I finally picked up my copy of Phil Steele's preseason magazine yesterday. Last time I took a look at the 323 pages that are JAMPACKED WITH INFORMATION, I reported on the order of SEC teams in his top 40. However, his top 40 is a guess as to how teams will end up at the end of the year, not his feeling of the quality of the teams.
His power poll is where he orders teams by how good he believes them to be, regardless of how many wins their schedules might allow. With that in mind, here is how he ranks the conference's teams:
5. Ole Miss
51. South Carolina
78. Mississippi State
Steele appears to be pretty high on the league in general, which jives with his pick of the SEC as the nation's top conference in 2009. That is the highest I've seen anyone put Georgia, and he once again has four conference teams in the top 10 (LSU is No. 17 in his top 40).
Despite Steele's rep as the being the publisher of the most accurate magazine (and the rankings do back that up), he does have some head scratchers. For instance, he's got Notre Dame in both of his top tens. I could maybe see having them in the top 40, given their light weight schedule, but not in the top ten of quality. He also has Cal as No. 10 in his quality rankings. I know Jahvid Best is really good and the real deal and all, but it takes more than one guy to be worth the tenth overall rating.
As I've had it for less than a day, I've only just scratched the surface on this monumental magazine. Anyone else found something really interesting in the Steele mag this year? Disagree with any of his analysis. Let us know in the comments.