Often, the phenomenon of a college football team being excellent one year and then poor the next is all about personnel turnover.
College football is fluid by nature, and factors such as the NFL draft, graduation and eligibility mean that last year’s talent stacked teams may be next year’s struggling squads.
The truth is, sometimes a team isn’t “bad” as much as they are young and inexperienced.
The following slideshow pinpoints 28 teams who will fight an uphill battle in 2012 simply because they have lost a bunch of experienced guys from last season. Some will be more successful than others at filling their holes (the top-tier recruiting programs), while others will have what most of us see as an “off” year.
This list includes some of the teams we’ll be thinking about in December along the lines of, “What happened to so and so? They were so good last season, and boy, did they struggle this year.” And, again, sometimes it’s not that they are not good; it’s just that they aren’t experienced.
As a note, returning starter figures in this delightful presentation come via the master of gridiron numerals himself, Phil Steele.