We’ve turned the calendar page to June and that means Steele’s publication is about to make its 2015 appearance. To whet our appetites, he’s released his list of annual preseason All-SEC teams.
I knew if I waiting long enough, somebody else would do my heavy lifting for me, and, sure enough, here’s David Wunderlich to the rescue:
Team First Team Second Team Third Team Fourth Team Score Alabama 5 3 1 3 34 Auburn 3 6 1 1 33 Ole Miss 4 1 3 1 26 Georgia 4 1 2 2 25 LSU 2 3 1 4 23 Texas A&M 1 1 4 2 17 Arkansas 0 3 3 0 15 Florida 2 2 0 1 15 Missouri 0 2 2 4 14 Tennessee 0 1 5 1 14 Mississippi State 2 1 1 0 13 South Carolina 1 0 1 1 7 Kentucky 0 0 0 3 3 Vanderbilt 0 0 0 1 1
I never agree with all of Steele’s picks on an individual basis, and this year’s hardly an exception. (The quarterbacks after Prescott are a crap shoot, admittedly, but Mauk at fourth seems like a bit of a stretch. And haven’t we been waiting for OJ Howard to emerge as The Next Great SEC TE for a couple of years now?) But as an overall assessment of relative talent across the conference, I can’t say I find his results too out of whack.
Which doesn’t bode well for Steve Spurrier, does it?
And speaking of the East, if you go by Steele’s assessments, it’s hard to see Georgia as less than anything but the favorite to win the division. That’s a pretty sizeable gap there between the Dawgs and the next highest team, Florida.
As for what he’s got with Georgia, it’s clear he’s really high on Greg Pyke, who I thought finished last season as Georgia’s best offensive lineman. I probably would flip Sanders and Mauger from where he places them, and I can’t help but think Lorenzo Carter might be a little low at third team. The guy with the most upside is Malcolm Mitchell, but with his injury history, he’s a real boom or bust pick, so fourth team is probably a safe place to park him for now.
Conference wise, if things are shaky at QB, they’re anything but at running back. That’s a ridiculous list of talent at that position.
And the one area where I think Steele’s kind of mailed it in? Defensive back, where three members of Alabama’s weak spot on defense made his top four teams. The conference as a whole isn’t that weak in the secondary, so that strikes me as a little bit of a lean on Saban there.
What do y’all see there?