Mark Bradley

Mark Bradley is a sports columnist and blogger for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Phil Steele: UGA could 'shock the nation' in 2014

In that backpack is a copy of Phil Steele's yearbook. (Jason Getz/AJC)

Phil Steele's college football yearbook includes abbreviations that make your head spin -- "LY" stands for "last year" -- and more information than any human can process. The yearbook isn't on stands yet -- it arrives Tuesday, though a digital version is available now through an iTunes app -- and we know from a Steele post on ESPN Insider that Georgia won't crack his preseason top five. ( That five: Florida State, Alabama, Ohio State, Oklahoma and UCLA. )

But another ESPN Insider post informs us that Steele isn't short-selling the Bulldogs. On the contrary, he lists them No. 1 among his top 10 surprise teams for 2014 . He writes:

Last season, they had just three returning starters on defense, and, as you would expect, the inexperienced unit allowed 29 points per game. This season they have eight returning starters, led by a linebacking corps that I rank No. 1 in the country. In 2013, they played Clemson and South Carolina in back-to-back weeks but have a bye between them this time. I really like new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt's attitude on defense, and keep in mind he has coached on the past three national championship teams (Alabama 2011 and 2012, Florida State 2013) and could make it four in a row here.

Got that? Ol' Phil is suggesting that Georgia might just WIN THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP. And before you laugh/scoff/label-him-a-moron, note this: Steele's No. 1 surprise team for 2013 was ...

Florida State.

Further reading: Oh, the idiocy! Our annual college football picks are here!

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About the Author

Mark Bradley is a sports columnist and blogger for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He has been with the AJC since 1984.