Alabama Football: Ranking 2022 roster upgrades of SEC West teams

(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /
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Alabama Football
Eli Ricks #1 of the LSU Tigers  (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

No. 6 – 2022 LSU Tigers

Turmoil in Baton Rouge appears to have subsided with the hiring of Brian Kelly. The mess he inherited from Ed Orgeron will take time to clean up. Although the Bengal Tigers will still have considerable talent, the 2022 roster will be weakened.

  • The Bengal Tigers had the No. 3, 2021 signing class, followed by the No. 12, 2022 class. One of their top 4-Star players in the ’21 class, edge rusher, Landon Jackson has transferred to Arkansas. Their fourth highest-rated recruit in the ’21 class, WR, Deion Smith is in the Portal.
  • Among the 12 players having transferred or in the Portal are, QB. Max Johnson; WR, Devonta Lee; CBs, Eli Ricks and Dwight McGlothern and Defensive Lineman, Eric Taylor.
  • Brian Kelly has four strong roster additions from the Portal. They are CB, Jerrick Barnard; DL, Mekhi Wingo; CB, Greg Brooks Jr. and OL, Miles Frazier.
  • Take away the NFL exits like CB, Derek Stingley Jr. and RB, Tyrion Davis-Price – factor in the other roster transitions, and LSU has not strengthened a team, that lost seven games in 2021.

No. 5 – Mississippi State Bulldogs

Mike Leach is a wizard at competing with less talent. It is much harder to do that as successfully in the SEC, compared to the Big 12 and Pac 12.

  • Mississippi State’s 2021 class was ranked No. 26. The 2022 class is ranked No. 27.
  • The Bulldogs have 17 players who have transferred or are in the Portal. Only two are major losses; edge rusher Ani Izuchukwu and WR, Theodore Knox.
  • Leach had added six transfer players. One of them could start and improve theBulldogs. He is former Alabama football cornerback, Marcus Banks.
  • Leach needs more elite athletes in Starkville. He lost some to the NFL and did not get enough to replace them.

No. 4 – Texas A&M Aggies

Jimbo Fisher is banking on two back-to-back outstanding signing classes. At least so far, his use of the Portal has been limited.

  • The Aggies had the No. 8, 2021 class and added the No. 1 class in 2022.
  • Fisher’s only impact Portal addition is former LSU QB, Max Johnson. The Aggies have lost eight players to the Portal but none were potential 2022 starters.
  • Unless several from the 2022 class are impact players as freshmen, overall the Aggies’ roster rebuild is neutral.