Six SEC teams fit national championship criteria for 2013


For the older generation, Phil Steele is a trusted source and, really, an icon in the college football world. To a younger, digital-media-entrenched generation, Steele may not be as prominently known.

Nonetheless, Steele is a fair and balanced voice in the college football world, and every school has a press release for his preseason teams. He spends countless hours accruing data and information, putting it all in his print magazine that’s currently out on newsstands.

And Steele’s next compilation of data that’s strictly a numbers-driven approach tells him that 14 teams have national championship criteria for 2013, including six from the SEC in a list that includes Vanderbilt, via Phil Steele.

  • Alabama
  • Florida
  • Florida State
  • LSU
  • Michigan
  • North Carolina
  • Northwestern
  • Notre Dame
  • Ohio State
  • Oregon
  • South Carolina
  • Stanford
  • Texas A&M
  • Vanderbilt

You can read Steele’s basis for his long and drawn out method for coming up with these 14 teams here.

Georgia is the notable team missing. When we think of the ‘Big Six’ in the SEC, we think of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU, South Carolina and Texas A&M. But hats off to James Franklin for his continual rise in the SEC East and for putting the Dores on the map. The toughest thing for Franklin will be keeping Vandy at nine wins or better and fending off all those high-profile job offers that will come with more success.

The perception surrounding Georgia’s defense is they will be average at best. But last year’s defense was very average even with big names atop draft boards. The Bulldogs uncharacteristically finished 12th in run defense and 6th in total defense. 2013’s defense will not be worse than 2012’s, but I’m largely in the minority of that opinion.

Photo Credit: Jeremy Brevard-US PRESSWIRE



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  • That Northwestern-Vanderbilt game for the national championship will be quite the barn burner.

  • The majority also said that UGA’s defense would be top ranked last year. So let’s not ride with the majority.

  • I know Vandy’s done a great job, but look who they beat. Of their nine wins, only two were against teams with winning records. One was a one point win over 7-6 Ole Miss and the other was a two touchdown win against an ACC team, 7-6 NC State. They’re improving, but not ready to be included in a national championship discussion. I think Steele is being provocative by picking them and snubbing UGA. And it worked. We’re talking about him.

    • Nah. Its solely based on defensive returning starter numbers UGA for PS. Problem for Vandy is they still dont have the talent regardless of starters back to win the SEC outright. Underrated IMO is the loss in losing their starting QB.

  • Not to worry. 6 of the 14 have talent metrics that have never seen a BCS NCG and no new HC (Ducks) has taken a team to a NCG. Funny thing is after U take out those 7 teams, you still have 5 left from the SEC. Only teams that can hurt the SEC are the SEC. Only by beating up on themselves can one expect the SEC run of NCG appearances to end.

  • How sad is it that Vandy is rated above UGA. We will never win with CMR when will our fans see this????

    • Dawgs, you’re either a very sad human being or someone posing as a UGA fan. It is perfectly reasonable to think we may never win the MNC with Richt at the helm, but to use one “expert” opinion as evidence to support your position is beyond ridiculous. North Caroline and Northwestern are also “rated above UGA.” I’m not sure about much, but I’m POSITIVE neither of those schools, along with Vandy, will sniff a MNC over the next decade. Use your brain and stop embarrassing other UGA fans with that nonsensical whining.

  • Oregon will have the makeup for a run at a title but after the NCAA is done with them today, they probably will not see a bowl for a few years.

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