Steele on Georgia, 2020 edition

Steelemas came Saturday.

Screenshot_2020-07-20 Senator Blutarsky on Twitter My 2020 Steele Preview has arrived, so at least I can pretend for an aft[...]

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.

24 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water

24 responses to “Steele on Georgia, 2020 edition

  1. David K

    Our receivers room is loaded with talent that almost anyone would envy. Pickens, Blaylock, Demetrius plus the new crop coming in are all loaded with potential. They’re young but anyone who watches college football knows freshman and sophomore receivers can have huge impacts. We need a coach who knows how to use them. If Monken is that guy, I expect we’re a hell of a lot better than the 28th best receivers unit in the country.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sorry, but anyone who is buying Texas A&M is going to be sorely disappointed in the results at the end of the year. They have favorable East opponents with Vandy and USCe (in Columbia) and a joke of an OOC schedule with no Power 5 opponents but have to go to Bama and Auburn. Playing LSU at the end of the season will be no picnic. They will probably win 9 (assuming they can’t replace Colorado and the rest of the schedule stays in place), but it will be a Georgia 2015 type of season where people will think “who cares.”

    On Steele’s thoughts on Georgia, it’s the same narrative. Bama reloads. LSU reloads. Georgia has all of these losses that can’t be replaced. Does he really think the impact of losing a starting QB at Georgia roundly criticized as a game manager is going to be a bigger deal than at Bama and LSU where they both lost potential franchise type of players? Does anyone take into account that defense in this age of shortened prep time due to pandemic is going to be more valuable in 2020 than it has the last few years? If this Georgia defense gets to play, they are going to be hell on wheels.

    I know I’m looking through Bulldog red glasses, but this Georgia team is extremely talented.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Bigshot

    UGA has too many question marks to be that good this season, that is if they get to play at all. OL, QB, RB, Receivers are all big ?.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Other than Alabama, who legitimately has the talent to beat us straight up (i.e., without help from us) on our regular season schedule? Auburn? A big maybe.

      Is this team going to win a national title? Probably not because they’ll have to beat Bama twice to get to the playoff.

      If we play 12 games, this team will likely be 11-1 heading into a de facto national quarterfinal just as we have the last 3 years.

      Like

      • Russ

        In a normal year, I say we lose to Bama in Tuscaloosa early, then kick their ass convincingly in Atlanta to roll into the playoffs. I could see this assembly of talent winning the NC, but the virus won’t allow it.

        Like

        • Whenever, where ever, how ever…UGA really needs to get a W against the bammers, whether it be at their house, atl, backyard, parking lot

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          • bcdawg97

            My hope is that it being a regular season game rather than a playoff/championship setting will help us be more relaxed for lack of a better word. But agreed, gotta get the monkey off our back against them otherwise it becomes a mental thing.

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    • David K

      Everyone agrees they have lots of question marks but to say they won’t be good is ludicrous. It’s possible that what Conley did with our offense last year was malpractice. We don’t have to be last years LSU offense, just get us up to basic competancy and with the best defense in college football we’ll be hugely improved.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Bugshit

      The bridge is falling!
      The bridge is falling!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Now where’d I put that secret decoder ring?

    Also, does Phil admit how wrong he was about last year’s DAWG offense? I think he wrote that we’d average 38 points/game. I’d look that up, but my Steele from last year was destroyed when I dropped it in the ocean.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jack Burton

    Since Steele became an ESPN contributor his analyst has been lacking to say the least. He might still be the guy to unload a shitload of content but his prognostication over the entire season, and especially week to week on TV, is laughable at this point in his career.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. practicaldawg

    So there are 16 teams with a better OL? And 13 teams with better RBs? Ok.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Rocketdawg

    I know weighs returning starters/experience heavily especially at QB, but for the life of me I can’t understand the Texas A&M love. Mond is a mediocre QB at best, their defense was above average last year.

    If we have a conference only season with multiple weeks between games don’t be surprised if the Buttchuggers from Rocky Flop are the “surprise” team this year. Their first 22 are on par with everyone but us, Alabama, and LSU. It wouldn’t shock me if they blow out Florida this year (I’m almost certain they will beat them).

    As far as his assessment of UGA, I think it’s fair but slightly under selling the level of talent Kirby has stacked over the last several years. The Oline will be fine, if Newman is competent at QB we should be better on offense. Steele’s historical markers for units are usually pretty spot on (remember how the WR historical values for told last season’s struggles), however I think that our defense will be one to go against the grain. Generally when you have a dominant defense it is full of seniors and draft eligible juniors who are gone the next season. We did it with mostly underclass men and all of our draft eligible juniors returned.

    Like

  8. Carlton Thomas

    Can you share where he ranked LSU for the 2019 season?

    Like

    • Fourth in his Power Poll, one spot behind Georgia.

      Like

      • Carlton Thomas

        Damn. Makes me respect the TAMU call a bit more. I don’t remember thinking highly of LSU until they beat Alabama.

        “Yeah, but it’s Texas.”
        “Yeah, but close games against Florida/Auburn.”
        “They give up a ton of points.”

        Just hope we have football at this point.

        Like

  9. Corch Irvin Meyers, New USC Corch (2021)

    Well, considering how wrong he was about Coley’s offense and 2019 on the whole, it actually makes me a bit more excited about our prospects in 2020.

    Phil Steele is great, but he isn’t a prophet. Which is what I’m sure Floriduh ‘Turds are telling themselves as their team is ranked 13th! Hah! 😂

    Like

  10. Dude sucks. Glad he gets zero coin from me. Washed up has been that sold mags before the masses discovered the internet. Inconsistent year to year and take to take, never follows up on his annual wrongness. Never makes a bold yet true prediction. Hes talking about how he scored 4 TDs in the 70s when the rest of us can do our own roster evaluations with current resources. Paid ESPN shill.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. FlyingPeakDawg

    Well shit…FIRE KIRBY!!!11!1!!11

    Liked by 1 person