Now that the 2012 recruiting classes have been signed, sealed and delivered, it's time to take a look at the programs around college football with the biggest voids to fill between now and the start of next season.
This is an evaluation not based simply on returning starters' numbers. Instead, it is a look at everything from teams facing critical statistical deficiencies to programs that will have to overcome identity crises after the departure of key players. After taking all those factors into account, it became clear that the following five contending programs from 2011 are facing the toughest personnel challenges heading into the offseason.
1. Baylor Bears
There are many reasons I won't soon forget the 2011 Valero Alamo Bowl, a game I saw in person. And most of them have to do with watching Robert Griffin III and the Bears churn out 777 yards of offense. The QB they call Superman showed on the ground and through the air why the most recently awarded Heisman Trophy resides in Waco, Texas.
It was evident in San Antonio that night, and in Big 12 cities all season, the extent to which Griffin elevated the play and talents of those around him. Walking off the team bus, the Bears would never be mistaken for Alabama, USC, LSU or any of the elite programs loaded with four- and five-star recruits. Yet RG3's freakish ability created a sense of hope and belief for his offensive huddle, his team and ultimately his university.