Think Heupel is looking at the roster and seeing the prospects of trying to put a square peg in a round hole. The roster isn't built for what he wants to do. It's likely going to be a balancing act. Take the parts that do fit, add transfers then hope you can take what's left and mold it to allow it to help. If we make a bowl game this coming season, I'll consider it a tremendous success by this staff. And if we're entertaining to watch as well, I'd have to consider him SEC coach of the year material.
In modern college football with the portal it's tough to say what everyone's roster is going to look like at this point. Right now, though, we lost arguably our best player on offense (Eric Gray) and our best player on defense (Henry T). We also lost two of our top signees (Dylan Brooks and Cody Brown). We further lost 2 other players who were good enough to transfer to Oklahoma, 1 to Texas A&M, 1 to Miami and 1 to North Carolina. We lost probably a dozen other players who were depth pieces at best. Then we have the 4 suspensions, who I suspect we'll get back.
All in all we'll have plenty of players to field a team but I think 6-6 would be a solid performance by this crowd. While we may have more talent on paper than Kentucky and Missouri, with both games being on the road and having new systems on both sides of the ball, I don't expect to win those games. Kentucky beat the crap out of us last year and Stoops develops players and their program has been much more stable for their players. Missouri found their QB after we played them and closed out strong. It'll be an uphill battle over there. Obviously I'm not expecting to beat Bama, Florida or Georgia. I don't expect to beat Ole Miss either. Kiffin's offense will be a well oiled machine in year 2. Even if we put up some points I don't expect to stop them enough to win. Our defense, on paper, is in worse shape than our offense.
Depth is the scary part. We complain about depth all the time but this time I think we're scary thin. We've lost quite a few to portal. Our defense is what scares me alot of guys playing alot of minutes. Who's our linebackers? Then we'll have an offense that wants to go fast. Do we have enough wideouts at depth? you'll need like 8 to run this type of offense. First string I think we'll be fine but its when the big boys need a break. The next string I think will struggle and that's killed us for over a decade.