Big-time players have gone from SEC schools around the country. The SEC Football Blog outlines which players are going to be missed the most….

SEC West

Alabama

Let’s get this straight first and foremost, the loss of most of their defense isn’t going to make life as easy for the Crimson Tide in 2012 and it was in 2011, but the big loss is running back, Heisman contender and bulldozer Trent Richardson, who destroyed the opposition week in, week out. Sure, Ed Lacy’s going to be good – but we’re going to give him a year to be Trent-good, if that’s at all possible.

Arkansas 

First of all, let us say that the biggest loss isn’t going to be on the field at all – it’s going to be with coach Bobby Petrino, who’s an offensive mastermind. If he’d managed to keep his growling motor in his pants, then Arkansas could be a divisional contender this year. But on the field, wide receiver Joe Adams, who burnt a lot of Ds last year with his pace – and great hands – is going to be longed-for by Tyler Wilson….however much he’s got Knile Davis back.

Auburn 

Running back Michael Dyer was about the only exciting thing to talk about in the Auburn offence last year, but through every fault of his own (and if you browse the news articles, you’ll see why), he’s gone from the Tigers and transferred to Arkansas State, where he’ll start in 2014 (maybe). The kid broke Bo Jackson’s freshman running record in 2010, and ran for over 1,000 in 2011. The loss will be massive for the Tigers, who struggled to get anything together of note in 2012.

LSU 

Here’s who the Tigers AREN’T going to miss: Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson, who were pretty ordinary in their time in purple, white and gold. But the Tigers defense was exceptional last year (yes, Alabama fans, until the National Championship Game). Although the blow of losing him has been softened by the exceptional play of Tyrann Mathieu and Eric Reid, Morris Claiborne was a real playmaker this year – and 2012 will give quarterbacks some (slight) relief.

Ole Miss

This is going to sound stupid, but the Rebels return 12 players from the abysmal team of 2011, so they can only hope that the reverse happens in 2012 (in other words, some players actually appear). Mean? Sorry, Dixie.

Mississippi State 

Running back Vick Ballard took a lot of the offensive load for the Bulldogs last season, and the New York Giants thought he was so good that they gobbled him up. Now that the home run threat’s gone for the Cowbell-ringers, could things be a little harder for the maroon and white?

Texas A&M

We hate to say this (bearing in mind how much we’ve slaughtered the Miami Dolphins for drafting him), but the Aggies are really going to miss Ryan Tannehill. Despite his knack of throwing the INT, Tannehill was in a Heisman conversation once in a while this season, because of his great arm and his movement out of the pocket.

 

SEC East

 

Florida 

Even the most hardened Gator fan can’t deny that running back Jeff Demps’ decision to leave Gainseville for an athletics career (he didn’t make the Olympic team, which now looks a little stupid) is going to leave a huge hole in Will Muschamp’s offense and special teams game. If you wanted speed, Demps had it in buckets, destroying opponents as a running back AND a punt/kick-off returner.

Georgia

Tight end Orson Charles is going to the NFL, and for good reason – he was excellent throughout his career for the Dawgs. His productivity increased each year for the Bulldogs as Mark Richt used him as a received weapon more and more, and the fact that Aaron Murray didn’t leave with his leg broken this season means he was a good blocker, too!

Kentucky

Kentucky might have been quite an ordinary team, but safety Winston Guy was an extraordinary player for the Wildcats (he’s now playing for Pete Carroll in Seattle), playing all four years where he amassed nearly 300 tackles, of which about 150 of them were solo ones. He also had 5 INTs. Will the Wildcats be able to survive without him (and departed linebacker Danny Trevathan)? We don’t think so. And this ISN’T something you can pin on Joker Phillips.

  Missouri

While Jerrell Jackson and Wes Kemp may make some points for themselves and potential missing links for the Tigers, we’re going to go with linebacker Luke Lambert, who was fantastic (when he played) for Gary Pinkel’s defense. As Mizzou are going to find out in September, they will need a good tackler against the SEC!

South Carolina

Yes, we know that wide receiver Alshon Jeffrey’s going to be missed for the offense, but cornerback Stephon Gilmore is going to be a big, big loss for the Gamecocks secondary – even though defensive end Jadeveon Clowney will be doing his best to stop any throws going anywhere by eating QBs alive! In his last two years as a Gamecock, he had seven INTs, 125 tackles and 9 PassDefs. He will be missed in Columbia more than you can imagine.

Tennessee

Running back Tauren Poole was ‘Mr Reliable’ for the Vols, putting up a 1,000 yard season in 2010 (when Tennessee’s offensive line was good) and a 700-yard season in 2011 (when Tennessee’s offensive line was young). Although offense-wise Tyler Bray will be able to pick up some of the slack with his arm (and Justin Hunter’s hands), and the offensive line will be better, Poole’s as a part of the running game is something they would have loved to have seen back in Knoxville. Instead, Carolina Panthers fans can enjoy him!

Vanderbilt

Everyone’s talking about the Commodores to be a pretty good team in 2012 (and certainly in 2013 with James Franklin’s excellent recruiting), but they are going to have to go without Tim Fugger, the excellent linebacker who was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts. He was seventh in the SEC in tackles for loss, ninth in the SEC in sacks, and in his career, third in the SEC in forced fumbles.

 

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