Alabama Football has an outstanding 2022 signing class. The Crimson Tide finished second in the four primary team rankings, to the Texas A&M Aggies. The gap between the signing classes of the two programs was small. As we discussed in a recap of NSD, the Crimson Tide had the highest average player rating, making an argument Nick Saban, not Jimbo Fisher brought in the top class.
Annual roster rebuilds have become much more than adding high school recruits and JUCO players. The additions and deletions via the Transfer Portal have a major impact on rebuilding a roster. In many cases, the Portal can impact a team more than its signing class.
A new measurement of annual roster improvement is best done by combining a program’s two most recent signing classes and the current rotation of transferring players in and out. Taking a deep dive into the recruiting transfer data provides a basis for ranking teams for the 2022 season.
From least to most roster improvement, SEC West teams are ranked below.
SEC West 2022 Roster Rebuilds
Recently in predicting what teams 2022 teams would finish at the bottom of the SEC East and West, we touched on Auburn’s roster,
"The roster has had a double door, stream of exiting players. Recruiting is the weakest it has been at Auburn for a long time."
Those two sentences understate the Tigers’ roster deficiencies.
No. 7 – 2022 Auburn Tigers
- The Tigers signed 19 players in the 2021 class. Only two of them were in the Top 100 of the 247Sports Composite. One of the two, Lee Hunter has transferred to UCF. The overall class was ranked No. 19.
- The Tigers signed 18 players in the 2022 class. Their highest-rated high school recruit was ranked No. 172 in the On3 Consensus player rankings. Alabama football, recruiting insiders say he would have joined the Crimson Tide but Nick Saban did not have room.
- Adding to the above issues, the Transfer Portal has not been kind to the Tigers. A total of 20 Auburn players have transferred or are in the Portal searching for a new team.
- The biggest losses for the Tigers have been QB, Bo Nix; Defensive Lineman, Lee Hunter and JJ Pegues, WR, Kobe Hudson and DE, Ladarius Tennison.
- Through the Portal, Bryan Harsin has added five players. Former Texas A&M, backup QB (and Tide-killer) Zach Calzada is probably the best of the five. Together they do not come close to matching what Auburn is losing.
- Bryan Harsin has added some good JUCO players who will likely start. Take all the above and add the Tigers leaving for the NFL, and Auburn’s 2022 roster will be much worse than the one that lost seven games in 2021.