It’s hard to know exactly how a team plans to replace lost talent from one year to the next, but succession plans are an important part of any successful football program.
Some teams are in better situations than others, however, and will return an extensive amount of experience and production from 2016. Phil Steele, one of college football’s hardest-working experts, recently posted on his blog a list containing the percentage of total yards that each team will carry over from last year into this fall.
Here is Steele’s explanation for his process:
“Today I will look at the % of yards returning. I took all of the yards each QB threw for as well as all of the individual rushing yards and receiving yards for each team. I then took all of the returning yards from 2016 and divided it into those for the percentage.”
As one might think, SEC teams are spread all throughout Steele’s results. In what will probably come as a surprise for many fans who don’t follow this program closely, Vanderbilt returns the most production of all the team’s in the conference and the fifth-most production in the country. In a reversal from last year, Tennessee has the lowest amount of production returning and is near the very bottom of the list.
These are the percentages of total yards returning for each SEC school and how they compare to other teams across the country, according to Steele’s research.
5: Vanderbilt – 93.7% of yards returning
12: Missouri – 89.6%
16: Georgia – 87.1%
23: Auburn – 83.5%
32: Alabama – 78.6%
38: Mississippi State – 76.9%
39: South Carolina – 76%
41: Florida – 75%
61: LSU – 68.2%
63: Kentucky – 67.5%
84: Arkansas – 55%
115: Ole Miss – 33.5%
124: Tennessee – 25.7%
None of this is a reason to proclaim one team will have a better season than another, but it helps provide context for some of the challenges are a particular team might face this summer and early in the fall. For those who may be curious, Troy returns the most production in the country with 98.7% of last year’s yards returning, while North Carolina had 12.7% returning production, the lowest among teams who played in 2016.
Source: Saturday Down South