When it comes to football projections Phil Steele is a name everyone looks out for. Steele is one of the top names in the business and his list (along with Athlons) is the lists to be seen on before the season starts.
Steele released his annual season preview over a month ago. In order to build up some anticipation for the release, Steele has threw out his preseason top 30 for everyone to digest.
Why Steele does a top 30 rather than a top 25 is anyone’s guess. Perhaps those extra five teams create a little more debate. That extra slot though did allow one more SEC team to find their way onto Steele’s ranking, making a total of six schools from the conference getting this prized recognition.
Those six schools are:
It will come as no surprise at all the Alabama is the top SEC school – and the top school overall – in these rankings. Nick Saban’s squad as the second best team in the country last season (by one play) and they return far more than Clemson does in 2017.
One thing that has become noticeable is that while the top four teams in the country seem set in most polls. Everything after that has become a mess. You have to search hard to find a poll that doesn’t have Alabama, USC, Florida State, and Ohio State (in some order) as their top four picks. After that, it is anyone’s guess as to where teams find themselves.
Steele has Florida at No. 9, higher than almost any other poll out there. He also has Georgia at No. 22, which is lower than the mean which seems to have the Bulldogs at around the No. 15 mark. If Steele’s rankings play out then the Gators will have it all their own way in the SEC East this season.