Now we know that Phil Steele’s got a ceiling to go along with that “Biggest Surprise” floor for the 2014 edition of Georgia Football: the Dawgs do not fit his national championship mold this season.
Wouldn’t it be easy if there were key indicators that could trim down a list of National Title candidates prior to each year? I recently went and looked through every imaginable stat from each team that won the National Title and also those that got to the BCS Title game. I also included those few #3 teams that had a legitimate beef about being about being left out. I searched for common threads in numerous categories and was very pleased with what I have found.
The downfall for Georgia shouldn’t be much of a surprise.
Naturally the next category was defensive ppg where the 2009 Auburn Tigers the year before their national title in 2010 allowed 27.5 ppg, which was the highest in the last 22 years. In order to fit the National Championship mold the remaining 59 teams would have had to allow less than 27.5 ppg last year. This category would eliminate 7 teams as Old Dominion (34.0), Texas A&M (32.2), San Diego St (31.7), Texas Tech (30.5), Fresno St (30.3), Georgia (29.0) and Toledo (28.6) failed to make the cut. Now we are down to 52 teams.
What stings about this is that Vanderbilt survived two more rounds of cuts.
Now, to be fair, Steele expresses a tinge of misgivings about Georgia not showing up in his final fifteen – “While there may be a couple of teams left out (UCLA, Oregon, Georgia, Auburn, South Carolina), 14 of these teams made my preseason Top 32…” – he doesn’t have Georgia in his bunch making the national semi-finals.