The SEC has expanded to 16 teams and the Grim Reaper laid down his scythe to peacefully end the Alabama dynasty. That leaves Georgia as the top dog, pun well intended, but the conference still feels more wide open than it has in a while.
Teams like Texas and Ole Miss have real shots of winning the conference, and a big reason for that is the transfer portal. High school recruiting is still the most sustainable way to build a winner in college football, but coaches have turned to the portal for a quick fix at a position of need, or the superstar to take their roster over the top. Steve Sarkisian and Lane Kiffin did both this offseason and could take a shot at the crown.
Transfer portal rankings aren’t exactly a crystal ball predicting how the conference will shake out next season, but they can be helpful in understanding which teams are heading in the right direction. My rankings won’t just consider the big wins a team had in the portal, but will also factor in the losses their roster suffered, which brings us to Alabama.
Kalen DeBoer has done a nice job bringing talent with him from Washington down to Tuscaloosa with quarterback Austin Mack, wide receiver Germie Bernard, and center Parker Brailsford. He also secured defensive lineman LT Overton who was part of Texas A&M’s legendary recruiting class of 2022.
Despite the six additions, which likely isn’t the end, it's hard to have lost more impact players off a roster than Alabama did in the portal this year. The Crimson Tide still have plenty of talent, but when a five-star quarterback is the afterthought of your portal losses, that’s bad news.
Julian Sayin left for Ohio State, and so did Caleb Downs, the SEC Freshman of the Year. Alabama has 30 outgoing transfers including two of Jalen Milroe’s favorite targets, Isaiah Bond and Amari Niblack.