Last week, I went over the Lindy's preseason magazine picks for the SEC. Well, I've found some advance information on the king of the preseason magazine, Phil Steele.
Robbie Andreu of the Gainesville Sun was listening to Colin Cowherd's radio show, and he mentioned that Cowherd had a pre-release copy of Steele's yearly dissertation. He wrote down Steele's top eleven teams, even though the magazine doesn't hit newsstands until June 9.
The generally most accurate preseason prognosticator has Florida No. 1, Ole Miss No. 6, and Alabama No. 8. The story is apparently that Ole Miss will take the SEC West, while Florida will "barely [beat] Georgia for the East." Obviously, Steele must have a higher opinion of the Bulldogs than most people who have them as a distant second.
As of yesterday evening when I wrote this, Steele had also revealed his picks of Arkansas at No. 33 and Tennessee at No. 39. The highest ranked team that he had revealed was No. 23 Pitt, so that means Georgia, and I would presume LSU as well, are somewhere between Nos. 11 and 23.
Steele has South Carolina tabbed for fourth in the East, so that means he has five SEC teams in his preseason top 25. It also means he doesn't think the Gamecocks are going to be as good as Tennessee or apparently Arkansas. I might need to have a word with him about that.
Thanks to Alan from Over the Pylon, I can now report to you that the guy that Orson Swindle affectionately calls "Skynet" has Georgia at No. 13 and LSU at No. 17.
The rationale? Mark Richt does his best work when the expectations aren't high (not sure how much I agree), and LSU will be a victim of its difficult schedule (more plausible). Of course it's June right now, so anything is possible.