Returning production for 2023 season

Bill Connelly takes his first stab at that here ($$). Here’s how the SEC stacks up:

I don’t know what’s funnier, TAMU at seven (“Aggies are back!” hot takes incoming, y’all) or Florida at 107.

‘Bama leads Bill’s “likely to regress in ’23” list.

I’m not going to pretend to be all that worried about Nick Saban. He’s still only two seasons removed from fielding his best-ever team (the 2020 rendition), and while Georgia has clearly surpassed the Crimson Tide for now, the Tide still finished second in SP+ in each of the past two seasons.

That said, Saban is going to be dealing with quite a bit more change than usual in 2023. (And he’s used to dealing with a lot!) Not only will he have two new coordinators, but he’ll also be looking to replace starting quarterback Bryce Young, leading rusher (and No. 3 receiver) Jahmyr Gibbs, most of the offensive line’s two-deep and about half of 2022’s defensive regulars.

Saban’s recruiting success is not even slightly waning, and most of the open on-field roles will be filled by recent blue-chippers who might quickly thrive. But this is a particularly stout amount of turnover, and there’s a chance the Tide start 2023 as low as, gasp, third or fourth in SP+.

It’s how they finish that matters.  And, yeah, on paper, they’re loaded, but unless they show some improvement over the last season in terms of player development, that’s a lot of stuff Saban has to overcome through sheer will.



Filed under SEC Football, Stats Geek!

36 responses to “Returning production for 2023 season

  1. godawgs1701

    Alabama probably should have lost to Texas and Texas A&M both, so you have to include that grain of salt when you look at just how close they were to beating Tennessee and LSU and rolling into the SEC Championship Game for a rematch with Georgia, but still… despite all of the regression in Tuscaloosa they really WERE that close to still being there. That’s a tribute to Bryce Young’s guts and talent, but it’s also obviously a tribute to Nick Saban. You’ll never hear me take Alabama lightly.

    Liked by 10 people

    • Derek

      As when saw vs. OSU, great talent at the QB position gives you a shot against superior opposition, if you’re not a complete sieve on defense.

      That’s why I was hoping for USC and TCU and happy to miss bama in atl.

      Liked by 4 people

    • thelifeofthemind

      It’s a sign of how incredibly high Saban has set the bar that the last two seasons, one of which Bama was leading in the fourth quarter of a national championship game, are considered a period of regression.

      Liked by 3 people

    • ugafidelis

      Yep. I won’t believe Saban/Bama’s going anywhere until he gets thery get there. And I won’t be able to define it but I’ll know it when I see it.


  2. Russ

    I’m not worried about Kirby’s development of players. Saban has really slipped of late with player development, though.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. RangerRuss

    I’m simply not worried about Bama anymore and their returning production, or lack thereof, reinforces that confidence. I figure if the Dawgs drop a game this year it will be to some random group of shitheads. Kirby is able to motivate the Dawgs against better competition and most likely doesn’t want to squeeze all the juice out for lesser teams. That could lead to complacency.
    Bama is yesterday’s news. Saban is tired and old. I know how he feels. It’s easier to go with the flow and hope for the best while still making $10+ million per year. He’s going to ride that bull until it throws him off. That’s fine with me. Gives the Dawgs more opportunities for payback.
    Suck it Gumps.

    Liked by 11 people

    • The wild card this season will be Carson Beck who I think gets the starting job. Needing to take charge, I don’t think he takes any of the cupcakes lightly. Our D will be shutdown again. Instead of a slip-up, I am more worried about his first big moment being the SECCG. Can he handle it? Bama is in the same boat which is why I’m keeping an eye on LSU again this year.


  4. Development (particularly on OL & DL) has definitely hindered Bama recently. Some guy east of Tuscaloosa has had an impact on that in more ways than one.
    Mizzou could be the chic pick for East runner-up. LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. uga97

    Here’s looking at you LSU.


  6. spur21

    My take – returning production is less relevant when you have a great deal of talent ready to step up to replace those that left. Last year is a perfect example.

    Liked by 9 people

    • godawgs1701

      Yeah, it’s one of the most overrated stats of the offseason. When you tell me how many players and how much production you’ve got coming back, I ask you how you did last year with those guys. Players do get better year over year, but still – if you’re Auburn and got your coach fired last year I’m not sure how excited you should be about getting the band back together.


  7. Hobnail_Boot

    As long as he recruits that well, I’m not willing to overlook Saban.

    Having said that, it’s pretty clear that Pollack was right.. and I suspect deep down that Saban and Tide fans know it to be true.

    Liked by 6 people

  8. Tom Rowe

    Two things come to mind:

    Returning a lot of players who aren’t all that good isn’t a good thing.
    I would have to see snap counts, but these numbers obviously refer to starters. So we are losing a starting RB, but the 2 or 3 behind him had as many snaps as most returning RBs. We lost WR1, but he hardly played. And we rotate more players at all positions than any other team. I’d take that number with a shaker of salt.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Nil Butron is a Pud

    Good thing most of our departed production is some shlubby walk-on QB. I mean, think about what we could have done with a 5-star.

    Liked by 14 people

  10. Dawg in Austin

    Hard to predict them out of the SECC, although it’s certainly possible with what has become a merely better-than-average coaching staff. Still see them 10-2 at worst, but still a top-5 team. That roster is ridiculous.


  11. DawgStats

    These returning productions numbers mean little to nothing. If they don’t correlate to anything remotely projectable – then it’s more noise than signal.

    Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk

    Liked by 2 people

    • armydawg

      Simply put: The angle of the dangle is in direct proportion to the heat of the meat which correlates precisely with the sag of the bag. Kirby will get the “proper” angle of the dangle from our guys.
      GO DAWGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    • 81Dog

      If you’re saying they aren’t projectile, that’s good enough for me. Any idea what the numbers projected for UGA this time last year? Offensively, Kirby never seems to be padding stats other than the run game in solid wins. Even on D, he runs lots of guys in. I feel pretty good about our returning experience, but I’m just an average fan.


  12. RangerRuss

    It’s just the normal noises in here.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Bama is still one of the top two most talented teams in the country, probably number one going by recruiting rankings. The last two seasons something has seemed off with them. Poor discipline, poor tackling, poor O-line play. Maybe the change of coordinators will get things on the right path, hope not, or maybe there are deeper issues. My personal hope is that things are slipping away from Saban due to age & energy, but I’m not shoveling any dirt on his career yet. It feels like 2023 is an important year for the tide & may tell us which way this ship is going to sail. May this year be as successful for Bama as the Titanic’s maiden voyage!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. 81Dog

    I’m curious how this compares to a year ago. We have good depth and lots of talent. Hopefully, the replacements are as productive in 23 as the replacements this past fall were in 22.


  15. W Cobb Dawg

    LSU is gonna be tough. Lots of young talent maturing there. Jimbo’s season centers around the bama game.

    You think 10rc went crazy after beating Bama last year? Every team & fanbase going up against saban already has a big bullseye on the calendar. I’m sure they see a chance for some payback after years of misery.


    • I’ve never cared for him but I do believe Brian Kelly is a pretty good coach. He’s done well about everywhere he’s been. I could see LSU taking over the west if he can recruit well there.


  16. I’m not gonna bother reading the comments but I will go out on a limb and ASSume that there is at least one Bammer referencing 48 national titles.