Steele’s 2018 unit rankings

As promised, here we go.  To start with and establish a baseline, let’s go back and look at Steele’s 2017 state of affairs first:

  • Quarterbacks:  24th
  • Running backs:  2nd
  • Receivers:  21st
  • Offensive line:  46th
  • Defensive line:  11th
  • Linebackers:  6th
  • Defensive backs:  16th
  • Special teams:  Unranked (Steele ranked the top 55)

Add it all up and it didn’t look particularly exceptional, but then again, after an 8-5 2016, nobody thought this team was particularly exceptional going into the season.

Anyway, here’s the story from Steele for this season:

  • Quarterbacks:  6th
  • Running backs:  11th
  • Receivers:  8th
  • Offensive line:  2nd
  • Defensive line:  15th
  • Linebackers:  16th
  • Defensive backs:  16th
  • Special teams:  8th

Things are looking up, I’d say.  For a little more context, I’ll list the SEC teams he ranks higher than Georgia at each unit.

  • Quarterbacks:  Auburn, Missouri
  • Running backs:  Alabama
  • Receivers:  Ole Miss
  • Offensive line:  None
  • Defensive line:  Mississippi State, Alabama, Auburn, Florida
  • Linebackers:  Alabama, LSU, Auburn
  • Defensive backs:  LSU, Alabama
  • Special teams:  None

When you’re ranked ahead of Alabama in as many categories as Alabama’s ranked ahead of you, that’s pretty solid.

The quirky thing about his unit rankings is at quarterback, where Georgia ranks several spots higher than ‘Bama.  Go to Steele’s preseason all-SEC teams, though, you’ll find Tua at third-team and you won’t find Fromm mentioned at all.  Only thing I can draw from that is that Steele really, really likes Fields.


Filed under Georgia Football, Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water

26 responses to “Steele’s 2018 unit rankings

  1. Jack Burton

    Steele has lost his mojo. Working at ESPN has destroyed him. His weekly ATS picks are typically laughable as well.

    Not to mention his books being littered with errors going back many years.

    It’s always surprising to see so many players listed on the current rosters in the book that declared early, transfered, were kicked off, etc…


  2. 3rdandGrantham

    OL going from 46th to 2nd in one year is unreal. And just think we will probably be #1 next year and for the next several. Not bad considering we are just a few short years from bringing in an OL transfer from Rhode Island to immediately start at the crucial LT position.

    With that said, if you remove OL and special teams, the sum total of the rankings is pretty much equal, which is a bit of a head scratcher. I do disagree with our RB, LB, and DB rankings – all of those I’d have us higher – but I get it as well do to our youth and unproven talent.


    • Experience drives a lot of his rankings. That’s very apparent with his RB unit rankings.

      What I read there overall is that he expects Georgia’s offense to be one of the best in the country and that the defense may take a step back, at least early.

      I agree with you that he may be taking Georgia’s LBs a little lightly, especially if Patrick stays in Kirby’s good graces.


      • 3rdandGrantham

        Yep, “on paper” you certainly could make a case for any of our unit rankings to be in the top 10 (sans DL), but again we will have to let things play out a bit. I can’t put my finger on why I feel this way, but I think our O may not be quite as good as we anticipate this year, while our D will be better than expected.

        Oh, I never thought I’d see the day where we’d have a WR corps ranked in the top 10. We’ve typically had that one really good/great WR with serviceable others, but now we have multiple guys who really could be special. One thing is for sure, I wouldn’t want to be an opposing DC facing our talent.


      • Otto

        Agreed, and I have been a little concerned about RB production especially with Swift having an injury during the spring and Zeus coming off an ACL. He should be 100% but you never know. The new 2nd and 3rd string have not carried the weight of a ball game. UGA should be fine on paper but that is not a live game.

        The good news is the WRs look ready to take a step forward.

        UGA should be favored in every game in the regular season except possibly Auburn and their RB situation looks much worse than UGA’s. I would take the under on Auburn for this season, without a running QB they need the RBs to step up and I don’t think they have the powerful RBs they had last year.


    • And believe we just got an OL commit from Rhode Island, hopefully he better than the transfer.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Greg

      If I worry…and it is very little these days. It is about the DL, we do not seem to be reloading. Time will tell….but I still miss Rocker, thought he was a good one. But who knows what goes on behind closed doors.


  3. dawgfan

    It looks like Steele projects Alabama to have a bad ass defense and running game. What a surprise.


  4. Keese

    When was the last year his prognostication for Georgia’s offensive line matched up? Every year the opposite seems to play out

    Liked by 1 person

  5. DawgByte

    First off, I’d like to see a list of the 10 teams who have a better stable of RB’s than Georgia. My next observation is that we’re still in a sad state of affairs with our DL. Miss. St. has a better DL than Georgia? That ain’t right!


    • 3rdandGrantham

      Not sure what is going on with Tray Scott but his recruiting results have been poor at best thus far. Hell, he recently lost a recruiting battle to NCST. I know Kirby has personally gotten involved, and if things don’t turn around fast we might have a new DL coach next year.


  6. Tim B

    I don’t think losing two dls who went undrafted is a loss for our dl. They will be better than they were last year. Same at DB. At lb, I don’t think we lost as much at olb as we’re bringing back. I suspect Walker will be nearly the star that Roquan was but in a different way. That said, they will be good but but Roquan’s ability to play sideline to sideline is something you don’t replace. I am not convinced that our wrs will be “all that” until I see them actually get separation consistently. I also suspect that the OL will be good but will underperform expectations. He is low on the rb rankings if for no other reason that we are going to run the ball and someone is going to get a lot of yards carrying it.


  7. Greg

    “When you’re ranked ahead of Alabama in as many categories as Alabama’s ranked ahead of you, that’s pretty solid.

    Good point, totally missed than when I first looked at it.


  8. Cojones

    Agree with Dawg Byte in that I’d like to see the other 10 teams with RBs ranked ahead of us. I understand that Steele isn’t as into what little we have seen that forms our opinions, but, experienced or not, he’s wrong on this one category. There doesn’t seem to be any connection with other aspects of the running game like OL, QB, substantial blockers to open holes, etc that will make these RBs the best we have seen as a group in some time. By the time anyone figures how to stop any one runner, there’s Zeus and others awaiting their chance in the wings.


  9. Stoopnagle

    Re: Tua, Fromm, position ratings, and All-SEC:

    If anything, Steele loves to hedge his bets.


  10. DawgPhan

    So if Steele was wrong about last year a good bit, he was probably mostly wrong about the Special Teams and the OL. Seems like both of those units greatly out performed expectations.

    UGA looks like they could really be hell on wheels on offense though. I really hope that they lean into the offense this season. It should be the strongest part of the team.


  11. Chopdawg

    RB units ranked ahead of UGA in Steele’s mag:

    1 Stanford
    2 Alabama
    3 Ohio St
    4 Wisconsin
    5 Oklahoma
    6 Florida St
    7 Washington
    8 Clemson
    9 Florida Atlantic
    10 Boston College


  12. UGA '97

    So take last years average ranking of all units at 23.75 …this year 10.