It hasn’t hit the newsstands yet, so I don’t have my copy of Steele’s 2018 preview in my hands, but that doesn’t mean others don’t have it. From Dawgs247:
We flipped through one of Steele’s mags and pulled his SEC order-of-finish predictions, early College Football Playoff selections and preseason All-SEC nods for this exercise, less than a tenth of the 350-plus page offseason bible for college football fans.
Georgia will take the East for the second consecutive season according to Steele, who has Florida and South Carolina duking it out for the second and third spots. Mizzou comes in at No. 4, followed by Kentucky with a fifth-place divisional finish. Steele is picking Tennessee, during Jeremy Pruitt’s first season, to bring up the rear of the East with Vanderbilt in the No. 6 and 7 holes, respectively.
In the West, Alabama and Auburn are the two best teams, followed by Mississippi State and surprisingly Jimbo Fisher’s Aggies in the No. 4 slot. Like Vegas oddsmakers, Steele isn’t a believer in LSU, who will be fighting for bowl eligibility late in the season with a fifth-place landing in the West. After the Tigers, Arkansas and Ole Miss will be in the cellar.
Steele expects Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Washington to reach the College Football Playoff, four teams most preseason prognosticators are already falling in love with this season…
Not exactly going out on a limb there. And his preseason all-SEC picks are fairly much in line with others I’ve seen.
Here are Steele’s preseason picks for All-SEC players — First-Team All-SEC Offense: QB – Jarrett Stidham, Auburn; RB – Benny Snell, Kentucky; RB – Damien Harris, Alabama; WR – Emmanuel Hall, Missouri; WR – Deebo Samuel, South Carolina; TE – Albert Okwuegbunam, Missouri; OC – Ross Piershbacher, Alabama; OL – Hjalte Froholdt, Arkansas; OL – Greg Little, Ole Miss; OL – Jonah Williams, Alabama; First-Team All-SEC Defense: DL – Montez Sweat, Mississippi State; DL – Jeffery Simmons, Mississippi State; DL – Terry Beckner, Missouri; DL – Raekwon Davis, Alabama; LB – Charles Wright, Vanderbilt; LB – David Reese, Florida; LB – Tyrel Dodson, Texas A&M; DB – Greedy Williams, LSU; DB – DeAndre Baker, Georgia; DB – Mike Edwards, Kentucky; DB – JR Reed, Georgia; First-Team All-SEC Special Teams — K – Rodrigo Blankenship, Georgia; P – Corey Fatoney, Missouri; KR – Deebo Samuel, South Carolina; PR – Richaud Floyd, Missouri; LS – Blake Ferguson, LSU.
(Yeah, I see there are only four offensive linemen on a ten-man offense list, so I presume there’s a name accidentally omitted.)
The trend continues of valuing the Georgia team highly, but not so much individual players — Missouri has two more first-teamers than does Georgia. Presumably, that’s a back-handed compliment to the depth of Kirby Smart’s roster. I’ll be very interested to read Steele’s unit-by-unit rankings when I get my hands on the mag.