But quibbles are part of any subjective evaluation, particularly in the preseason.
Because Steele is so willing to dig deep -- it's not easy creating four teams -- it might be fun to see how all 12 conference teams stack up overall.
It might be illustrative to look at how many first- and second-team players each Pac-12 team has and how many players each team has overall from all of Steele's teams. So here's a look at how the position players stack up (Didn't include specialists).
1st & 2nd team/ All four teams
USC: 9, 15
Stanford: 10, 13
Oregon: 8, 11
Arizona State: 3, 10
UCLA: 5, 9
Oregon State: 4, 8
Washington: 4, 8
Arizona: 1, 6
California: 1, 5
Washington State: 1, 5
Utah: 1, 4
Colorado: 1, 2
What most stands out is USC. But USC nearly always looks good on a preseason list.
While some aren't sold on the Trojans as a top-25 team in 2013, there's no question the roster features plenty of talent. Yet the Trojans also benefit from being, well, the Trojans. Because so many of their players are former four- and five-star recruits, and USC plays in a major media market, we've heard of these guys. The same can't be said for smaller market Pac-12 teams.
These numbers back up, by the way, how most see the conference stacking up, maybe with USC as being -- dare we say it? -- a dark horse.
Stanford has the most first- and second-team guys with 10. It's second to USC with 13 overall. Oregon has eight first- and second-team guys and 11 overall. Then comes Arizona State (10 overall), UCLA (nine), Oregon State (eight) and Washington (8).
Including USC, those seven look like potential top-25 -- or higher -- teams.
Some other thoughts:
Oregon leads with four first-team guys on offense. Stanford leads with five first-team guys on defense. Anyone not expect that?
The first-team secondary is split between Oregon and Stanford, with the Ducks getting both CBs and the Cardinal manning the safety spots.
USC mopped up on the second and third teams, with six second-team and four third-team guys.
Arizona, Arizona State, UCLA and Washington each had three players on the fourth-team.
Stanford's defense placed eight guys over all four teams. Who was left off? CB Wayne Lyons, one of the most talented corners in the conference, DT David Parry and one outside linebacker spot, which has an "or" on the depth chart between Blake Lueders and James Vaughters. that's a pretty strong list of guys.