(For shits and giggles, you can find how the AP finished out the 2021 season here.)
Three SEC teams in the top five, eh? And look at Oregon, last year’s number 22.
… can a coach dare to start a substandard walk-on at quarterback in a national championship game and still be acclaimed by some.
Coach Smart did an exceptional job building this team with top recruiting classes each year. Georgia has had some close calls and some “almosts” the past couple of years, with Alabama getting some late comeback wins to spoil their chances of winning it all.
2021 was a turbulent year in college football where an AP record 14 teams from the preseason Top 25 finished the year unranked. Every week, there were upsets across the college football landscape, with many of the powers suffering multiple loss seasons.
Coach Smart did an excellent job of having the Bulldogs dominant every week during the regular season, going a perfect 12-0 and winning their games by 33.8 points per game, and having the top defense in the country. After a loss in the SEC title game, Coach Smart got the Bulldogs to dominate Michigan in the semi-finals and finally get past their nemesis Alabama to win the national championship!
Hmph. I mean, what has he done for us lately? Steele needs to spend some time reading Georgia fans’ social media to get the real down low on Kirby’s shortcomings, I guess.
When I worked for ESPN full time, I put out a weekly article entitled the Vegas Power Ratings. I still have all the sources that I used to produce that article as it featured my plus/minus ratings which closely resemble Vegas’s numbers as well as three different casinos including the fine folks over at the Westgate Las Vegas Sportsbook @SuperBookSports. We are now four full weeks into the season and I will post these numbers weekly.
This is not the AP poll but gives you an idea of how much teams would be favored over another team if they met on a neutral field. I use these to get an idea of lines on upcoming games and it is very accurate in that respect.
Two things there. One, Auburn and Arkansas are basically a toss up for the casinos. Two, take the ratings spread between Georgia and Auburn, add back in something for homefield advantage and you’ve basically got this week’s point spread.
Honestly, the first thing I do when I get home with Steele’s Preview is check out where the Dawgs stand (or fall) in his top individual units rankings.
The good news is that Georgia is only one of two teams with all eight position groups finishing in the top twenty. (I won’t bore you by naming the other program, although it’s worth mentioning that Oklahoma just missed by finishing 22nd in special teams and Clemson was also 7 of 8, outside the top 63 in special teams.)
Here’s where each unit sits:
All in all, not too shabby.
Head to head, Alabama finished 5-3 against Georgia, but two of those units where ‘Bama ranked higher were back to back with the Dawgs. It’s close, in other words.
What do y’all think?
Here’s how Steele sizes up the SEC, by position group and coaching:
Aside from Mississippi State’s quarterback ranking, what really jumps out at me is how close Alabama and Georgia are. The former totals 17 points; the latter, 20. Just to give you an idea as to both how close and how dominant those two programs are, the next two programs each have the same number of points as ‘Bama and Georgia combined.
Okay, I picked up my 2021 Steele this weekend and it’s the usual pleasure for me. I’ll give you a few tidbits here and there over the next few days, but you should go out and grab it for yourself.
What I want to share in this post is probably my favorite thing in the magazine, at least so far.
One of the metrics he’s come up with he calls “Draft Day Party Hangover”. Quite simply, he assigns a value to every player that goes in the NFL draft (7 points in the first round, 6 points in the second, etc.) adds them up and ranks college programs in decreasing order of points. So you could say, and you would for sure if you’re a Florida Gator, that it’s a measure of player development in college.
You probably can guess where this is going.
It’s a good thing Mullen is such a great in game coach, I guess.
The 2021 preview mag hasn’t shown up yet at my nearby Barnes and Noble, but those who ordered it directly from Steele have been rewarded with delivery.
A couple of Dawg-related notes for you…
Dawgs247: “On Tuesday, college football analyst Phil Steele released his preseason All-SEC and All-American teams and several Georgia players made the cut. Four were named All-Americans, including a pair of first-team selections – offensive lineman Jamaree Salyer and punter Jake Camarda.” Jordan Davis made second team and Nakobe Dean made Steele’s fourth team.
Mike Griffith: “Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral — whose decommitment from USC four years ago opened the door for Daniels to determine he would reclassify and graduate early to play for the Trojans — was Steele’s choice for first-team preseason All-SEC quarterback.
All told, 12 Georgia players made Steele’s four all-SEC teams. (I probably don’t need to tell you which program had more selections.)
It’s an exercise he goes through every spring, and he’s been ten for ten the last three years. Here’s his prediction for the first top ten list of this season:
- Ohio State
- Texas A&M
- Notre Dame
- North Carolina
- Iowa State
Is ESPN’s coverage of Georgia’s opener going to be so over the top that it’s a turnoff? Asking for a friend…
When I worked for ESPN full time, I put out a weekly article entitled the Vegas Power Ratings. I still have all the sources that I used to produce that article as it featured my plus/minus ratings which closely resemble Vegas’s numbers as well as three different casinos including the fine folks over at the Westgate Las Vegas Sportsbook @SuperBookSports.
This is not the AP poll but gives you an idea of how much teams would be favored over another team if they met on a neutral field.