Typically, returning starters are viewed as the measurement of how much talent returns to a team in a given year. For example, if an offense returns eight starters, you would generally expect them to be able to replicate the previous year’s production (or come close to it). But what if the three starters lost were an all-conference quarterback, their top receiver, and a three-year starter at left tackle? That changes the perception.
With that in mind, I’ve taken a look at returning talent in the Big 12, not in the form of returning starters, but in the form of returning production. The table below tells you what percentage of 2014’s passing yards, rushing yards, etc. return to each Big 12 team this year. The one exception is offensive line, where I used Phil Steele’s team-by-team list of returning starters to show how many return. This list was compiled at the beginning of the year, so starters who have left the program since that time may not be reflected in the o-line numbers.
The chart is also “heat mapped,” so you can glance at each team and see what kind of shape they’re in. Texas Tech looks to be in the best position on the chart, but given how little they accomplished last year it remains to be seen if returning last year’s players is a good thing. Kansas is easily in the worst spot, coming off a 3-9 season and losing the vast majority of their production as well.