You can read his preview here.
Basically, he ranks Georgia eighth, but picks Florida to win the East. Why? I’d say look here:
SPECIAL TEAMS – I was shocked at where UGA finished in my ST rankings in ’11. In the L10Y UGA has had 8 Top 24 ST finishes (5 top 7). K Blair Walsh (#6DC MIN) was a 2-time Groza semi and P Drew Butler (Ray Guy ’09) both ret’d along with some dangerous RM like Brandon Boykin (24.3 KR) and Brandon Smith (14.3 PR). They finished #7 in my ST rankings in ’10 and I called them the best ST unit in the country. It was shocking as Walsh (55-68 car FG’s) hit just 21-35 (L56). Butler still avg 44.2 but his net dropped from 40.6 in ’10 to 35.8. UGA avg 6.7 on PR before a 92 yd td in the bowl and avg 21.6 on KR. They all’d 4 return td’s and Richt said “Our ST’s were mostly average to scary.” UGA plummeted to #81 and TY lose their K/P combo plus their top RM and could drop even further.
By the way, Steele ranks Florida’s special teams as the best in the nation.
To understand how bad he thinks the Dawgs’ special teams play could be, in his national rankings Steele notes that Georgia was the only team in the country with six of its individual units finishing in his Top 6 (QB, RB, Receiver, D-line, LB and DB). That, plus a favorable schedule, wasn’t enough to overcome the special teams weakness.
A couple of interesting sidenotes to bring to your attention are (1) Georgia isn’t the only upper tier SEC team with weak special teams, as he ranks Alabama 11th in the conference and South Carolina a slot behind Georgia at 14 and (2) Steele ranks Georgia as fourth-best in improved defensive points, a level of improvement I find difficult to meet if special teams play is even worse than it was last year.