The size and athleticism of Tennessee's newly enlisted freshman defenders already has been noted just a few days into full-contact drills. If the Vols also had recruited experience,their fans could really get excited.
Recruiting bigger, more athletic players is a good start. But it's not a solution to the varied challenges posed by SEC offenses.
You want power football? Watch the Big Ten.
You want to see the spread? Look anywhere.
You want variety? The SEC has it.
Don't take my word for it. Check with the guys who have to stop the offenses as exotic as the one Gus Malzahn dreams up at Auburn or as brutally simple as the one that might carry Alabama to another national championship.
When Alabama's hands the ball to Trent Richardson or South Carolina climbs aboard the shoulders of running back Marcus Lattimore, you could mistake the SEC for the Big Ten. Then along come Mississippi State and Auburn running different versions of the spread offense.
Florida has switched from Urban Meyer's spread to the pro-style approach of new offensive coordinator Charlie Weis, but there's nothing physically imposing about a running game geared to small, speedy running backs like Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey.
If you want variety, you don't have to wait for the next game in the SEC. You sometimes can get it from one play to the next.
Take Arkansas and South Carolina, for example. Like so many of coach Bobby Petrino's teams, the Razorbacks can spread the field with three or four wide receivers, then gouge you between the tackles with outstanding running backs such as Knile Davis, who led the SEC in yards rushing last season.
South Carolina could be just as versatile offensively. Coach Steve Spurrier always has been at his play-calling best when he has had a big-time running back to complement his passing game. Now, he has one of the best in Lattimore to go along with the conference's best wide receiver, Alshon Jeffery.
UT defensive back Prentiss Waggner, who made second-team All-SEC last season, appreciates the challenge of SEC diversity.
"It's like coach (Justin) Wilcox (UT's defensive coordinator) tells us, 'You've got Ferraris on Ferraris and trucks on trucks,' " Waggner said.
Success is dependent on maintaining sports-car speed downfield or holding your ground against the SEC's equivalent of an 18-wheeler. The challenge is magnified by inexperience.
Play-callers like Spurrier and Petrino are adept at exploiting that inexperience. They aren't the only ones.
"There are a lot of offensive gurus in this league," Waggner said.
Combating those gurus and the myriad schemes they employ requires more than 11 defenders. It demands repeated shuffling in search of favorable matchups.
Defensive depth has never mattered more in the SEC. A weakness has never been more difficult to conceal.
The importance of preparation has increased as well. You aren't just preparing for a Ferrari. There also could be a truck in the opposing garage.
And until the play is under way, you might not know which one is coming.