College Football Analysis: Returning SEC Offensive Firepower

| by

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.

Passing TPY RPY % Yardage Returning
South Carolina 3338 3338 100.00%
Tennessee 3309 3309 100.00%
Georgia 3151 3151 100.00%
Mississippi State 2411 2411 100.00%
Florida 2396 2396 100.00%
LSU 2023 2023 100.00%
Vanderbilt 1913 1262 65.97%
Alabama 3395 408 12.01%
Ole Miss 2307 268 11.62%
Arkansas 4338 469 10.81%
Kentucky 3501 265 7.57%
Auburn 3002 64 2.13%

*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.


Rushing TRY RRY % Yardage Returning
Arkansas 1935 1935 100.00%
Mississippi State 2806 2771 98.75%
Georgia 1854 1734 93.53%
Florida 2170 1893 87.24%
South Carolina 2161 1765 81.68%
Tennessee 1420 1126 79.30%
Vanderbilt 1666 1293 77.61%
Ole Miss 2491 1926 77.32%
Alabama 2378 1380 58.03%
Auburn 3987 2016 50.56%
LSU 2438 1161 47.62%
Kentucky 2061 745 36.15%

*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.


Receiving TotRec RetRec % Receptions Returning
Vanderbilt 169 155 91.72%
Mississippi State 167 148 88.62%
Florida 230 195 84.78%
Arkansas 301 240 79.73%
Ole Miss 185 146 78.92%
South Carolina 252 184 73.02%
LSU 173 111 64.16%
Alabama 253 143 56.52%
Georgia 218 104 47.71%
Kentucky 298 116 38.93%
Tennessee 238 90 37.82%
Auburn 194 70 36.08%

*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. 


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

3. Florida

4. Georgia

5. Arkansas

6. Vanderbilt

7. Tennessee

8. Ole Miss

9. LSU

10. Alabama

11. Kentucky

12. Auburn

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.