Since it’s all about Phil Steele this week (Rivals subscribers can check out a more focused look at Georgia by Steele that can be summed up as "Georgia is undervalued"), here’s a look at how well he’s done pegging the Dawgs during the Richt years versus the consensus (numbers courtesy of Chris Stassen’s invaluable site). Of course Steele (and most everyone else) makes his predictions before many of the developments (injuries or otherwise) leading up to the season take place, so attribute the results to serendipity or skill as you like. I love his preseason annual, and his track record speaks for itself.
If there’s anything resembling a trend, it’s that it took a few years for Steele to jump on the Richtwagon. No problem there…a lot of our own fans had the same issue. Of the three times he’s varied significantly from the consensus on Georgia, 2008 was the only time he came out ahead.
Just for thought…what does it mean when Steele has mostly praise for Georgia and Richt, thinks Georgia will be better than most expect, yet predicts a finish at #13 that would be below the median for Richt’s teams? Have the (national) expectations fallen that far? We’ll find out as the consensus builds, but Athlon ranking Georgia at #14 isn’t exactly a sign that Steele’s going to be the outlying contrarian this year when it comes to the Bulldogs.