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Paging through the preview mags: Phil Steele's

Joe Cookby:Joe Cook07/09/24


One of print’s last strongholds is the college football preview magazine, light versions of encyclopedias on every Football Bowl Subdivision team. Each one claims to be the BEST or the MOST ACCURATE or the DEEPEST, and the amount of hard work that goes into each one is worthy of a salute for the role these magazines play in satiating the appetite of college football fans starving for morsels as the season gets closer and closer.

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Is there anything notable in these 200-plus page previews? Inside Texas will help determine that, today looking at Phil Steele’s.


On the cover

Power Poll

  1. Georgia
  2. Ohio State
  3. Oregon
  4. Texas
  5. Penn State
  6. Alabama
  7. Oklahoma
  8. Notre Dame
  9. Ole Miss
  10. Miami (Fla.)
  11. Utah
  12. Michigan
  13. Clemson
  14. Florida State
  15. Texas A&M
  16. Virginia Tech
  17. Oklahoma State
  18. Iowa
  19. Florida
  20. LSU
  21. SMU
  22. Missouri
  23. Louisville
  24. USC
  25. Wisconsin

In talking about the Longhorns, Steele says “the Longhorns are No. 4 in my Power Poll and only face the No. 36 toughest schedule. Texas is top 20 in all eight units, including the one that matters most, QB. They get Georgia at home and while they face Michigan in the Big House, the Wolverines are No. 117 on my Experience Chart and they play them week two. Texas has just three SEC road games and could end up favored in every game. They have gone from five to eight to 12 wins and a Playoff loss and the next step just might be to go all the way.”

Rankings, lists, otherwise

Toughest 2024 schedules: No. 36

Stat Projections

  • Rush offense: 182.9 ypg
  • Pass offense: 296.0 ypg
  • Scoring offense: 38.2 ppg
  • Rush defense: 93.6 ypg
  • Pass defense: 208.4 ypg
  • Scoring defense: 20.4 ppg
  • Yards differential: 176.8 ypg
  • Points differential: 17.8 ppg

Top Freshmen

Experience: No. 54 overall, No. 8 in the SEC.

Bear Market: Using his own metrics, Steele gave Texas a mark of -5.5 in his “Stock Market Indicator.” The SMI takes last season’s win total (12) and subtracts the average win total of the two years prior from it (6.5). Arizona had the worst in number in this metric at -7.0.

Toughest conference for 2024: SEC

NFL Draft rankings

Unit rankings

  • Quarterbacks: No. 1
  • Running backs: No. 10
  • Wide receivers (includes TE): No. 19
  • Offensive line: No. 2
  • Defensive line: No. 18
  • Linebackers (includes OLBs and Stars): No. 4
  • Defensive backs: No. 16
  • Special Teams: No. 2

All Americans and All-SEC

OT Kelvin Banks: second-team All-American, second-team All-SEC, No. 7 player eligible for the 2025 draft

K Bert Auburn: second-team All-American, second-team All-SEC

QB Quinn Ewers: fourth-team All-American, third-team All-SEC, No. 8 player eligible for the 2025 draft

RB CJ Baxter: second-team All-SEC

DE Ethan Burke: third-team All-SEC

LB Anthony Hill: third-team All-SEC

LB Jahdae Barron: third-team All-SEC (the magazine lists the Star position as a LB)

WR Isaiah Bond: fourth-team All-SEC

C Jake Majors: fourth-team All-SEC

OG Hayden Conner: fourth-team All-SEC

S Andrew Mukuba: fourth-team All-SEC

Projected starters

Conference picks

In Steele’s SEC Forecast, Texas is 1B to Georgia’s 1A: “Last year Texas had 16 returning starters (No. 22 on the experience chart), beat Bama on the road, and won its first Big 12 title since 2009. They lostto Washington in the Playoff. Texas did face the Big 12’s toughest schedule last year and have 15 returning starters including QB Ewers. The Longhorns do travel to Michigan and College Station and play the Red River Rivalry, but get Georgia at Home and avoid Bama… Texas went from five wins to eight to making the playoff and now are poised to take the next step.”

For more information on how to order Phil Steele’s ’24 College Football Preview, click here.

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