Ranking SEC football teams having lost key starters to the Transfer Portal

There is Transfer Portal attrition that helps teams, but when SEC football teams lose key starters to the Portal, sometimes they cannot be replaced.
Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
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Some preseason rankings are more important than others. Many SEC football teams have done well with Transfer Portal additions. There is a flip side and it is losing starters to transfer. Ranking the teams with key starters lost could be an indicator of 2024 success and failure.

All the data for this post was provided by 247Sports and Cody Nagel. Nagel provides a list of starters lost by all the power conference teams and Notre Dame. His starter definition is a minimum of six starts in the 2023 season. Georgia, Kentucky, and Missouri were three of only eight power conference teams with no starters lost to the Portal.

For this discussion, most focus is given to 'key' starters, defined by being either a 4-star or 5-star rated transfer. We go through the 13 SEC football teams who lost key starters, from most to least. A small number of these transfer players are in the Portal but have not chosen new teams.

  • Alabama Crimson Tide - (4) starter transfer losses; all four key starters - Caleb Downs (5-Star) to Ohio State; Isaiah Bond (5-star) to Texas; Seth McLaughlin (4-Star) to Ohio State and Malik Benson (4-star) to Florida State. Alabama football fans will say that due to snap problems, McLaughlin is an overrated transfer. Benson did not come close to matching expectations and would likely not have been in the two-deep in the 2024 season.

Other SEC Football teams

  • Texas A&M Aggies - (6) starter transfer losses; four key starters - Evan Stewart (5-star WR) to Oregon; Walter Nolen (5-star DL) to Ole Miss; Fadil Diggs (4-star Edge) to Syracuse and Jacoby Matthews (4-star S) to the Transfer Portal.