About Those Phil Steele Predictions …
… THEY WERE EVERY BIT AS GOOD AS ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE FOOTBALL LAST WEEKEND
Last week a friend of ours forwarded us one of those ESPN articles that you have to pay $7.95 per month (or $40 per year) if you want to read in its entirety. The article was entitled “ACC Will Top SEC This Weekend” and it was written by Phil Steele, a “highly respected prognosticator” who publishes one of those annual college football preview magazines.
Fortunately, someone who paid $7.95 per month (or $40 per year) to subscribe to ESPN “Insider” copied and pasted this article to a Clemson University fan forum, from which several salient points were gleaned.
“The ACC will get the best of the SEC this weekend,” Steele predicted.
Regarding No. 4 Florida’s matchup against tenth-ranked Florida State, Steele observed that “despite the fact the Gators are ranked higher and have the strength of schedule edge, the Seminoles have huge advantages here and they start on the offensive side of the ball.”
“Even if Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel returns at full strength, the Gators are just too one-dimensional to keep this one close as the Noles, who have won the past two games in the series by a combined 52-14, make it three straight here,” he predicted.
Regarding No. 12 South Carolina’s showdown against No. 11 Clemson, Steele once again bet on the ACC – picking Clemson to end a three-game losing skid against their arch-rivals from Columbia, S.C.
“I think the Tigers end the streak in a big way this year,” he wrote, noting that “there may be no hotter team in the country right now than the Tigers, winners of seven consecutive games.”
Um yeah … against Boston College, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Duke, Maryland and N.C. State.
Nonetheless, Steele predicted that Clemson would get “triple revenge” on USC and stake its claim for “an at large BCS berth.”
Finally, Steele warned that the unranked Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets – who entered last weekend’s rivalry weekend against No. 3 Georgia with a 6-5 record – were a “dangerous two-touchdown underdog” against the 10-1 Bulldogs.
“While I think the Bulldogs may pull it out in the end, it would not shock me one bit to see a huge upset here,” Steele predicted.
How did those predictions pan out? Ouch … ouch … and ehhhhhh.
Florida beat FSU 37-26, South Carolina outlasted Clemson 27-17 and Georgia pummeled Georgia Tech 42-10. Meanwhile Vanderbilt … yes, Vanderbilt … put an exclamation point on its most successful season in recent memory by throttling Wake Forest 55-21, giving the SEC a perfect 4-0 record against the ACC last weekend.
Looks like when it comes to sports prognostication, you might consider betting on our founding editor instead of Steele.
Besides … he won’t charge you $7.95 a month (or $40 a year). All you have to do is sign up for his Twitter feed (hashtag #FITSpick).