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Sunday, February 28, 2010

More Fun With Numbers: Tough Tasks Ahead

I wrote a lot about which teams had the most production returning from their 2009 squads this week, so I thought it might be an interesting exercise to see which teams will face the most returning talent in 2010, too.

So, again using Phil Steele's list, here's the number of returning starters each SEC team is scheduled to face during the regular season in 2010...

Vandy 180
Georgia 170
Tennessee 170
Kentucky 168
Alabama 165
Florida 159
LSU 158
Miss. State
S. Carolina 156
Ole Miss
Arkansas 154
Auburn 153

A few minor points:

-- I counted a zero for all FCS opponents, of which each SEC team plays one... with the exception of Vandy. So that's why the Commodores are so far out in front. Take away their low number among non conference opponents and they're at 165 for the year...

-- Which, of course, means that no team in the SEC is scheduled to face more returning starters from the 2009 season than Georgia (and, Tennessee). But...

-- The biggest thing to take from these numbers is probably that they really don't mean squat. Georgia's schedule won't be a cake walk, but it should be easier than the past two seasons. And while it does look like the Dawgs will have a tougher go of it than their SEC peers, those numbers can change drastically as injuries add up and veterans get benched (assuming Willie Martinez is not their coach) and young stars emerge.

-- Of course, if we were going to read anything into this, it's perhaps a bit concerning that the two teams that have stood out pretty dramatically in our earlier lists -- Auburn and Arkansas -- also stack up pretty well here.

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