Returning starters in the SEC, 2012 edition

Take a minute to filter Phil Steele’s chart

Phil Steele’s SEC Returning Starters List
SEC Rank Natl. Rank School Offense Defense Special Teams Total
1 2 (tie) Tennessee 10* 8 2 20
2 (tie) 8 (tie) Auburn 7* 9 2 18
2 (tie) 8 (tie) Florida 7 10 1 18
2 (tie) 8 (tie) Vanderbilt 9* 7 2 18
5 20 (tie) Mississippi 8* 7 2 17
6 29 (tie) Texas A&M 9 6 1 16
7 (tie) 44 (tie) Arkansas 7* 6 2 15
7 (tie) 44 (tie) Georgia 6* 9 0 15
9 (tie) 64 (tie) LSU 7 5 2 14
9 (tie) 64 (tie) S. Carolina 7* 6 1 14
11 (tie) 81 (tie) Alabama 7* 4 2 13
11 (tie) 81 (tie) Kentucky 6* 6 1 13
11 (tie) 81 (tie) Miss. State 5 7 1 13
11 (tie) 81 (tie) Missouri 5* 6 2 13
* designates offenses with a returning quarterback

… though this one from Bill Connelly.

Here’s the translation:

Basically, what this says is the following: a team returning fewer than eight starters can probably expect to be about a touchdown worse (in terms of the opponent-adjusted Adj. Points measure) in September than they were last season. They improve by a little over three points in October and November. Meanwhile, teams returning more than 17 starters can expect to improve by between about three and five points the following September, and perhaps somewhat surprisingly, they continue to improve as the year progresses.

That suggests Tennessee, with 20 returning starters, can expect about a touchdown per game improvement over its 2011 numbers.  The Vols ran minus-2.25 points per game last year, so that kind of improvement moves them to a +4 ppg.  That doesn’t translate into a staggering amount of success, but it would likely get them back into bowl eligibility territory and give SOD some momentum.

I’m more curious about Florida.  Bill’s numbers suggest that the Gators should show steady improvement throughout the season.  It’ll be interesting to see how that plays out in their later games with Georgia and South Carolina, which both show a pretty flat line over last year’s numbers (in both cases, still better than Florida’s, even with the projected improvement).

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7 Comments

Filed under SEC Football, Stats Geek!

7 responses to “Returning starters in the SEC, 2012 edition

  1. Mike

    For Florida, the bigger impact on offensive production might just be the changeover of the OC and the OL coach. At least, I can hope.