Of all the teams in the SEC, perhaps none has been hammered with more roster attrition than Tennessee -- and it might not be over yet. One side effect of having three head coaches in as many years is that you have three head coaches' worth of turnover, while one is often enough to keep a team in the rebuilding phase for a year or two. And depending on what happens with wild cards like Janzen Jackson, the damage to Tennessee's depth chart might not be done.
BIGGEST RETURN | RB Tauren Poole
One of the bright spots on a mediocre 2010 season was Poole, who ran for 1,034 yards and 11 TDs on 204 carries -- meaning he averaged 5.1 yards per attempt. Poole also grabbed 22 passes for 171 yards and another score en route to being the team's leading scorer. A repeat of 2010, if paired with an uptick in the passing game, would make Tennessee a potent offensive team.
BIGGEST LOSS | WR Denarius Moore
To clarify, Janzen Jackson is not eligible for this category right now because it's not clear that he will not be back for the 2011 season; if that were a given, then there would be no competition for this category, given Jackson's talent and five interceptions from last year. Losing Jackson will hurt this team more than any other absence, including Denarius Moore.
But Moore was the most productive receiver on the team and the most productive non-quarterback besides Poole. Moore had 47 catches for 981 yards and nine touchdowns, surpassing more-heralded Gerald Jones (who played in three fewer games, to be fair.) The Vols' young quarterback might or might not miss Moore, but it's hard to see the passing game being as dangerous without Moore as with the wideout.
BREAKTHROUGH POSSIBILITY | QB Tyler Bray
We might be a half-season late here. After all, Bray completed 100 of 177 passes in the last five games of the 2010 season for 1,546 yards, 16 TDs and 7 INTs. That amounts to an above-average 151.79 passer rating. Factor in a little bit of growth, and Bray could easily be one of the plus-side surprises of the 2011 season. That would be an even greater breakthrough than his first season.