Bill Connelly’s updated returning production stats

As of right now, anyway.

The first thing that catches my eye there is at the very bottom — the average for 2021 is much higher than it’s been in the previous seven seasons.  I would think a big reason for that is the NCAA’s decision to give players an eligibility mulligan for last year.

The second thing of note is that eight SEC teams, including Georgia, rank 105th or lower.  Now, there’s returning production and then there’s returning production.  Nobody’s arguing that Vanderbilt and Alabama are even close to being on the same footing.  Even so, returning to the first point, note that only one of those eight teams, South Carolina, returns less than 50% of its 2020 production.  A rising eligibility tide lifts all boats.   (Except maybe BYU’s.  32%?  Yeesh.)

Also, remember that besides the issue of overall roster quality, Bill has always maintained that returning production matters more at some positions than others ($$).  For example,

As it turns out, continuity up front, as measured by your percentage of snaps returning, has a pretty hefty impact on your year-to-year progression or regression.

… Returning production in the secondary ends up accounting for about 59% of your overall statistical change, a monstrous amount compared to linebackers (minus-33%) and defensive linemen (minus-8%).

That last point might make you a little nervous about Georgia’s fate this season, but it’s worth keeping in mind that it’s unlikely Kirby Smart is done fishing in the transfer portal.  I presume Bill’s numbers will be revised at some point once final rosters have been assembled for August camp; it will be interesting to see how those shake out, now that the NCAA has approved free one-time transfers.


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14 responses to “Bill Connelly’s updated returning production stats

  1. Dawg in Austin

    Interesting, I thought I recalled from either last year or the year before from Bill’s metrics that WR returning production was the most important for predicting success in the current year.


  2. Spell Dawg

    FAU is #4….could their game with the Gators be more interesting than most expect? Fingers-crossed…the earlier the dumpster fire starts, the warmer the season will be 😀

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Russ

    Interesting that all the teams expected to compete for the NC are in the lower half of this chart.


  4. Sweet D

    I get the feeling Miami is going to make some noise this year.


  5. Bulldawg Bill

    We’re fucked! Cheap tix, anybody?


  6. DawgFlan

    Looks like if LSU settles on a QB early they will be dangerous.


  7. godawgs1701

    Check out Georgia State in the Top 10 in terms of returning production! Sure hope Tennessee managed to get them back off of the schedule!


  8. archiecreek

    IMHO depth is the key,
    Once you get hit in the mouth…
    DAWGS have depth!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. miltondawg

    The problem this year is that the extra eligibility has totally made this chart hard to sync with other years. In the past if you had a number around 80% returning production it was almost a guarantee that your team would be in the top 10. This year you’re in the 40s/low 50s.

    Georgia seems about right with the OL and DB losses which carry a ton of weight.

    BYU at 32%? Did a vast majority of their players celebrate their 30th birthday and decide to start a family?

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I think Ole Miss is going to give people fits. Out of the top 5 in the SEC in returning production, 5 are in the West and 1 in the East (Mizzou and Auburn tied for fourth). Auburn is rebuilding and LSU is unpredictable considering the coach, but Ole Miss is going to give a lot of people a run for the West, provided they discover what a defense is. But that doesn’t matter as much, per Football Messiah Nick Saban.

    Arkansas and Miss State will be problematic, as well…

    Meanwhile, is there anything more heartwarming than seeing the “cannon shot” and the Vowels at the bottom knowing they are likewise rebuilding. Heartwarming.