Phil Steele’s 2012 returning starters

Steele has blessed us with his number crunching on how many starters return at every D-1 school this coming season.  And kleph was good enough to make a readable SEC chart, which looks like this:

Phil Steele’s SEC Returning Starters List
SEC Rank Natl. Rank School Offense Defense Special Teams Total
1 2 (tie) Tennessee 10* 8 2 20
2 (tie) 8 (tie) Auburn 7* 9 2 18
2 (tie) 8 (tie) Florida 7 10 1 18
2 (tie) 8 (tie) Vanderbilt 9* 7 2 18
5 20 (tie) Mississippi 8* 7 2 17
6 29 (tie) Texas A&M 9 6 1 16
7 (tie) 44 (tie) Arkansas 7* 6 2 15
7 (tie) 44 (tie) Georgia 6* 9 0 15
9 (tie) 64 (tie) LSU 7 5 2 14
9 (tie) 64 (tie) S. Carolina 7* 6 1 14
11 (tie) 81 (tie) Alabama 7* 4 2 13
11 (tie) 81 (tie) Kentucky 6* 6 1 13
11 (tie) 81 (tie) Miss. State 5 7 1 13
11 (tie) 81 (tie) Missouri 5* 6 2 13
* designates offenses with a returning quarterback

For comparison, you can find Steele’s list from 2011 here.

A few observations:

  • Overall, the conference looks much more experienced going into this season.  No 2012 SEC program ranks lower than 81st nationally.  Last year, Florida was 85th, South Carolina 93rd, Tennessee 96th and Auburn brought up the rear at #120.
  • Good news for James Franklin – Vanderbilt was 2011’s most experienced team and still ranks eighth nationally this season.
  • The Dawgs return two less starters this season than they did in 2011, but return two more starters on defense in 2012 than they did last year.
  • Tennessee goes from 96th in experience to second.  The Derek Dooley hot seat meme is called to order.
  • And VanGorder gets nine returning starters to break from every bad habit they learned under Ted Roof.
  • You think anybody in Tuscaloosa is seriously worried about no other SEC school having less starters returning?  Nah, me neither.


Filed under Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water, SEC Football

8 responses to “Phil Steele’s 2012 returning starters

  1. SouthGa Dawg

    Sometimes more starters returning means nothing, especially if the starters returning aren’t any good. What matters is getting the 11 best on the field every week – returning starters or not.


  2. Red Blackman

    “If you have everyone back from a team that lost ten games, experience isn’t too important.” – John McKay

    I am more concerned with beating ranked teams. If more or less returning starters provides us that opportunity, I’m all about it.

    I am kind of excited about Theus and Beard contributing early and often at a position of need. I have grown weary of missed blocks, false starts and a lack of effort from the offensive line as a unit. I have seen quite enough of them helping the running back off the ground behind the line of scrimmage. I hope every OL position becomes an open competition and the best kids play…….kinda like the other side of the ball. There are no returning starters from what I witnessed the last two games.

    I have also heard great things about Beard and Marshall’s work ethic.Marshall appears to be some sort of gym rat.

    Hard work and dedication from players and coaches will trump experience all day, every day.


  3. Sandfield Dawg

    Good Stuff!


  4. MT

    The two things I primarily see in this data:

    1) The ‘watch Missouri’ meme as a dangerous team may be a tad overblown. Having half of your D and O facing their first big game as starters against us isn’t as worrisome as we’ve been hearing so far this offseason.
    2) ‘Opportunity is Nowhere.’ The UT/young team excuse is gone. Either Dooley performs a huge turnaround, or by the end of October he better have the movers reserved. I’m not sure what his minimum expectations are for next year, but he has to be at least 4-4 by that date to not be run out of town


    • Macallanlover

      That TN team wasn’t so young and inexperienced by the time they faced down the mighty Kentucky Wildcats in the last game. SOD will not enjoy much success in Knoxville in 2012.


  5. Mike

    Interesting that only two teams return double figure starters on either side of the ball. And only six have nine or more.


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