Steelemas came Saturday.
After I got it, I spent the first hour doing what I do every year: figuring out his take on the Dawgs.
His 2020 Preview isn’t too high on Georgia’s prospects. He does favor UGA to win the SEC East, but his preseason Top 40 has Georgia sixth, behind two SEC teams, Alabama (natch) and Texas A&M (!). His Power Poll has Georgia seventh, behind those two SEC teams and LSU.
There are several reasons I gleaned for that.
- Georgia finished fourth-highest in his NFL Draft Day Party rankings, although five of the top six teams are from the SEC. Georgia’s score translates into an 82% chance of the same or weaker record.
- Georgia finished 2019 with three net close wins. Less than 15% of teams with three improve their records in the following season.
- Defensive yards per play in 2019 was 21.9. 83% of teams that hit that number have the same or weaker records the following season.
- Georgia dropped from 36th to 120th on his Experience Chart.
- Concerns about the offensive line, noting the coaching change and only three returning starters.
- He projects almost no improvement on the offensive side of the ball, with points per game increasing just slightly to 31.2.
His national unit rankings are revealing.
- Quarterback: 16 (ranking doesn’t include Daniels, so you have to think it’s higher now)
- Running back: 14
- Receivers: 28
- O-line: 17
- D-line: 5
- Linebackers: 1
- Secondary: 4
- Special teams: 43
There’s only one Georgia player on his four All-America teams, Richard LeCounte at second team safety. LeCounte is also the only Georgia player he lists at first team All-SEC. There are 12 Dawgs total on his four All-SEC teams. (By comparison, Alabama has nine on his first team alone.)
In conference unit rankings, Georgia is in a six-way tie for first at quarterback, which, if you think about it, is a great way to show how mediocre the conference picture is at that position. Georgia is also first at defensive line and linebacker. Its lowest ranking, sixth, is at special teams.
If there’s one puzzling thing, it’s how little mention he makes of the change at offensive coordinator. He cites Monken’s resume, but that’s it.
It’s not a bad picture overall, but considering that Georgia was third in his 2019 Power Poll, it does come off as something of a let down.