Let's take a look at the returning offensive statstics for SEC Offenses to see who will have the best chance to pick up where they left off and who will be re-tooling the most in 2011.
% Yardage Returning
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*TPY= 2010 total passing yards
*RPY= Passing Yards from 2010 for players returning in 2011
Despite losing big names like Cam Newton, Ryan Mallett, Mike Harline, Jeremiah Masoli and Greg McElroy the SEC has a lot of returning QBs. The top 4 contenders in the SEC East return 100% of their QB passing yardage from last year. Some of this might be deceptive though as 100% of returning yardage at Florida or LSU is not on as stable ground as that of Georgia or Mississippi State right now. Also, teams like Alabama and Arkansas have big talent waiting in the wings to take over for their teams.
% Yardage Returning
*TRY= 2010 Total Rushing Yards
*RRY= Rushing Yards from 2010 for players returning in 2011
Once again Auburn, Alabama, Kentucky, LSU and Ole Miss are the bottom 5 teams in the Conference but RB is a lot easier, generally speaking, to replace than is a starting QB. Overall, the conference looks strong in this metric. This stat can be misleading, just because Georgia brings back 93% of their rushing yardage from last year it doesn't mean that they are satisfied with their returnees (one would have to guess the same is the case at Florida). Despite bringing back both Michael Dyer and Ontario McCalebb it's surprising to look at Auburn and see just how much Cam Newton meant to Auburn's total offense.
% Receptions Returning
*TotRec= Total 2010 Receptions
*RetRec= Receptions from 2010 for players returning in 2011
Auburn and Kentucky are in the bottom 3 in all 3 categories. That means major re-tooling. Auburn is closer to re-stocking than is Kentucky but for those with dreams of a re-peat you might want to re-adjust your dreams/expectations. Mississippi State looks strong across the board with receptions being their lowest returning percentage at 88%. Florida also is a top 5 team in every category, the question for them is are they returning the right people and how quickly can they adjust to what Weis and Muschamp want to do.
RETURNING OFFENSIVE FIREPOWER RANKING:
Taking into account the three metrics above (passing yards returning, rushing yards returning and receptions returning) I have compiled a "firepower" ranking which tells us which teams have the most offensive statistics returning from last year. What does this mean? I think it means different things for different teams but for consistency sake it means a lot for teams that have guys coming back. This is an interesting tool to use in conjunction with who teams having coming to challenge for playing time.
1. Mississippi State
2. South Carolina
8. Ole Miss
Editor's Note: I had to break tie-breakers between Florida/South Carolina and between Georgia/Arkansas/Vanderbilt as those teams were tied for their positions. I did so based on the quality I felt was coming back. I gave the Gamecocks the tie breaker because of Lattimore and Jeffrey and I gave Georgia the tie-breaker because of QB returning.