SEC Football: Lane Kiffin and Bryan Harsin are Portal polar opposites


Top players across the nation use the Portal to become SEC football players. The attraction is easy to understand. Starting on almost any SEC team brings potential NFL value.

Nick Saban and Alabama Football mastered the use of the Transfer Portal quickly. Nick Saban seeks game-changers or at least solid players who can contribute in a starting role. For Nick Saban, the effort is part of roster enhancement. At other schools bringing in transfers is more about building a roster.

So far, during the 2022 preseason, many top players have found new homes. Using the On3 Player Ratings for Transfers as a measurement, 30 of the Top 50 Transfer Portal players in the 2022 cycle have joined 10 schools. The clear transfer addition winners are the Alabama Crimson Tide, Southern Cal, Texas and Ole Miss.

SEC Football Portal Success in Oxford

What Lane Kiffin has accomplished through the Portal is amazing. Using the On3 Top 50 ratings, Kiffin has added No. 7 (Zach Evans), No. 10 (Jaxson Dart), No. 26 (Troy Brown), No. 28 (Jared Ivey), No. 33 (Michael Trigg) and No. 36 (Isheem Young). In addition to Lane’s impressive Top 50 haul, he has added at least three more probable starters through the Portal. Almost half of the Rebels’ starters in 2022 will have come via the Portal.

SEC Portal Failure in Auburn

The opposite of Portal success is Bryan Harson and the Auburn Tigers. Auburn’s exit count is so high, that it is a challenge to quantify. In early May, a tracker published by the Montgomery Advertiser documented 18 Tigers transferring out. Two of them were picked up by Lane Kiffin.

In exchange, Bryan Harsin has added one player from the On3 Top 50. The addition is No. 45 on the Top 50 list, cornerback DJ James from Oregon. The Tigers are in dire need of corners and James will step into an immediate starting role. Bryan Harson has also added five other transfers. Two of them are quarterbacks. One of them, either Robby Ashford or Zach Calzada will be the successor to Bo Nix.

Unfortunately for Harsin and the Tigers, the transfer losses are far more debilitating than the transfer additions are enhancing. Lane Kiffin has used transfers to build new starting units. So far, Bryan Harsin has mostly used transfer additions to build a roster.

Next. Thoughts on the coming season. dark

Another thought about transfers is the interesting comparison between Texas and Alabama. One reason why the Longhorns get a high transfer grade is the addition of two former Crimson Tide players. The pair may help Steve Sarkisian considerably but neither will be missed in Tuscaloosa.