Familiar faces

Phil Steele’s compiled his 2014 returning starters list, which you can see here.  It’s easy to read too much into this, but there are still a few SEC-related items worth noting.

  • For one, the SEC looks to have plenty of old faces back this season, as nine of its teams are in Steele’s top fifty.
  • Georgia is the only school in the conference to return as many as ten starters on one side of the ball.
  • By comparison, Missouri brings back nine starters total.
  • Tennessee has no returning starters on either of its lines.  That’s no as in zero.  Good luck with that, Butch.
  • Texas A&M, however, brings back four starters on each line.  That won’t make up for losing Johnny Football, but it’s not a bad place to start.

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36 Comments

Filed under Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water, SEC Football

36 responses to “Familiar faces

  1. Lorenzo Dawgriguez

    Line starters are, as Joe Biden might say, a big *&^%$#@ deal. Good luck wif dat, Butch Jones. Maybe some of his 65 + recruits from this year can step right in due to that wonderful coaching them up staff in Obknoxville.

  2. Timphd

    Should we count the fact there are only two returning starters on our O line as a plus or minus?

  3. HVL Dawg

    And, “Good luck with that Butch” as in go to hell big orange.

  4. Brent Henry

    I count three receivers coming back; Bennett, Mitchell, JSW

    • Dawgaholic

      Not sure what math he did to come up with us losing 6 offensive starters – I count 5 – AM, Lynch, and three linemen. I thought our top 4 receivers were Mitchell, Bennett, Conley, and JSW – not that the receivers we lose won’t hurt.

      • Georgia’s base formation is an I-set with a TE and FB. Only two WRs in that set.

        • Dawgaholic

          Exactly, so why in the world would he count us as losing a WR when our top 4 come back. Our FBs come back too – I did not mention them as I don’t see how they could be counted as we did not start anyone all year at FB that is not returning.

          • One of our FB may not be playing FB this season.

            • Dawgoholic

              As of now, nothing is official and all of our FBs are returning starters. I think Phil Steele just messed up.

              I think the returning starters thing is overblown anyway. It only really matters in the extremes – teams that are top twenty and have 18 plus returning and teams that have less than 12. I’m not even sure that UT’s losses will make them any worse. They weren’t very good last year.

              • Oh I beg to differ sir. Your undervalued uT took Georgia to over time and cut our personal to pieces. From the first whistle they were in our grill. They gave the OBC his 2nd and final loss of his 2013 ampaign March to a much envied SECC game. THEY graduated that O and D line. Elvis has left the building. They will do no better than yet another 5-7. 6-6 if they can squeak by Vandy sans their bean in Franklin.

  5. sUGArdaddy

    Butch is going to have trouble. If you looked at their depth chart this year, you saw it. They lost the whole OL, they lost 6 of their front 7 on defense and one more DB. They lost Rajon Neal, who was a respectable back.

    They have no QB and go to Auburn, Athens and South Carolina. They’ve got some young WRs, but they could be flat bad/worse next year.

    • RocketDawg

      Losing Murray is going to hurt, you just don’t replace one of the greatest QB’s in the history of the SEC and arguably the best QB ever at UGA without feeling it to a degree. What is encouraging is that the O lineman that will play next year all saw some snaps this year (and quite honestly I don’t know that it will be that big of a drop off). We get Marshall, Mitchell, JSW, and Rome back from injury and add Michel and Chubb in the backfield. I think we will score enough to win.

      On defense you have a lot of experience and if the new staff can simplify things I feel good about the defense at least being serviceable (and hopefully really good). We get Reggie Wilkerson who had won a starting CB job in the spring before tearing an ACL, Trammel Terry (ACL in HS All Star Game) at S, and hopefully a healthy Tray Matthews to go along with Shaq Wiggins and Swann who should have a better year. There is talent on the defense if we can just get them in the right spots to make plays.

    • AlphaDawg

      If Butch can match last years record this year, he deserves COTY. Its gonna be bad…

  6. Bright Idea

    Missouri QB Mauck worries me. He looks good enough to carry that team a ways. I think he was better than the starter Franklin.

    • Macallanlover

      Agree, he looked pretty darn good after getting a couple of games under his belt. I feel better that they lose those 2 monster DEs, a top CB, WR Washington, and Josey at RB. Could be tough since it is in Columbia but should be a competitive fight. Our OL and, naturally, the question at QB could give us a bigger edge but I am remaining neutral on those until I see some proof of life.

      • Russ

        I think Dorial Green-Beckham only has 5 more strikes left. If he gets caught with dope 5 more times he has to miss a game. So there’s that.

        • Macallanlover

          DGB is a smooth receiver for sure, mostly dangerous because of his height but Washington was the best receiver on last year’s team, imo. This will probably be DGB’s last amateur season so he will need to go all out to get the draft status up to match his recruiting ranking, so far he has been less than advertised. Would suit me if his behavior caused him to sit out our game in Columbia, it not, it will be a good test for our new secondary coach.

  7. Fun fact: Georgia Southern ranked at 13 with a returning QB and The Nerds ranked at 100 with no returning qb. This will be fun to watch.

  8. No shots at the Gators returning 14, at least one at every position? I’m disappointed in you all.

    • Russ

      The gators weren’t as bad as their record indicated last year, nor were they as good as their record the year before. I think they’re an 8-4 team if they get good QB play. However Boom is going to be tight even by his over-caffienated standard so that will affect the team.

  9. Will Trane

    The keys to the ignition are it. Those teams returning a starting QB with several quality starts are important. Mississippi State, Auburn, and etc. Hutson Mason has 2.5 starts. First halves have not been good for him. Slow out of the gate. Those ACLs are deemed non-starters for me. Way down the depth chart.

    • There were games I thought Murray was slow out of the gate or very tight. Bobo seemed to smooth him out. Mason has to get game ready in a hurry. I think he has the chops for it.

      • AlphaDawg

        I always thought the opposite. Bobo, starts conservative then loosens the reigns as the game progresses. I worry about those early games. MR/MB always seem to spoon feed the game plan to the QBs early in the season.

        • IveyLeaguer

          Great point.

          I worry about those early games.

          Me and you both. Especially the first one. Our offense has never played a solid first game against a good opponent under Bobo. In contrast, our offense never failed to play a solid first game against a good opponent under Richt.

          There’ll be a number of key factors for the Clemson game, and almost all the attention and concern will be on Georgia’s defense.

          But there’ll be no bigger key to this game, recognized or no, than whether Georgia’s offense can do two things .. 1) click, which means function. i.e., drive the ball, and 2) play solid and not beat themselves.

          That’s what we’ll need them to do, and if it happens it’ll be a first for a Bobo offense.
          ~~~

          • RocketDawg

            Ummm…..2007 Oklahoma St? Looked pretty good in that one.

            • IveyLeaguer

              IIRC, Okie St. wasn’t good (competitive) that year. Their defense was terrible. Finished 6-6, I think.
              ~~~

          • Our offense has never played a solid first game against a good opponent under Bobo.

            545 yards against Clemson with Mitchell out and Gurley missing over a quarter wasn’t “solid”? Man, tough crowd.

            • IveyLeaguer

              “Solid” has nothing to do with yards of offense. That’s function, which in this game, wasn’t bad. Good, inf act, for a Bobo opener.

              Without going back, I forget the details, but seem to remember lots of false starts that killed drives and put Clemson back on the field, a needless interception .. things like that. Just mentally not solid.

              Add it all up and no, that’s not a solid performance at all. It was enough to make a difference in the outcome of the game, IIRC.

              FWIW, at the other end of the functional spectrum for offense is the Vanderbilt game which, though lacking in production, still functioned well enough to win the game, had we played mentally solid. Instead, we gave the thing away.
              ~~~

          • “Our offense has never played a solid first game against a good opponent under Bobo.”

            Wow. That bears some scrutiny good sir. I will be as benevolent as you.

            • IveyLeaguer

              Sure, go take a look. And look at Richt’s openers against good teams as well .. there were 2 or 3, I think.

      • IveyLeaguer

        Agree with your point about Murray. Often it took an entire half, especially in big games. Bobo would calm him down at the half.
        ~~~

  10. Mayor of Dawgtown

    You asked “anything else,” Senator? Mississippi State returns 16 starters, 8 on D and 8 on O. Their QB is the most versitile returning QB in the West. Their games against East foes are Vandy (in Starkville) and Kentucky. They also get Arkansas, Auburn and aTm at home. Are they going to beat Bama and LSU? Not likely. But it may be a weird year in the West next season with weakened Bama and LSU, plus an Auburn that won’t catch the rest of the league asleep. I see one of those years where everybody in the West beats everybody else in the West. If the Bulldog Imposters can get to 6 conference wins they likely end up in the SECCG. 5 wins may do it a la South Carolina in ’09. But they have to beat Auburn and aTm who, in turn, each have to beat Bama and LSU.