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FBS Career Starts Returning

Here is something that I posted last year on the website – the career starts returning broken down for each team. Last year if you took the bottom 14 teams in terms of career starts returning, 9 of the 14 teams did not go to a bowl game in 2008. There were 8 teams that had less than 185 career starts returning and of those 8 only two got to a bowl game and they were Air Force and Georgia Tech who had both been in bowls the previous year. The other 6 did not get to a bowl and that included Michigan which had a streak of 40 straight non-losing seasons snapped and 3 other teams have a new head coach this year after a bad 2008 season.

There were 12 teams last year that had OVER 325 career starts returning and of those 12, 9 made it to a bowl game. The teams in the over 325 career starts category that made the biggest strides were Northern Illinois (2-10 to a bowl), Ball St (7-6 to unbeaten regular season), Rice (3-9 to 10-3), and Buffalo (5-7 to MAC Champs). Of the 3 teams that did not go to a bowl ULM was #1 in the country in starts lost to injury (54) which took away a lot of their experience, Wisconsin was #3 in starts lost to injury with 48 and Temple improved their record despite losing their starting QB for 3 key starts and they came up 1 game short of bowl eligibility.

The chart I list below lists the overall career starts for each FBS team. After I list the chart I will go over each team, but let me take a quick glance at each position right now. When I look at last years QB’s I see that 18 teams had ZERO career starts at the QB spot heading into 2008. Many folks would have this as their key indicator to a team’s success for the next year. Of those 18 teams that had no experience at QB last year ELEVEN of them made it to bowls with teams like Boise St (#13 NCAA scoring offense), Tulsa (#2 NCAA in scoring offense), Penn State (#1 Big 10 scoring), Ole Miss (#28 scoring offense NCAA) and Georgia Tech (#24 NCAA total offense) having much greater success than most anticipated. The most experienced QB positions in the country were Purdue, North Texas, West Virginia, Arizona St, Arkansas and Duke and those 6 teams had 5 LOSING seasons and West Virginia went from 39.6 to 24.5 ppg on the year!! Does this mean experienced QB play is overrated? YES!

There are 20 teams for 2009 with 0 career starts at QB and of those teams which figure to be underrated according to the above statistics, here are my favorite candidates to surprise much like Tulsa, Boise, Penn St, Ole Miss and Georgia Tech did last year. My favorite teams with 0 career starts back at QB are Rutgers, Michigan St, Kansas St, Texas Tech, Nebraska, Arizona, Purdue, Fresno St, Alabama, Louisville and Tulsa.

Now let’s take a look at the offensive lines. There were 3 teams with over 113 career starts returning to their offensive lines. Oklahoma had 130 to lead the NCAA and they had the best offensive line in the country as they averaged 51.1 ppg. Ball St had the 2nd most experienced offensive line with 129 career starts back and they went unbeaten in the regular season. BYU had 208 career starts returning to the O-line and while it was a season below their fans expectations they were still in the top 20 in scoring and total offense. There were only 5 teams that had 22 or less career starts returning last year and of those 5, FOUR went from a bowl game to a losing season!! Vanderbilt was fortunate as they went from outgaining foes 326-325 in ‘07 to being outgained by a 256-320 average on the year but somehow improved their record and went to a bowl.

This year there are only 3 offensive lines that fall into the “less than 22 career starts” category and they are Oregon, Arkansas St and Army. The most experienced offensive lines for 2009 are Colorado St, Wake Forest, East Carolina and Louisiana.

Now here is the list of the 2009 career starts for each team listed highest to lowest.

Returning

Team

total

off

total

def

Career sts

rank

QB

RB

WR

OL

offense

rank

DL

LB

DB

defense

rank

412 1 FIU 24 1 99 108 232 1 48 53 79 180 13
402 2 C Michigan 37 4 73 54 168 21 72 49 113 234 3
395 3 Stanford 20 36 43 77 176 18 68 63 88 219 4
391 4 Buffalo 0 38 85 61 184 12 37 40 130 207 5
389 5 Toledo 30 12 43 97 182 15 67 69 71 207 5
370 6 Florida 27 9 37 56 129 74 69 79 93 241 1
370 6 East Carolina 26 15 41 114 196 7 78 37 59 174 17
365 8 Temple 7 12 41 70 130 70 61 56 94 235 2
362 9 Baylor 23 10 91 66 190 10 62 59 51 172 19
357 10 E Michigan 30 15 78 91 214 2 36 37 70 143 42
352 11 UCF 8 12 118 35 173 19 70 84 25 179 14
342 12 ULM 2 12 82 65 161 28 53 59 69 181 12
339 13 UAB 21 24 64 104 213 3 84 17 25 126 67
327 14 Washington 24 22 21 71 138 56 61 61 67 189 7
324 15 Minnesota 25 21 47 102 195 8 46 29 54 129 62
320 16 Oklahoma St 24 22 36 91 173 19 34 85 28 147 37
317 17 Notre Dame 24 22 52 100 198 6 42 19 58 119 77
316 18 Vanderbilt 10 10 43 67 130 70 64 43 79 186 11
316 18 Virginia Tech 15 18 77 78 188 11 42 29 57 128 63
315 20 Pittsburgh 22 0 78 63 163 25 64 37 51 152 31
313 21 Miami (FL) 2 39 38 64 143 48 54 41 75 170 22
310 22 Mississippi 13 15 49 66 143 48 81 28 58 167 25
308 23 Indiana 3 6 28 84 121 86 60 44 83 187 10
308 23 N Carolina 19 27 25 48 119 88 77 38 74 189 8
305 25 Marshall 13 16 41 61 131 66 83 27 64 174 17
305 25 Louisiana 1 9 20 113 143 48 55 56 51 162 27
304 27 UTEP 28 4 48 86 166 22 42 27 69 138 50
303 28 UCLA 17 18 64 67 166 22 45 54 38 137 54
302 29 Louisiana Tech 8 12 44 91 155 34 71 15 61 147 37
302 29 Georgia 1 6 21 99 127 76 85 47 43 175 16
298 31 San Jose St 11 13 36 93 153 36 63 68 14 145 40
296 32 Clemson 1 19 43 79 142 53 55 34 65 154 30
296 32 Wyoming 26 0 60 77 163 27 70 27 36 133 58
294 34 SMU 13 1 91 48 153 36 28 41 72 141 44
294 34 Oklahoma 28 34 28 32 122 83 92 49 31 172 19
293 36 Iowa St 12 19 50 70 151 41 45 38 59 142 43
292 37 Middle Tenn 8 23 53 99 183 13 25 21 63 109 84
290 38 Connecticut 4 23 42 89 158 31 24 61 47 132 58
289 39 Kent St 3 68 31 50 152 39 67 18 52 137 54
288 40 Fresno St 0 37 55 52 144 47 43 45 56 144 41
287 41 Wake Forest 36 35 17 119 207 4 51 3 26 80 109
285 42 Texas 39 8 44 91 182 14 19 34 50 103 87
284 43 Northwestern 6 3 22 64 95 107 72 19 98 189 8
284 43 USC 8 47 37 100 192 9 18 1 73 92 104
284 43 N Texas 1 14 15 103 133 61 29 64 58 151 32
283 46 Michigan St 0 6 55 52 113 94 48 53 69 170 22
281 47 Tennessee 13 15 57 80 165 24 31 28 57 116 81
281 47 Fla Atlantic 30 26 99 52 207 5 35 1 38 74 111
281 47 San Diego St 12 36 42 53 143 48 56 47 35 138 50
279 50 N Illinois 10 30 29 88 157 33 35 59 28 122 72
278 51 Alabama 0 10 49 52 111 97 48 60 59 167 25
277 52 Iowa 11 13 26 99 149 43 34 50 44 128 63
277 52 UNLV 15 1 59 61 136 59 40 63 38 141 44
276 54 Kentucky 13 28 26 86 153 36 30 19 74 123 71
275 55 Tulsa 0 26 55 45 126 78 19 62 68 149 34
275 55 Akron 21 7 65 85 178 16 47 9 41 97 99
275 55 NC State 11 22 50 60 143 48 64 31 37 132 58
273 58 Utah St 9 20 38 58 125 80 50 51 47 148 35
273 58 Arkansas St 31 49 33 19 132 65 61 34 46 141 44
272 60 S Carolina 3 6 35 71 115 93 72 47 38 157 28
272 60 Arizona 0 29 57 66 152 39 59 23 38 120 76
269 62 Kansas 26 11 68 26 131 66 49 8 81 138 50
269 62 Southern Miss 14 38 38 43 133 61 45 12 79 136 57
268 64 Arizona St 0 11 48 59 118 89 51 54 45 150 33
266 65 Nevada 20 29 44 57 150 42 47 19 50 116 81
266 65 LSU 10 15 59 79 163 25 26 33 44 103 87
264 67 Illinois 34 13 65 49 161 28 37 8 58 103 89
263 68 Arkansas 3 11 59 52 125 80 65 29 44 138 50
263 68 USF 38 12 38 43 131 66 77 14 41 132 58
262 70 Rice 1 6 53 31 91 112 61 49 61 171 21
262 70 Idaho 20 22 64 54 160 30 37 13 52 102 91
262 70 Memphis 15 15 35 28 93 108 72 53 44 169 24
259 74 Auburn 13 16 50 61 140 54 38 28 53 119 77
259 73 Tulane 12 22 41 58 133 61 59 16 51 126 67
257 75 Rutgers 0 26 19 86 131 66 40 36 50 126 67
257 75 Boston Coll 0 23 9 84 116 92 51 47 43 141 44
255 77 BYU 33 37 40 23 133 61 54 41 27 122 72
252 78 Kansas St 0 6 49 58 113 94 64 23 52 139 49
252 78 Colorado St 0 15 33 129 177 17 13 13 49 75 110
251 80 Texas Tech 0 7 37 59 103 101 54 60 34 148 35
250 81 Georgia Tech 12 48 29 60 149 44 13 31 57 101 92
250 81 Ohio 15 28 42 40 125 80 59 29 37 125 70
249 83 California 10 15 22 56 103 101 45 14 87 146 39
247 84 TCU 26 13 33 56 128 75 26 2 91 119 77
247 84 Ohio St 10 3 17 62 92 110 74 14 67 155 29
247 84 Duke 34 15 33 25 107 98 77 25 38 140 48
246 87 Miami (OH) 21 12 67 27 127 76 38 17 64 119 77
242 88 Virginia 31 11 15 69 126 78 26 14 76 116 81
242 88 Wash St 11 34 26 87 158 31 13 29 42 84 106
239 90 Florida St 13 8 38 80 139 55 46 25 29 100 95
234 91 Utah 0 5 18 74 97 105 40 54 43 137 54
234 91 Michigan 4 22 45 75 146 46 17 34 37 88 105
229 93 Colorado 25 20 42 49 136 57 3 37 53 93 102
226 94 Wisconsin 7 5 56 49 117 90 16 18 75 109 84
224 95 Navy 1 8 0 36 45 120 68 67 44 179 14
224 95 Mississippi St 8 37 18 67 130 70 24 49 21 94 101
223 97 Purdue 0 6 27 68 101 103 38 17 67 122 72
223 97 Ball St 0 21 44 31 96 106 67 15 45 127 66
221 99 Troy 14 13 36 54 117 90 41 50 13 104 86
219 100 Bowling Green 25 17 38 40 120 87 8 36 55 99 96
216 101 Nebraska 0 3 24 61 88 114 49 12 67 128 63
215 102 Texas A&M 10 9 34 69 122 83 12 24 57 93 102
210 103 Syracuse 12 0 52 48 112 96 34 17 47 98 97
209 104 W Kentucky 0 24 54 70 148 45 0 26 35 61 114
208 105 Air Force 8 14 22 63 107 98 22 29 50 101 92
205 106 West Virginia 2 16 41 25 84 115 39 39 43 121 75
204 107 Houston 20 14 53 47 134 60 10 28 32 70 112
201 108 Western Mich 30 30 23 71 154 35 19 19 9 47 118
199 109 Penn St 13 12 34 39 98 104 40 52 9 101 94
194 110 Boise St 12 20 19 40 91 112 23 9 71 103 89
189 111 Missouri 0 15 20 56 91 111 15 37 46 98 97
184 112 Oregon St 28 14 51 37 130 70 21 26 7 54 116
175 113 N Mexico St 0 20 15 58 93 108 5 40 37 82 107
173 114 Oregon 10 1 45 20 76 118 24 21 52 97 99
164 115 Louisville 0 5 40 38 83 116 24 25 32 81 108
155 116 New Mexico 30 0 33 42 105 100 1 22 27 50 117
153 117 Cincinnati 12 14 42 68 136 57 3 2 12 17 120
149 118 Hawaii 7 16 36 63 122 83 15 12 0 27 119
133 119 Maryland 20 13 17 27 77 117 10 14 32 56 115
126 120 Army 9 13 16 19 57 119 38 9 22 69 113

The most experienced teams are FIU, Central Michigan and Stanford. The only ranked team from the end of last year that ranks in the Top 15 in total career starts returning is Florida which has 370 career starts ranking #6 in the NCAA.

The least experienced teams in the FBS are Army, Maryland, Hawaii, Cincinnati, New Mexico, Louisville, Oregon, New Mexico St, Oregon St and Missouri.

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