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August 21, 2006
Some players more difficult to replace than others
Replacing players is an annual rite of college football, but some are more difficult to replace than others.
The downside of big-time players is that they leave big-time holes when they're gone, and great teams usually are dependent on great performers. Take a star out of the lineup and more often than not the team suffers, at least for a season or two.
Of course, that's not always the case.
Former Tennessee quarterback Tee Martin may be the greatest replacement of all time. He'd watched from the sidelines as Peyton Manning set every major school passing record and established himself as one of the greatest – if not the absolute best – players in Tennessee's glorious history.
In the four seasons in which Manning was the starting quarterback, the Volunteers were 40-9 and won an SEC championship.
Yet, Martin filled Manning's colossal shoes by quarterbacking Tennessee to a 13-0 finish and national championship in 1998.
Here's a look at some of this season's players who are filling the biggest shoes:
• More Preseason Player Rankings: