could move from Tier 2 into Tier 1 prior to specific numeric rankings being assigned in October. That team would have a better chance to achieve a Top 5 ranking (if they deserved it) than having to pass 10+ teams under the current system.

    Problem is, magazines sales wouldn’t stand for not having a “pretend” #1, and 2 assigned each May. It’s in our nature and may be the reason we are so obsessed with crowning a faux champion but unwilling to put in a decent playoff to determine one. America, a place where less and less value is placed on earning something. Hell. let’s just give a title to someone. Here Little Nicky, no need to go through Atlanta. Hows about a bye while LSU plays an extra game to game to get where you can get for sitting on your arse after being beaten at home when we all pretended it was for all the marbles.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Actually there shouldn’t even be any polls/rankings at all until after the 3rd week of the season.
      P.S. Didn’t Steele pick UGA to win the SEC East the year the Dawgs went 6-7?

      • Macallanlover

        That is my thought as well, except I think that is too early since so many teams don’t play a meaningful game until late September (how sad is that reality?) My suggestion for Tier groupings is a concession that many fans need someone to tell them how to feel about their team. It is a half-step to ween folks off the numerical polls. It would still give everyone something to argue about.

  4. It kills me, but that’s not a crazy pick. Steele finally picked up on the fact that we lose to Florida a lot lately. They’ll lose to LSU but beat Mizzou and A&M. (Muschamp has experience defending against Mizzou, and A&M is in year 1 with a new coaching staff.) The only other close game they have to win is against South Carolina, but that’s at the Swamp.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      At Vandy Week 1. I never thought I would ever say this, but: “GO DORES!!!” (At least for that 1 game.)

    • In case you didn’t notice last year – defending the other team isn’t Florida’s problem. Scoring points is. There’s nothing to indicate at time that will change.

      Florida probably loses at TAMU, because they still lack answers at WR, QB and RB, and a road game in week 2 in a hostile environment like Kyle Field isn’t exactly a good place to foster development of a young backfield. They definitely lose to LSU and probably us as well. South Carolina is better than them as well. If Muschamp can coach, they’ll be 8-4, but we don’t know that yet so it could be worse.

  5. Andy

    Senator, do you still have last year’s Steele publication lying around? I would love to see how accurate he was. I admire his process, but I’m curious how he ends up looking at the end of the season (when no one is looking at preseason predictions anymore). Outside of Jacksonville, I still see Florida losing at least 2 or 3 games this year.

    • Slaw Dawg

      Steele picked Georgia to win the East in 2011 and Bama to win the national title. Now, he also picked Bama to win the SEC West and the SEC, but correctly said that’d come down to Bama or LSU, so hard to pick that nit. He also picked UF to win the East in 2010, with Dawgs 2d and So Car 3d, so was wide of the mark that time. Nobody can bat a 1.000 in these preseason picks, but you have to take the man’s predictions seriously.

      I do think he’s wrong on at least one or 2 points. Since he’ll rank UGA higher than UF, he’s probably figuring the latter will win the WLOCP. On that, I disagree. My Dawg optimism meter is as permanently busted as any Dawgfan’s who came of age in the Dooley/Munson era, but I firmly believe the wheel has turned in that series in UGA’s favor for some time to come. UGA could certainly win that one and still lose the SEC East, but that’d mean at least 2 losses and a lower ranking than Steele seems to have in mind.

  6. Durrtydogg

    If its and buts were candies and nuts well……you know the rest. His surprise pick of Florida shows the lack of respect the media has for CMR and Aaron Murray. The lack of winning the “big game” has plagued Aaron fo too long and its justified. Our fan base wants to get excited but we dont have the balls to stay unified and believe in our teams because of lackluster performances the past few years in Jacksonville and against teams that matter. We have lost what most winning teams and organizations possess and thats faith. We let other teams who are less talented stay in games because deep down inside we lack that killer instinct. With us, we always have this deep issue of questioning ourselves. To be a winner you have to believe but we dont. We give credit to other teams and fight among our fan base about head coaching, play calling, and the leadership capabilities of our players. This team is one of the best in the country and yet we still find ways to second guess ourselves while looking for excuses to say I told you so when or if something goes wrong. This is why I have such a problem with many of our fans. We dont support our team and the vibe we give them is not we know you will dominate, its we think you can but we dont really believe you will. All this Go Dawg chatter is redundant when you dont believe and are looking for any excuse to support an agenda.

    Muschamp has not proven anything as a coach and I dont think he ever will. Believing that he will beat this UGA team is wishful thinking. You can say what you want but if this team falters against Florida or USCe it will certify that the only thing lacking in Athens is balls. You have to have players who play with an edge. You have to have guys who will not listen to some guy talking on a network on a saturday morning. We have the talent to make this a remarkable season but the reason people dont pick us is not because of the o-line and crap like that. Its because of the two dangling participles that hang between our players legs. I dont blame em. Its time to put up or shut up and honestly I believe these players have that edge.

    • Skeptic Dawg

      You can cry all you want about this team and/or fans lacking testicular fortitude, however you would be (and are) wrong. You gave reasons why this team does not win:
      1- zero big wins for Murray
      2- lack of killer instinct
      3- poor O-line play
      4- allowing lesser teams to hang around
      Now I am not sure which is more important, the 4 items you listed (all 4 point to poor coaching by the way. solid job!) or sack size.

      • SD, You shit is getting old. Why don’t give this year’s team a chance before you crap all over ’em? Lets use your four brillant points just to show what a moron you are…
        1- This is complete BS and shows that you don’t deserve to call yourself a Dawg… He and the team started 0-2 last year and you don’t think every game afterwards was a big game for AM and the coaches! They ran off 11 straight against SEC competition that they didn’t win against the year before. If you can’t grasp that they are learning how to win and making strides then maybe Dr Suess books are more up your alley!

        2- Absolute BS. This makes as much sense as a football bat. Tell me, how do you quantify this statement?! I’d love to see your metrics on it!

        3- So are you saying we have poor o-line. How the heck do you know? Why don’t we let the coaches do their job and we all will get to see how this unit progresses throughout the year. Considering we have more depth than last year, along with one of the most highly ranked recruits coming in to anchor one of our tackle positions I’d say its possible we have a good to great o-line!

        4- see #2.

        I don’t know how long you’ve been following the Dawgs but judging by your comments I’d say you have a very limited time frame and an entirely too narrow focus as a fan… Winning every game by double digits doesn’t happen and if you would maybe appreciate that these kids are amateurs trying to perfect the game they love then maybe you could aprreciate that they (and the coaches) will have their ups and downs thoroughout the years and don’t give crap about your whiny a$$.

        • Cojones

          Don’t bet with the turd. He lost the FU bet last year, lied about losing $10 and wouldn’t send it to Bobo, constantly made the wrong predictions and knows nothing to discuss in team depth. He claims 5yrs at UGA that I think makes him the biggest person to come on here wearing “Dawg” on his name who isn’t one. He effused contrition after Richt won 10 straight and PuffDawg ,AHD, DIF and a few others helped him with a new and more upward looking name. He has returned with the same droll negative comments that can’t be backed up. He is a welsher of the first order who shouts and waves his arms to piss off the natives.

      • Anyone who doesn’t consider the cocktail party last year a “big win” for Murray is most definitely NOT a real Dawg. You sir, are an imposter.

  7. Signal Mountain Dawg

    This program can not seem to get out of it’s own way and I can easily see UGA losing 2, 3 or even 4 games in 2012. This team has the potential to run the table but history is not on our side. We have all ready started the season with major play makers being suspended and let’s face it – we were outcoached against Boise, USCe, vandy, LSU, and Michigan State. The special teams play last year was just plain awful and obviously showed that our coaches paid lip service to this phase of the game.

    So what’s changed in 2012?
    The collection of talent is there – and that is a tribute to the staff.
    Can this program get our of it’s own way?

    The saying, ” things are never as good or bad as you think they are”.
    For UGA – we always get caught up in thinking we are better than we actually are.

    Got my fingers crossed that this will be a special season – but the reality-based on history tells me to expect this team to go 9-3 or 10-2.

    • Sanford222view

      How exactly was UGA out coached versus USCe? I’ll give you the others.

    • Why do I get the feeling that people like you completely forgot that we were 6-7 the year prior to going 10-4? What’s with the bitching? Everybody was predicting doom and gloom in 2011, and yet after starting 0-2, the team reeled off 10 wins in a row, which was something nobody thought they could do. Now that they did that, suddenly everyone is bitching that they didn’t reel off 12 in a row.

      You can’t go from zero to hero overnight. Changes were made two years ago and 2011 was the first signs of the payoff from those changes. Give it some time, y’all. If we improve as much from 2011-2012 as we did from 2010-2011, then we’re going to steamroll everybody this year.

  8. B.B. Dawg

    He also is picking FSU to win the national title in his mag, so that should give anyone a sense of how much credence to give his pick of UF in the East.

  9. I feel better, now that Phil Steele did not pick Georgia to win the East. Georgia should actually do much better than last year then win the east and the SEC.

  10. Mike

    This Gator will be happy with a two win improvement. This is especially true if one of those wins comes against Georgia

    • ConnGator

      Well, I would not say “happy”, but perhaps not unhappy. I think Florida can beat anybody on the schedule except LSU. Frankly SoCar scares me more than UGA, but perhaps that is wishful thinking. I think UGA wins the East based on yet another easy SEC schedule.

      • Definitely an easy schedule. Our toughest game is against Sahkerline. Other than that, we’ve got a couple of mildly challenging games against Mizzou and Auburn to worry about, but the rest of the schedule looks like a cake walk.

  11. Always Someone Else's Fault

    FSU has the easiest path to a national title game. The ACC will be down this year, and FSU on paper will be 10 points better (or more) than every team they face in conference. Make or break year for Jimbo, IMO.

    Honestly, there was something symbolic in the way that the Dawgs found a way to lose the Spartans in last year’s bowl game that’s nagging me, and I can’t quite put a finger on it. Last year was last year, but…. I don’t know. I’d feel better if I heard more from the coaches and players about learning from last year and taking the next step. Maybe I haven’t been paying close enough attention.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      “…I can’t quite put my finger on it.” Let me put your finger on it for you–end of game bad coaching decision. Tight game against a quality opponent in OT. The opponent commits a turnover. One run into the line with a 165 lb RB, then the QB runs BACKWARDS to set up the (supposed) winning FG and loses 2 yards making the kick over 40 yards when the kicker has trouble making kicks over 40 yards. Kick on third down–miss. Go back and look at the end of the 2009 Arkansas-UGA game, the 2010 UGA-Colorado game, the 2001 Auburn–UGA game…I could list more but that’s enough.

      • Dawgwalker07

        I don’t get how you’re blaming 2010 colorado on the coaches? What the hell were the supposed to do? Not call the play that ends in Caleb king fumbling? Throw the ball, get intercepted, and then get blown up by the fans for not running the ball?

        And don’t give me the horse squeeze that you teach kids not to fumble. Therefore the coaches should have known. It’s pretty obvious that our 2010 rb corps wasn’t the best at direction following and there’s only so much a coach can do with that.

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          The Dawgs were setting up for a winning FG in the UGA-Colorado game. The offensive call was a draw which means the O-line doesn’t really block but rather pretends to block and lets the D players through. In order for a draw to work the D has to think it is a pass. All the Colorado D-linemen went straight for the RB (Caleb King, a generally dependable back) totally ignoring the pass fake. King was hit simultaneously by multiple Colorado D-linemen and fumbled with Colorado recovering, preserving their win. When asked about it after the game several Colorado players said that they totally ignored the pass fake because they knew UGA had to to run to set up the FG and to keep the clock running to run the clock out.

          • Macallanlover

            How are you so sure that was a draw? It certainly looked like it could have been but I thought I remembered that was denied in a comment after the game. It was awful to watch, I can tell you that. It took about 5-6 seconds after it was recovered for me to realize the finality of it, and that we had actually lost. It never occurred to me that we could lose that game….and the first 3 plays of that drive made me think we might score too fast. What a lousy feeling, regardless of what that play was supposed to be.

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          P.S. Would you like me to explain the other 2 games I listed above? There are others, too.

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          I’ll explain another as I take your silence to mean you really want me to do so. In the 2010 Arkansas-UGA game (not ’09-that was a typo) the game was tied with Georgia having the ball at about the Arky 40 with 1:30 to go in the game, third and 5. All the Dawgs have to do is get a first down, gain a few more yards after that, run out the clock and kick a game-winning FG. The call was a slow developing pass play with the RB (Washaun Ealey, a notoriously bad blocker) assigned to block the other team’s DE. Ealey wiffs the block and Murray gets nailed for a 15 yard loss with his helmet being knocked off (we were lucky that he didn’t fumble). We punt and 30 seconds later Arkansas throws a long TD pass and wins the game. The right call would have been a quick pass on timing with the ball gone in 3 seconds or some sort of run-pass option. If we get that first down we win the game or at worst go into OT. Some people focus on the defensive breakdown that allowed the TD. The game was really lost by the bad call on O that failed to get the first down.

  12. Juicer

    I watched the Florida-UGA game again today. it was close because of terrible special teams play, poor rush game, and Murray went a.w.o.l. in the second half, like 2 for 13 or something. Kicker missed 2 field goals. Gave up a kickoff return for td, and a 2nd returned to the 30 yardline. Butler had punts for under 30 yards.

    You would think in 2012, the new backs Marshall & Gurley, although inexperienced, will improve the rush totals. The o-line will be much less experienced, and Florida’s d-line will have a field day on pass rushes. But the special teams really remains a load of concern, as Richt really didn’t do anything to fix that in the off season. And then you winder about Murray’s poise in big games, if he can ever flip the switch.

    Florida has a new offensive coordinator, and that doesn’t usually = success in the SEC in the 1st year due to new terminology and limited implementation. Florida was horrid in turnovers and penalties, and that will be tough to fix in one season.

    For Georgia to beat Florida, the rush game must be there. Murray must play smart, special teams needs a total makeover & defense needs better red zone play. It will be a tall order to fix all that, but that’s where we’re at.

  13. FRED

    Phil’s pick is based on the fact that CMR can not win the big games. And i agree.

    • Sanford222view

      Exactly. Richt has never won any big games…ever.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        Be fair about this. CMR won the SECCG twice. Those were big games. I also think the 2007 Sugar Bowl was bigger than most people are willing to admit. Hawaii was undefeated and by winning that game, particularly in the way the Dawgs won it, UGA finished #2 in the nation.

        • An intelligent person without Alzheimer’s might also recall the 2007 victory over Auburn as winning a “big game,” or the 2007 victory over Florida, or the 2009 “we run this state” game versus Tech.

  14. Ron

    We also beat Kentucky in 2009. Oh wait, we lost that one too.

  15. Uglydawg

    I used to work with a guy who hated Friday because it meant Monday was only two days away. Hand wringing and selective meomory aren’t going to keep most of us from looking forward to what could very well be a special season. I get the feeling some of you will be dissapointed if you’re negative musings don’t bloom.