When you’ve lost Phil Steele…

You guys know I’ve read Steele’s College Football Preview for years.  He’s typically optimistic about Georgia’s chances, and even in down years is rarely downright negative.  He’s not a harsh observer, in other words.

For some reason, the 2017 edition comes off a little differently, tone-wise.  Take, for example, what he writes about the offensive line:

The Bulldogs have gone against the grain of my experience rankings each of the last 6 years with 4 veteran units having weaker numbers and the 2 inexperienced units improving… They lose 120 career starts and only return 45 but given the history of the position, the unit may post improved numbers.  [Emphasis added.]

For Steele, that’s scathing sarcasm.  Maybe he’s getting tired of the Dawgs defying his analysis.



Filed under Georgia Football, Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water

22 responses to “When you’ve lost Phil Steele…

  1. SG

    We already modeled our new logo after it, and it already tastes like dawg piss. Win win


  2. Cousin Eddie

    Is Phil joining the rest of Dawg nation and getting tired of the constant disappointment?


    • JCDAWG83

      I think Phil and the rest of the media are finally saying what they and everyone else has been thinking for the past 10 years.


  3. Macallanlover

    Long time Steele fan myself, but equating the number of starts with projected success with no other variables is weak sauce. Certainly most OL body types get stronger at this time of life with controlled nutrition and workout oversight, but the learning curve for this position group is the least difficult in football so you don’t just see the “light go on” for OL guys like you do DBs…..and sometimes, QBs.

    I think Steele will miss badly on UGA again, but this time from another direction. Not saying the OL is the primary reason for his underestimating the Dawgs this year, but we don’t need to be fantastic along the OL in 2017 to get us to where we want to be. If the OL can just improve by not whiffing totally with missed assignments allowing instant penetration it could be enough. In other words, just get in front of someone on every play and give the RBs a chance to get to the line of scrimmage with some momentum this year. How many times last season was a play blown up 3=4 yards behind the LOS? We will be better at OL, and some of the help will come from guys who have yet to put on a uniform.


    • Aubrey E Walker

      Sounds like they are talking about how CMR defined what his oline was. And he was fired for not winning the important games. Can’t have it both ways


  4. Got Cowdog

    Mac, I agree with you about not needing “Fantastic” line play. I disagree with you that those positions have the shortest learning curve.IMHO, just adjusting to the strength, quickness, and speed of opposing players, especially upperclassmen, would be a pretty steep curve.


    • Macallanlover

      Maybe, but I am not sold on the difficulty of learning the blocking assignments (although I do think the big whiffs were on a change in the blocking scheme under Pittman.) It just isn’t that difficult/complex, but reps should make you better. While I agree the defensive speed is an adjustment, you pick that up pretty quickly, especially on the interior. Certainly OTs face speed rushers and that is the more difficult position. If the center calls the blocking assignments, then I buy into the experience level requirement at OL. But I still maintain it is a strength position more than a cerebral/experience need to get guys ready.


  5. Dave

    Here’s the thing: In some of Georgia’s (few) really good years lately, he was ambivalent to bearish on the Dawgs, iirc. So, yeah, there have been a lot of years where he predicted Georgia to be better than the other guys and was burned, but I don’t view his negativism this year as anything to be concerned with.


  6. reality check here

    Unlike Phil Steele and bloggers I admit I don’t have a clue how Georgia will do this year. I did not play college football. Although I probably know as much about it as other bloggers that isn’t saying much. I will also confess I flunked fortune telling twice in college.

    History proves many programs show a marked improvement in the second year under a new coach and past history can be a poor predictor of success. The QB is now experienced and has a great arm, although last year he did not see the field well and was very inconsistent. Georgia has recruited well for years and has plenty of talented athletes and experience.

    Last year a huge disappointment was lack of progress as the year went on and an ability to make adjustments during the games.

    I don’t know how this year is going to play out, but I do know that the only thing I have ever been interested in is wins and it is time for results now.


    • paul

      I have to agree that the lack of overall progress and inability to adjust during games was maddening. Those factors, in particular, make me wonder about Kirby’s management style and his ability to be the head coach. If things are progressing as they should and our coaches are settling into their roles we should see something dramatically different this year. If we don’t, Kirby Smart may one day be remembered as fondly as Ray Goff.


  7. Will Trane

    Who knows…45 career return starts…lost 120. So what did that mean? Guess you can look back to the first two games of 2016…beat UNC with a frosh QB in the Dome…and an Oline going against a Dline who’s coach is now at UGA. And in game 2 they get pushed around by, what was the name of that powerhouse team.
    If there is on area of the Dawgs football team that reflects the trend in wins, lack of championships, and overall mediocre play, it is the Oline. Hopefully, the OC and OL coach can work some magic this year.
    Will there be pressure for improvement? Think not…give them one more year to build experience, depth, and strength.
    2017 most critical side of the ball…defensive…what does Steele say about all those starts coming back.
    But all of the starts and non-starts pale in comparison to the “AD starts”.
    In the past CMR was on the “hot seat”. Kirby is not, and has a year of experience and with a staff. Your AD has the worst damn record of any AD with 10 years in the arena. How the 2017 Dawgs show goes will decide how many more starts the AD gets. I say this could be his last, especially if the Dawgs start 0-2.
    Enjoy Hoover, Greg.


    • reality check here

      Steele likes the defense but disses the secondary, “There is nothing overwhelming about this group but they have 4 starters coming back”.

      I don’t know anybody who likes McGoofy but as long as the reserve fund is uber healthy I don’t think his bosses give a shit if anybody likes him or not.
      Kirby deserves time to get 4 recruit classes in place, but McGoofy can go any time as far as I am concerned


  8. Cojones

    This will be one of the most experienced teams we have ever had to hit the field this year. Think not? Wait until draft time to answer that question. So, next year the excuse can be that we lost our O keys and D keys to the draft and that will commence the hand-wringing before Spring Game.

    If the O line doesn’t do it this year, it will be because of a big fail at coaching and that won’t please a soul. The excuses for not having the oomph to open holes will lie in their training and the QB training. When the opposition can sit back and tee off on your O line (no matter the school or level) time and again, it means there is no quick-pass-over-the-middle play to stop that shit. When I see that occurring again like it didn’t last year, then I’ll have my opinion of our year and the coaches’ futures as well.


    • Got Cowdog



    • Macallanlover

      Strong points Old Balls. We will lose lots more talent this coming year, and will have many excuses next summer. Time to get this done this season, or we will lose all recruiting momentum from last year as HS stars will doubt what is going on in Athens. They aren’t coming to sit behind last year’s class on a team that could not win with the best talent in the East. Getting to Atlanta is a minimum expectation.

      This OL will not be great, but will be as good as we have had in over a decade. Does anyone think this offense is less than what Florida won the East with the past two years? Our defense is stout, our offense should do well enough. Get it done, stop the apologizing in advance. I believe these kids know than get the job done, and I believe they will. Those HS kids didn’t sign with us to take 3rd place bronze, and those Juniors that decided to come back didn’t want another bronze.


  9. 69Dawg

    Georgia has been disappointing the media since 1985. They loved us preseasons under Donnan and we wet the bed. Disappointment is the hallmark of UGA football, basketball and baseball, it’s the Georgia Way. The sooner the fans get used to it the better for their collective health. You got to give the fans credit for memory loss during the off season, it is what makes us able to keep coming back for more of the same. Finally it hits you one day that UGA is not Alabama, LSU or Florida, we are the tallest pygmy in the village. Accept it and embrace it or stop following it.


    • JCDAWG83

      What you say is correct. I think the difference now is; the fan base does accept it where, in the past, they would blindly embrace the hope of the next season every year and send in their money so they would still have their seats “when we get good again”. Now, the fan base sees the emperor has no clothes and the good will tank is pretty well empty. The unsold season tickets and unsold away game tickets to big rivalry games send a strong, clear message that the fans have about had enough.

      Going forward; I think the fans will accept the reality of the perpetual underachieving but they won’t embrace it, they will stop following it. This season is put up or shut up time and BM knows it and are scared.


  10. No One Knows You're a Dawg

    He said in an interview he’s picking Georgia to finish behind Florida because he thinks Georgia has the tougher road schedule.


  11. Bulldog Joe

    “He stabs it with his Steeley knives, but he just can’t kill the beast.”


  12. fred russo

    After 35 years i am tired of the same old!!!


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