The transfer portal can change the outlook of a conference battle. For example, did Texas add enough with Quinn Ewers, Ryan Watt, Isaiah Neyor and others to challenge Baylor, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State in the Big 12? Here are a few teams that have improved their chances in their respective Power Five conferences through transfers.
Nebraska — Okay, we know Nebraska isn’t going to challenge for the West coming off a 3-9 season but additions like QB Casey Thompson, DE Ochaun Mathis, WR Trey Palmer and more recent additions like DB Kaine Williams and WR Marcus Washington could make 3-9 more like 7-5.
Michigan State — I like the running back additions of Jalen Berger and Jarek Broussard quite a bit to replace Kenneth Walker but CB Ameer Speed and EDGE Khris Bogle are even bigger.
Miami — Mario Cristobal entered Miami with weaknesses at WR and DL and now the defensive line is a strength. Additions of Akheem Mesidor and Darrell Jackson are huge for the pass rush as well as stopping the run and LB Caleb Johnson is a tackling machine. The defense has improved enough to make a push in their division.
Florida State — DE Jared Verse could be the next Jermaine Johnson and be a difference maker while WR Mycah Pittman and Johnny Wilson have upside. There are solid additions at many positions that could lead to a winning record but not a push at Clemson just yet.
Ole Miss — Zach Evans will be an amazing addition to the offense as will WR Jaylon Robinson but it’s the defense that needs help. Jared Ivey and Khari Coleman will help the pass rush and LB Troy Brown will make some plays. QB Jaxson Dart was a huge grab for Lane Kiffin as well as they try to push Alabama in the West.
Alabama — Alabama getting better? Yep. RB Jahmyr Gibbs is elite, CB Elias Ricks is a first rounder and WRs Jermaine Burton and Tyler Harrell bring immediate attributes. Alabama will be scary.
South Carolina — Spencer Rattler and Austin Stogner alone are enough to improve this offense and they will be fun to watch.
Arkansas — Arkansas is already a solid team but with defensive additions like Landon Jackson, Drew Sanders and Dwight McGlothern they took a step up on that side of the ball.
Texas — I’ll single them out in the Big 12 as others lost as much as they gained. If Ewers is as good as he can be this offense can be amazing but I also look for Ryan Watt to be a star on defense.
USC — We start with QB Caleb Williams and his former teammate Mario Williams as well as WR Jordan Addison but when you add in defensive additions like LB Eric Gentry and DL Solomon Byrd the balance is great. And Travis Dye at running back could be the most important of all.
Washington State — QB Cameron Ward has a chance to be amazing but it’s the names you don’t know like DL Nusi Mulani, LB Daiyan Henley and CB Cam Lampkin that could end up helping the defense much more.