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SEC Returning Starts and Starters – 2015

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Starts and Starters

Returning Experience in the SEC

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I have started my work into trying to unravel a pattern of performance in teams based on returning starts and starters for projecting and predicting the upcoming season.  For many teams, I am finding that average numbers do not help any type of projection.  However, like turnover margins, extreme or outlying metrics may have weight.

In the SEC, returning seven or more guys on defense is a solid number to start expecting a season as good or better than the previous year.  Kicker and punter experience is very important.  Having both back in the starting line-up, on average, adds about an extra win a season, much in the same way a returning starting QB adds a win (if was any good last season).

Returning Starters

When you look at the returning starters it is good to understand the offensive and defensive alignment for the teams.  For example, a pass oriented team with four starting wide receivers versus a team with two starting wide outs, is going to have a different look if both have two returning starters at the wide receiver position.  The same goes with 3-4 versus 4-3 defense.  You will also find a lot of teams starting 5 DBs and using one as a hybrid linebacker.

I considered any guy with over half the team starts at a position a ‘starter’.  I went through every team, player by player and tried to get you the best information without calling the school or a fan that knows exactly the best count.  And even then what fan ‘a’ considers a starter, fan ‘b’ will reject that idea.

2014 sec returning starters

Returning Starts

In an effort to bring the CFBMatrix fans and readers another angle of thought, I started to put together the chart of returning starts.  Some teams have 12 games of experience, others, like Ohio State, 15 games.  With 24 starters, there is a big difference in total game experience.  I took the total games available (ex. Tennessee had 13 games and 13*24 is 312 available starts) and subtracted out every start lost to seniors and NFL early entries.  For the most part, it matches the returning starter rankings, but gives a new angle on experience for the coming season.

2014 sec returning starts 2

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