Auburn's Not Getting Russell Wilson; So Who Keys the Offense? // SEC 2011

Yes, the Auburn roster post and prediction post -- coming later today -- are late. Part of that is because there was a significant issue outstanding that could have affected either of those aspects of Auburn's season. With Russell Wilson gone, Auburn now has a much better idea of what its team will look like in the fall. Which isn't to say that Auburn wouldn't like Wilson to reconsider his decision; the quarterback position is largely a scramble right now. That means the offensive firepower might have to come from somewhere else.

BIGGEST RETURN | RB Michael Dyer
If Dyer were on a little bit better team -- which shouldn't matter, but often does -- and weren't arguably overshadowed by others at his position in the same conference, Dyer would be an easy darkhorse candidate for the Heisman. Even with many of the carries going to Cam Newton last year, Dyer rushed for 1,093 yards on 182 carries -- actually averaging a half a yard more than Newton per carry.

Dyer should get a lot of Newton's carries this year and could be a candidate for running for 1,200-1,500 yards. The problem he will face is that Cam Newton is gone, allowing running defenses to key on the running back without worrying about the quarterback -- at least not as much as they worried about Newton. And if that young quarterback can't throw the ball well, it's just going to complicate Dyer's life that much more.

BIGGEST LOSS | QB Cam Newton
I don't even know what I would say to someone who doesn't understand this one off the top. Controversial off the field but never less than stellar on it, Newton helped power Auburn to the national championship. Now he's gone, and Auburn isn't exactly having the easiest time replacing him.

BREAKTHROUGH POSSIBILITY | TE Philip Lutzenkirchen
Let's not pretend that Lutzenkirchen is an unknown in the SEC -- if nothing else, his name makes him difficult to miss. But the tight end could become a huge part of Auburn's passing game next year; it's a relatively safe way to break in a new quarterback. With some of the best Auburn wideouts also moving on, that means Lutzenkirchen could be in line for more than the 15 catches for 185 yards and five touchdowns he had last year.

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