Category Archives: Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water

Steelemas comes but once a year.

Bought my 2015 Steele this past Friday.  It remains one of the unalloyed pleasures of my CFB offseason.  I follow a certain ritual once I get home with it:  read the Georgia preview first, then look at the individual unit ratings, then the statistical ratings/analysis, then, gradually, the rest of the team reviews (starting with the SEC, of course).

My favorite thing from the magazine are the little factoids he spices throughout the read.  I’ll share a few of those with you today.  But I want to start with what I think is the most remarkable aspect of this year’s model.  I’ve bought his preview for over a decade, and I can’t recall a year where he’s been so overwhelmingly positive about a school’s prospects as he is about Ohio State’s this season.  Check out these national unit ratings:

  • Quarterbacks. 1st
  • Running backs. 2nd
  • Receivers. 8th
  • Offensive line. 4th
  • Defensive line. 3rd
  • Linebackers. 2nd
  • Defensive backs. 3rd.

The only OSU group which doesn’t crack his top ten is special teams.  There, the Buckeyes rank 12th.  That’s ridiculous.  (For comparison purposes, Georgia ranks in the top ten in three categories, running backs (#1!), offensive line and linebackers, and doesn’t even crack Steele’s top 45 in quarterbacks.)

Throw in the 45th-ranked schedule, and you can see why Steele’s basically telling everyone in Columbus to go ahead and book hotel rooms in Glendale.

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Close, but no ceegar

Steele has Georgia playing Baylor in the Sugar Bowl, which implies a Dawgs’ loss in the SECCG to Alabama.

Would you be satisfied with that?

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UPDATE:  That would be consistent with this.

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R U experienced?

Georgia manages an unimpressive 102nd on Phil Steele’s list of 2015 % of Lettermen Returning.

It could be worse.  Like it is in Florida’s case.

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Phil Steele’s All-SEC teams

We’ve turned the calendar page to June and that means Steele’s publication is about to make its 2015 appearance.  To whet our appetites, he’s released his list of annual preseason All-SEC teams.

I knew if I waiting long enough, somebody else would do my heavy lifting for me, and, sure enough, here’s David Wunderlich to the rescue:

Team First Team Second Team Third Team Fourth Team Score
Alabama 5 3 1 3 34
Auburn 3 6 1 1 33
Ole Miss 4 1 3 1 26
Georgia 4 1 2 2 25
LSU 2 3 1 4 23
Texas A&M 1 1 4 2 17
Arkansas 0 3 3 0 15
Florida 2 2 0 1 15
Missouri 0 2 2 4 14
Tennessee 0 1 5 1 14
Mississippi State 2 1 1 0 13
South Carolina 1 0 1 1 7
Kentucky 0 0 0 3 3
Vanderbilt 0 0 0 1 1

I never agree with all of Steele’s picks on an individual basis, and this year’s hardly an exception.  (The quarterbacks after Prescott are a crap shoot, admittedly, but Mauk at fourth seems like a bit of a stretch.  And haven’t we been waiting for OJ Howard to emerge as The Next Great SEC TE for a couple of years now?)  But as an overall assessment of relative talent across the conference, I can’t say I find his results too out of whack.

Which doesn’t bode well for Steve Spurrier, does it?

And speaking of the East, if you go by Steele’s assessments, it’s hard to see Georgia as less than anything but the favorite to win the division.  That’s a pretty sizeable gap there between the Dawgs and the next highest team, Florida.

As for what he’s got with Georgia, it’s clear he’s really high on Greg Pyke, who I thought finished last season as Georgia’s best offensive lineman.  I probably would flip Sanders and Mauger from where he places them, and I can’t help but think Lorenzo Carter might be a little low at third team.  The guy with the most upside is Malcolm Mitchell, but with his injury history, he’s a real boom or bust pick, so fourth team is probably a safe place to park him for now.

Conference wise, if things are shaky at QB, they’re anything but at running back.  That’s a ridiculous list of talent at that position.

And the one area where I think Steele’s kind of mailed it in?  Defensive back, where three members of Alabama’s weak spot on defense made his top four teams.  The conference as a whole isn’t that weak in the secondary, so that strikes me as a little bit of a lean on Saban there.

What do y’all see there?

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Phil Steele All-American teams

Here’s the list of his top four teams for 2015.  If you’re too lazy to do the counting, there are a total of five Georgia players on them.

Sophomore running back Nick Chubb was named to Steele’s 1st Team on Offense, while junior offensive guard Greg Pyke was named to the 3rd Team.

On defense, sophomore Leonard Floyd was named to the 1st team and senior linebacker Jordan Jenkins was named to the 4th team.

Sophomore Isaiah McKenzie was named to the 2nd Team on Special Teams.

For comparison, there are seven from Alabama listed by Steele.

I’ll have more on Steele’s list later on, as I’m a little swamped this morning, but figure this is a good place to start a discussion.

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“Last year seemed like a very disappointing year for Georgia and yet it still finished at No. 9.”

And with that, Phil Steele places Georgia tenth in his 2015 projected AP preseason Top 25.

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Sunday afternoon buffet

Eh, why not?

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Filed under Georgia Football, It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant, Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water, Recruiting, SEC Football, The Body Is A Temple