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.
- Florida State
- North Carolina
- Notre Dame
- Ohio State
- South Carolina
- Texas A&M
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.
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