Maybe the SEC East will be a little tougher than I thought.

Phil Steele does a pretty good job predicting what the first AP Top 10 of the season will look like.

As mentioned on Monday, my predicted AP Top 10 was a perfect 10-for-10 in 2016! The EIGHT year totals are very strong. When I predict the AP Top 10 in February/March (about a HALF YEAR ahead of the actual AP poll), I have now hit on 76 of 80 teams. That means hitting all 10 teams in four of the eight years and missing by just one team in the other four years. Once again, predicting the top ten teams in the AP poll 5-6 MONTHS in advance, the record is now 76 out of 80 or 95%!

Now, obviously, that first AP Top 10 is no guaranteed predictor of success for the rest of the season, but it’s at least a decent indication of the nation’s better teams… which is why Steele’s projection for 2017 is making me pause a bit in considering how the SEC East might play out this season.

Here is my 2017 Projected AP Top 10.

1.  Alabama
2.  Ohio State
3.  Florida State
4.  USC
5.  Oklahoma
6.  Clemson
7.  Penn State
8.  Washington
9.  Wisconsin
10. Florida

[Emphasis added.]

I look at Florida and see a team that’s got a fair number of significant questions:  a rebuild job coming on defense (including a new coordinator), uncertainty at quarterback and a slide in recruiting over the past couple of seasons.  I don’t think the Gators are going to be a bad team by any means — after the past two years, you can’t help but have a solid measure of respect for McElwain — but top ten in the country and second best in the SEC is a little more than I was expecting.

Is it just me, or does that surprise you, too?  And if it’s a legit impression, what, if anything does that do for your assessment of Georgia’s chances in the East in 2017?

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53 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water

53 responses to “Maybe the SEC East will be a little tougher than I thought.

  1. Spike

    Well, that’s a real buzz killer.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Georgia is the only team that can beat Georgia in the SEC Easy this year.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s a little surprising until you look at the final top 25 poll. It’s kind of a crapshoot picking that 10th team and if you’re projecting media bias it makes sense. The other candidates for that slot would be Oklahoma state, LSU, Stanford and Michigan. Given that poll voters are trying to predict where teams are going to finish next January rather than just identify the best teams in august, it makes sense that those other choices would have a harder time finishing in the top ten.

    So with media bias that favors the gators and the stupid predilection voters have to try and tell the future, it makes some sense.

    Like

  4. Athens Dog

    UGA has not given voters any reason to have high expectations……………the same can’t be said for the booger eating gators

    Like

  5. Heyberto

    Call it the Munson in me, but I’m just not to the point that I feel like we, as fans, can be optimistic about a win over Florida any given year. Not sure the culture has changed on that front yet. Just because it should happen isn’t enough.

    Like

    • MGW

      Doesn’t bother me anymore. I don’t think it bothers the team either.

      Like

      • Macallanlover

        Agree, it is all with a portion of the fan base. Don’t like to lose to anyone, especially TN, Auburn, and FU, but this is urban legend stuff. Our players don’t feel they are swimming upstream in this game or that fate is against them. Just have to play well, same as with other talented opponents.

        Like

  6. Aladawg

    This ranking is based on history, not the facts regarding the team. It does nothing to my expectations of an East championship or bust.

    Like

  7. Noonan

    There have been 24 seasons since the SEC began divisional play. UF has won the East 14 times. Good odds.

    Like

    • Mayor

      UGA has won or tied (losing the tiebreaker) for the East 6 times I think. Only won the SECCG twice though. Interestingly, the second best team that UGA had during the CMR era was the ’07 team that didn’t get to play for the SEC championship or the national title–and should have played in both. Really bad luck.

      Like

      • Brandon

        One could call it bad luck… or one could call it absolutely shitting the bed against the Vols AND Cocks that year

        Like

  8. Columbus Dawg

    Correct, the assumptions are made on 2016 results. Clemson will probably not finish in top ten, and is a shell of what it was with Watson. Wisconsin? Really?

    Like

    • Go Dawgs!

      Clemson’s going to be really good again, y’all. That party they threw the last two years wasn’t a one-man show.

      Like

      • Uglydawg

        Players like DW are very, very few and far between. He was the difference in a very good team and a great team. Losing him is to Clemson as loosing HW was to Georgia. Clemson will be a pretty good team..not a really good team.

        Like

  9. ASEF

    The theme last year was Kirby forcing a Line of Scrimmage mentality on a team with some personnel issues on the lines. Kirby decided building that mentality and culture was more important than the W-L record in 2016.

    Hopefully the foundation is set so they can do more this year. But it could still be enough to cost an SEC East title.

    Like

    • Mayor

      Do you mean trying to play power football with a finesse OL? Yeah, if Kirby tries to do that again we likely will get similar results. If the OL becomes a group of road graders then we will have better results.

      Like

  10. SemperFiDawg

    I think LSU will be the SECs 2nd best team.

    Like

    • Otto

      I don’t think so with Coach O. Further with Ole Miss in NCAA problems, and UT getting a new QB and other turnover, UF would is not a crazy pick for 2nd best SEC team.

      Like

  11. dawgtired

    Recruiting rankings Per Dawgs247
    2013 UGA 12, UF 3
    2014 UGA 8, UF 9
    2015 UGA 5, UF 21
    2016 UGA 8, UF 12
    2017 UGA 3, UF 11

    Talent-wise we could still be close depending on attrition. 2014 is a wash and 2016 is very close. Our best pairing was 2015…I didn’t check to see just how many players of each class contribute…I didn’t have the energy this morning.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Macallanlover

    I am surprised by Florida, count that as a miss for Steele this year, there is no reason for the AP to make that leap. Also surprised by Wisconsin there over Michigan. I think LSU would be ahead of Florida in the AP as well.

    It does nothing to change my feeling that we will win the East. Steele is predicting perception in this particular effort, I believe he will select UGA as his own choice to win the East. I can understand why he doesn’t feel voters in the popularity polls will give Georgia the benefit of the doubt, we did nothing last year to justify that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Otto

      Michigan was filled with upper classman. I am expecting a drooff from them.

      Like

      • Otto

        *dropoff

        Like

      • Macallanlover

        True, but this is more about the popularity of teams than the actual predictions of Steele. Harbaugh has stirred the pot and Michigan gets more publicity than their actual performance might justify. I don’t think they are Top 10, but feel they will be ranked above Wisky, deserved or not.

        Like

        • Otto

          Valid point on the beauty contest of preseason rankings.

          Like

          • Uglydawg

            Yep. And consider that Steele may just be tweaking Harbaugh’s haughty nose (he’s not..but if I were him I would be)To me UM is the second biggest dickhead in that conference..JH takes the title of first.

            Like

            • Hobnail_Boot

              Franklin takes the cake in that dept.

              Like

              • Macallanlover

                Uh, let’s not forget the largest comb-over foreskin of them all, Urbie is still maintaining his health in Columbus and hasn’t left for the hospital. But you are both right about the Big 14 leading the nation in something.

                Like

  13. Go Dawgs!

    Well, Florida was going to beat us regardless. It’s just all about how they do in the rest of their games.

    This looks like throwing something against a wall and seeing if it sticks, though. I don’t see much in Gainesville that makes me think Florida is going to be a Top 10 team. Muschamp’s defense has finally graduated or left town via other means. McElwain’s offense is still there.

    Like

  14. Greg

    Florida has owned us since 1990, winning 21 of 27 games. Yeah, we had 3 close wins in a row during the Murray years, but they’ve come back with 3 dominating wins since then. It has been an embarrassingly one-sided rivalry over three decades and the national pundits see that. Why would they pick Georgia over Florida until we prove we can consistently play with them and beat them more than twice a decade (on average)?

    Like

    • Got Cowdog

      Gawd, Greg. Why do you keep dragging that shit up? 21 for 27. Damn. Just damn.

      Like

      • dawgtired

        It NEEDS to stay right in front of us…even locker room material. This is such a continual heart ache. One of the bright spots of getting old is hoping they don’t catch us in the overall series before I move on to eternity…not that I’m in a hurry to leave this world mind you. 😉 Just hoping they don’t catch us during my life time.

        Like

        • Got Cowdog

          I was being snarky, my fatigued friend, but 1989-90 is about when I got serious about the Dawgs.(Turning 21 makes tailgating sooo much more fun!) So the gators have been whipping our Dawg’s ass almost my entire adult life. That needs to stop. Run the table in the east a couple of years, get your player spacing so there aren’t 3 years of almosts and 2 years of rebuilding. Then Mr. Steele can pick us to win.
          i have seen it here that Florida doesn’t recognize the series before 1990. I suppose I don’t either.

          Like

        • Mayor

          I agree it needs to be right in front of everybody all the time. Maybe then the fanbase will insist that B-M do what needs to be done–move the game out of JAX and make it home and away. As things stand now the Dawgs play that game as an away game every year.

          Like

  15. Red Cup

    I am kind of over Steele. Half the damn book is him saying how great he predicted the year before. If he cut that out the print would be big enough to read without magnifying glasses

    Liked by 1 person

    • dawgtired

      Chuckle. I feel the same.

      Like

    • Macallanlover

      I hate the self promotion (and the small print) as much as you but the magazine is a must have to me. The guy can have no life, his passion is unmatched. He doesn’t need to pat himself on the back again, if he ever did. Can’t wait to browse that 2017 magazine in a few weeks.

      Like

  16. JCDAWG83

    I don’t see Clemson as top 10. They will have a great defensive line but the loss of Watson is too much to overcome. Even with Watson and a pretty great team around him they lost at home to Pitt and had to have a missed field goal as time expired to avoid a loss to NC State. If Bama had a qb who could complete a pass downfield, they would have lost the NC game by double digits. If that field goal had been good, they would have been in a morning kickoff New Years bowl instead of the playoffs.

    Like

    • Otto

      So you’re saying ’16 Clemson was the playoff version of ’90 GT?

      Like

      • JCDAWG83

        That, or more like ’83 Georgia. After Herschel, we still had a good team but not one that could have a special season. Clemson is going to be able to milk the ’16 season for many millions over the next couple decades. Georgia is still squeezing the last few drops out of the ’80 season.

        Like

        • dawgtired

          They may be good again in a couple of years if that Lawrence kid turns out to be real.

          Like

          • JCDAWG83

            He’ll be good, maybe, he has a lot of competition in front of him there and the world is full of “great” high school qbs who don’t do well in college, but he isn’t another Watson.

            Like

  17. 69Dawg

    Preseason Polls WGAS.

    Like

    • Macallanlover

      All of us. They mean nothing of value but every CFB will pour over them, argue them, and offer a better version. Good filler until there is something of substance top occupy us. I just wish they would group the teams by tiers and not be numerically specific, I think it gives teams too much ground to make up for no valid reason.

      Like

  18. Confucius

    Florida

    Like

  19. Pedro

    I can’t wait til we are back to the 80s where a Georgia win over Florida was a given, even when Florida was favored. But we are still in the 2000s and Florida is the favorite for the east in my mind until someone proves otherwise.

    Like

  20. Hal Welch

    Not sure is really that difficult to figure out who the media darlings will be each year. A more accurate assessment of his prowess would be how each of those teams finished compared to how he ranked them.

    Like