Experienced Teams Make Better College Football Picks: Returning Starter Theory

Joe Gavazzi

Wednesday, July 29, 2015 6:03 PM GMT

Wednesday, Jul. 29, 2015 6:03 PM GMT

This generous sports handicapper has developed a betting angle to apply to the most experienced College Football teams, and least experienced teams in terms of returning starters. 

At the start of every new season it becomes evident that “you can’t know where you are going, unless you know where you have been.” Such is true at the start of each season. To properly prepare for the placing picks for the opening weeks of the season, it is essential that a sports handicapper perform his due diligence in regard to experience that each team brings to the table. Experience comes in many forms, including the number of returning starters, on both offense and defense, as well as experience at the key QB position, as well as the most important unit on the field, the offensive line. In addition, to ensure continuity with veteran talent, it is necessary to have the same coach with his concepts, philosophy, and schemes entrenched on both sides of the ball. Along with returning starters, there are two other areas that are key in the realm of experience. Those are the percentage of lettermen who return, as well as the amount of senior experience. For it is these two categories of experience that will provide leadership for the team, and often be responsible for the chemistry of the team. We will leave those two areas for discussion at another time.  

For the purposes of this article, we will examine the key categories described above, in chart form, to determine a list of teams that are a good place to start when forming your basis of College Football picks for the most and least experienced teams in 2015 CFB.

 

Our first chart examines teams who possess the following parameters:

A returning coach

A returning QB

7 or more returning offensive starters

3 or more returning offensive linemen

7 or more returning defensive starters

16 or more total returning starters

At least 4 wins from previous season

 

Team

LY

SU

Coach

#

YRS

QB

Return

OFF

Return

OL

Return

DEF

Return

Total

Return

Appalachian State

7-5

S Satterfield

2

Y

10

4

8

18

Ball State

5-7

P Lembo

4

Y

10

5

7

17

California

5-7

S Dykes

3

Y

8

3

9

17

Charlotte

5-6

B Lambert

2

Y

9

4

9

18

Middle Tennessee State

6-6

R Stockstill

9

Y

8

4

8

16

North Carolina

6-7

L Fedora

3

Y

10

5

7

17

Oklahoma State

7-6

M Gundy

10

Y

9

3

8

17

Penn State

7-6

J Franklin

1

Y

9

4

7

16

Temple

6-6

M Ruhle

3

Y

8

4

11

19

Tennessee

7-6

B Jones

3

Y

10

4

8

18

TTRR

4-8

K Kingsbury

2

Y

9

4

7

16

Utah

9-4

K Whittingham

10

Y

7

4

9

16

Utah State

10-4

M Wells

2

Y

9

4

7

16

Western Kentucky

8-5

J Brohm

1

Y

7

3

9

16

Western Michigan

8-5

PJ Fleck

2

Y

9

3

7

16

 

At the other end of the spectrum is a group of 2015 least experienced teams in CFB. Key parameters for this group of teams include:

6 or less returning offensive starters
3 or less returning offensive linemen
6 or less returning defensive starters
10 or less total returning starters

Team

LY

SU

Coach

#

YRS

QB

Return

OFF

Return

OL

Return

DEF

Return

Total

Return

Air Force

10-3

T Calhoun

8

N

6

2

4

10

Army

4-8

J Monken

1

N

5

3

5

10

Clemson

10-3

D Sweeney

6

Y

6

2

3

9

Florida

7-5

J McElwain

0

Y

4

1

6

10

Kansas

3-9

D Beatty

0

Y

4

2

4

8

Maryland

7-6

R Edsall

4

N

6

3

4

10

Miami Florida

6-7

A Golden

4

Y

5

3

5

10

Mississippi State

10-3

D Mullen

6

Y

4

2

4

8

Rice

8-5

D Bailiff

8

Y

6

3

4

10

Rutgers

8-5

K Flood

3

N

4

2

6

10

South Alabama

6-7

J Jones

6

N

3

2

2

5

Syracuse

3-9

S Shafer

2

Y

6

3

3

9

UTSA

4-8

L Cocher

4

N

2

1

4

6

Washington

8-6

C Petersen

1

Y

6

2

4

10

Wyoming

4-8

C Bohl

1

N

6

3

4

10

 

There you have it; a returning starter list which provides you with the most experienced teams, and least experienced teams in terms of returning starters. But before you go loading up “on” and “against” these teams in the opening weeks of the season, consider this caveat: the results of this time consuming exercise that I have done for you often mirrors the exact work being done by the College Football Odds maker. So get out your respected power ratings, and begin to compare last year’s numbers to this to find out where the real value lies in the opening weeks.

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