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2012 Returning Starters!

We have already been working hard on the 2012 season and today’s blog is the current list for returning starters for each team in 2012 broken down by offense, defense and special teams (kicker/punter). The * on the offense number denotes that the starting QB is returning. Below the list I broke down teams with the most/least returning starters.

I will be back later this week with my forecasts for the AFC and NFC Championship games while on Monday I will expand on the Las Vegas odds to win the 2012 BCS National Championship and give you a breakdown of each of the teams including key starters back/lost.

Returning Starters for 2012

Rank
Team OFF DEF ST Total Conf
1
UTSA 11* 10 2 23 WAC
2
Texas Tech 9* 10 1 20 BIG 12
2
Tennessee 10* 8 2 20 SEC
4
Boston College 9* 9 1 19 ACC
4
Indiana 8* 9 2 19 BIG 10
4
Bowling Green 7* 10 2 19 MAC
4
FIU 7 10 2 19 SUN BELT
8
Ohio State 7* 9 2 18 BIG 10
8
Kansas St 9* 7 2 18 BIG 12
8
USF 8* 8 2 18 BIG EAST
8
Cent Michigan 8* 8 2 18 MAC
8
Eastern Michigan 9* 7 2 18 MAC
8
Miami (OH) 8* 8 2 18 MAC
8
Colorado St 9* 8 1 18 MWC
8
Utah 9* 7 2 18 PAC 12
8
Auburn 7* 9 2 18 SEC
8
Florida 7 10 1 18 SEC
8
Vanderbilt 9* 7 2 18 SEC
8
North Texas 8* 5 5 18 SUN BELT
20
Georgia Tech 8* 7 2 17 ACC
20
Maryland 7* 8 2 17 ACC
20
Oklahoma 8* 7 2 17 BIG 12
20
Texas 10* 7 0 17 BIG 12
20
Connecticut 7* 9 1 17 BIG EAST
20
Tulane 7* 8 2 17 CUSA
20
BYU 8* 7 2 17 INDEP
20
USC 8* 7 2 17 PAC 12
20
Mississippi 8* 7 2 17 SEC
29
Duke 8* 8 0 16 ACC
29
NC State 7* 7 2 16 ACC
29
Michigan 7* 7 2 16 BIG 10
29
Nebraska 7* 7 2 16 BIG 10
29
Purdue 8* 7 1 16 BIG 10
29
Baylor 6 8 2 16 BIG 12
29
Oklahoma St 6 8 2 16 BIG 12
29
West Virginia 8* 6 2 16 BIG EAST
29
Army 6* 9 1 16 INDEP
29
Ball St 8* 6 2 16 MAC
29
Fresno St 8* 7 1 16 MWC
29
UCLA 7* 7 2 16 PAC 12
29
Texas A&M 9 6 1 16 SEC
29
WKU 9* 6 1 16 SUN BELT
29
Louisiana Tech 8* 6 2 16 WAC
44
Florida St 6* 8 1 15 ACC
44
North Carolina 8* 5 2 15 ACC
44
Kansas 7 6 2 15 BIG 12
44
Pittsburgh 8* 5 2 15 BIG EAST
44
Rutgers 6* 8 1 15 BIG EAST
44
Memphis 6* 7 2 15 CUSA
44
UCF 7* 8 0 15 CUSA
44
Notre Dame 8* 6 1 15 INDEP
44
Akron 8* 6 1 15 MAC
44
Kent St 8* 6 1 15 MAC
44
Massachusetts 6* 9 0 15 MAC
44
Ohio 6* 8 1 15 MAC
44
New Mexico 8* 6 1 15 MWC
44
UNLV 8* 5 2 15 MWC
44
Washington St 5 9 1 15 PAC 12
44
Arkansas 7* 6 2 15 SEC
44
Georgia 6* 9 0 15 SEC
44
Florida Atlantic 6* 8 1 15 SUN BELT
44
Troy 9* 6 0 15 SUN BELT
44
ULM 8* 5 2 15 SUN BELT
64
Clemson 6* 7 1 14 ACC
64
Illinois 6* 7 1 14 BIG 10
64
Michigan St 4 8 2 14 BIG 10
64
Louisville 7* 7 0 14 BIG EAST
64
Syracuse 6* 6 2 14 BIG EAST
64
East Carolina 7 7 0 14 CUSA
64
Houston 5 7 2 14 CUSA
64
Tulsa 6 7 1 14 CUSA
64
Wyoming 6* 7 1 14 MWC
64
Colorado 6* 6 2 14 PAC 12
64
Oregon St 6* 7 1 14 PAC 12
64
Stanford 6 7 1 14 PAC 12
64
Washington 7* 7 0 14 PAC 12
64
LSU 7 5 2 14 SEC
64
South Carolina 7* 6 1 14 SEC
64
Utah St 5* 7 2 14 WAC
64
Texas St 5* 8 1 14 WAC
81
Virginia Tech 3* 9 1 13 ACC
81
Minnesota 6* 5* 2 13 BIG 10
81
Iowa St 7* 5 1 13 BIG 12
81
TCU 6* 7 0 13 BIG 12
81
UTEP 7* 4 2 13 CUSA
81
Navy 4 8 1 13 INDEP
81
Buffalo 6 7 0 13 MAC
81
Northern Illinois 3 8 2 13 MAC
81
Western Michigan 7* 6 0 13 MAC
81
Oregon 5 6 2 13 PAC 12
81
Alabama 7* 4 2 13 SEC
81
Kentucky 6* 6 1 13 SEC
81
Mississippi St 5 7 1 13 SEC
81
Missouri 5* 6 2 13 SEC
81
Middle Tenn 6* 6 1 13 SUN BELT
96
Miami (Fla) 4 6 2 12 ACC
96
Wake Forest 3* 7 2 12 ACC
96
Iowa 6* 5 1 12 BIG 10
96
Northwestern 5 5 2 12 BIG 10
96
Penn St. 5* 5 2 12 BIG 10
96
Cincinnati 4 6 2 12 BIG EAST
96
Marshall 7* 5 0 12 CUSA
96
SMU 3 7 2 12 CUSA
96
Southern Miss 6 5 1 12 CUSA
96
San Diego St 6 6 0 12 MWC
96
Hawaii 6 4 2 12 MWC
96
Nevada 6* 5 1 12 MWC
96
Arizona 6 5 1 12 PAC 12
96
Louisiana 8* 2 2 12 SUN BELT
96
Idaho 5 5 2 12 WAC
111
Virginia 6* 5 0 11 ACC
111
Rice 5* 5 1 11 CUSA
111
UAB 6* 4 1 11 CUSA
111
California 6* 5 0 11 PAC 12
111
San Jose St 6 4 1 11 WAC
116
Wisconsin 4 6 0 10 BIG 10
116
Arizona St 4 4 2 10 PAC 12
116
Arkansas St 6* 3 1 10 SUN BELT
116
New Mexico St 5 3 2 10 WAC
120
Temple 2 5 2 9 MAC
120
Toledo 4* 4 1 9 MAC
122
Air Force 3 3 1 7 MWC
123
Boise St 3 2 1 6 MWC

Last year in this blog I talked about several teams that were the most experienced in the country and three of them mentioned went on to have outstanding seasons. Last year new Vanderbilt HC James Franklin inherited one of the most experienced teams in the country with a total of the 21 of the 24 players back for this season including all 11 starters on offense. Franklin and the Commodores would go on to qualify for only their 2nd bowl game since 1982. New Michigan HC Brady Hoke also inherited one of the more experienced teams in the country with the Wolverines returning 20 starters led by All-American candidate Robinson at QB. The Wolverines delivered with 11 wins and their first BCS Bowl win since the 2000 season! Also mentioned was Alabama as despite losing RB Ingram, WR Jones and DE Dareus to the NFL draft early, the Crimson Tide still returned 17 starters and would go on to win the national title!

On the opposite end was the 2010 national champion Auburn Tigers who returned only 7 starters which was an incredible 3 fewer than any other team and they would go from 14-0 to 8-5.

In 2012 UTSA returns the most starters in the country but that should be expected since they are a start-up program that will move into the WAC this year. The two FBS teams from last year that return the most starters are Texas Tech and Tennessee who return 20 starters including ST’s and are similar in many ways. Both are coming off disappointing 5-7 seasons and both feature a 3rd-year HC who has struggled to live up to expectations to date. With so much experience returning for both teams, look for them to be improved and back in a bowl game for 2012. Another school that missed out on a bowl last year for the first time since 1998 was Boston College who also will be one of the more experienced teams in the country and should be improved.

At the bottom of the rankings to no surprise is Boise St who was featured near the top of the returning starters list in 2010 and 2011. The graduating class of seniors went an unbelievable 50-3 in their 4 years and naturally the Broncos will have to replace their 4-year starting QB Kellen Moore. The last time Boise St had this many key departures they were coming off the 2006 BCS Bowl win over Oklahoma and would finish 10-3 in 2007.

Returning Starters for 2012 By Conference

Rank
Team OFF DEF ST Total Conf
4
Boston College 9* 9 1 19 ACC
20
Georgia Tech 8* 7 2 17 ACC
20
Maryland 7* 8 2 17 ACC
29
Duke 8* 8 0 16 ACC
29
NC State 7* 7 2 16 ACC
44
Florida St 6* 8 1 15 ACC
44
North Carolina 8* 5 2 15 ACC
64
Clemson 6* 7 1 14 ACC
81
Virginia Tech 3* 9 1 13 ACC
96
Miami (Fla.) 4 6 2 12 ACC
96
Wake Forest 3* 7 2 12 ACC
111
Virginia 6* 5 0 11 ACC
4
Indiana 8* 9 2 19 BIG 10
8
Ohio State 7* 9 2 18 BIG 10
29
Michigan 7* 7 2 16 BIG 10
29
Nebraska 7* 7 2 16 BIG 10
29
Purdue 8* 7 1 16 BIG 10
64
Illinois 6* 7 1 14 BIG 10
64
Michigan St 4 8 2 14 BIG 10
81
Minnesota 6* 5* 2 13 BIG 10
96
Iowa 6* 5 1 12 BIG 10
96
Northwestern 5 5 2 12 BIG 10
96
Penn St. 5* 5 2 12 BIG 10
116
Wisconsin 4 6 0 10 BIG 10
2
Texas Tech 9* 10 1 20 BIG 12
8
Kansas St 9* 7 2 18 BIG 12
20
Oklahoma 8* 7 2 17 BIG 12
20
Texas 10* 7 0 17 BIG 12
29
Baylor 6 8 2 16 BIG 12
29
Oklahoma St 6 8 2 16 BIG 12
44
Kansas 7 6 2 15 BIG 12
81
Iowa St. 7* 5 1 13 BIG 12
81
TCU 6* 7 0 13 BIG 12
8
USF 8* 8 2 18 BIG EAST
20
Connecticut 7* 9 1 17 BIG EAST
29
West Virginia 8* 6 2 16 BIG EAST
44
Pittsburgh 8* 5 2 15 BIG EAST
44
Rutgers 6* 8 1 15 BIG EAST
64
Louisville 7* 7 0 14 BIG EAST
64
Syracuse 6* 6 2 14 BIG EAST
96
Cincinnati 4 6 2 12 BIG EAST
20
Tulane 7* 8 2 17 CUSA
44
Memphis 6* 7 2 15 CUSA
44
UCF 7* 8 0 15 CUSA
64
East Carolina 7 7 0 14 CUSA
64
Houston 5 7 2 14 CUSA
64
Tulsa 6 7 1 14 CUSA
81
UTEP 7* 4 2 13 CUSA
96
Marshall 7* 5 0 12 CUSA
96
SMU 3 7 2 12 CUSA
96
Southern Miss 6 5 1 12 CUSA
111
Rice 5* 5 1 11 CUSA
111
UAB 6* 4 1 11 CUSA
20
BYU 8* 7 2 17 INDEP
29
Army 6* 9 1 16 INDEP
44
Notre Dame 8* 6 1 15 INDEP
81
Navy 4 8 1 13 INDEP
4
Bowling Green 7* 10 2 19 MAC
8
Cent Michigan 8* 8 2 18 MAC
8
Eastern Michigan 9* 7 2 18 MAC
8
Miami (OH) 8* 8 2 18 MAC
29
Ball St. 8* 6 2 16 MAC
44
Akron 8* 6 1 15 MAC
44
Kent St 8* 6 1 15 MAC
44
Massachusetts 6* 9 0 15 MAC
44
Ohio University 6* 8 1 15 MAC
81
Buffalo 6 7 0 13 MAC
81
Northern Illinois 3 8 2 13 MAC
81
Western Michigan 7* 6 0 13 MAC
120
Temple 2 5 2 9 MAC
120
Toledo 4* 4 1 9 MAC
8
Colorado St 9* 8 1 18 MWC
29
Fresno St 8* 7 1 16 MWC
44
New Mexico 8* 6 1 15 MWC
44
UNLV 8* 5 2 15 MWC
64
Wyoming 6* 7 1 14 MWC
96
San Diego St 6 6 0 12 MWC
96
Hawaii 6 4 2 12 MWC
96
Nevada 6* 5 1 12 MWC
122
Air Force 3 3 1 7 MWC
123
Boise St. 3 2 1 6 MWC
8
Utah 9* 7 2 18 PAC 12
20
USC 8* 7 2 17 PAC 12
29
UCLA 7* 7 2 16 PAC 12
44
Washington St 5 9 1 15 PAC 12
64
Colorado 6* 6 2 14 PAC 12
64
Oregon St 6* 7 1 14 PAC 12
64
Stanford 6 7 1 14 PAC 12
64
Washington 7* 7 0 14 PAC 12
81
Oregon 5 6 2 13 PAC 12
96
Arizona 6 5 1 12 PAC 12
111
California 6* 5 0 11 PAC 12
116
Arizona St 4 4 2 10 PAC 12
2
Tennessee 10* 8 2 20 SEC
8
Auburn 7* 9 2 18 SEC
8
Florida 7 10 1 18 SEC
8
Vanderbilt 9* 7 2 18 SEC
20
Mississippi 8* 7 2 17 SEC
29
Texas A&M 9 6 1 16 SEC
44
Arkansas 7* 6 2 15 SEC
44
Georgia 6* 9 0 15 SEC
64
LSU 7 5 2 14 SEC
64
South Carolina 7* 6 1 14 SEC
81
Alabama 7* 4 2 13 SEC
81
Kentucky 6* 6 1 13 SEC
81
Mississippi St 5 7 1 13 SEC
81
Missouri 5* 6 2 13 SEC
4
FIU 7 10 2 19 SUN BELT
8
North Texas 8* 5 5 18 SUN BELT
29
WKU 9* 6 1 16 SUN BELT
44
Fla Atlantic 6* 8 1 15 SUN BELT
44
Troy 9* 6 0 15 SUN BELT
44
ULM 8* 5 2 15 SUN BELT
81
Middle Tenn 6* 6 1 13 SUN BELT
96
Louisiana 8* 2 2 12 SUN BELT
116
Arkansas St 6* 3 1 10 SUN BELT
1
UTSA 11* 10 2 23 WAC
29
Louisiana Tech 8* 6 2 16 WAC
64
Utah St 5* 7 2 14 WAC
64
Texas St 5* 8 1 14 WAC
96
Idaho 5 5 2 12 WAC
111
San Jose St 6 4 1 11 WAC
116
New Mexico St 5 3 2 10 WAC

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  • John McSweeney

    Florida State has more starter than 6 returning on offense. By the end of the year, they only started 2 seniors, Bert Reed and Zebrie Sanders. Thats 9 returners by my count.

  • Guest

    Tennessee actually has 9 coming back on defense.  They’re only losing Malik Jackson and Austin Johnson.  You may be counting Ben Martin, but he didn’t play as much as Marlon Walls.  Martin was plagued by injuries throughout his career, so they did give him some starts here and there as health allowed.

  • Dmwold

    Oregon St brings back 8 returning starters on defense. Could also argue for 7 returners on offense, as their entire RB by committee returns, though I’m guessing it was excluded as the most starts by a single RB (Agnew) was 5.

    See here:

    http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/orst/sports/m-footbl/auto_pdf/2011-12/release/release.pdf

  • Howelltodd

    Your numbers on Florida State are just wrong.

    FSU has 9 starters coming back on defense: Brandon Jenkins, Bjoern Werner, Everette Dawkins, Anthony McCloud, Christian Jones, Vincent Williams, Greg Reid, Xavier Rhodes, and Lamarcus Joyner

    FSU has 8 or 9 starters coming back on offense (depending on whether or not you consider Garrett Faircloth a starter): E.J. Manuel, Lonnie Pryor, Davonta Freeman, Rodney Smith, Rashad Greene, Jacob Fahrenkrug, Bryan Stork, Bobby Hart and Faircloth (started 6 games at OL).

    With you being so off on FSU … it makes me wonder just how correct the rest of the numbers are.

  • Rowdy Runner

    UTSA RULES! GO RUNNERSSSSSSSSSSSS!

  • Ijloehner

    Rodney Smith and Rashad Greene started at WR by the end of the year.
    Beau Reliford and Zebrie Sanders are the only starters on Offense that
    the Noles will be without in 2012.

    The only starters on defense that they will be without are Terrance Parks and Nigel Bradham.

    So, with 18 returning on Offense and Defense, along with Dustin Hopkins
    on Special Teams, that means FSU is tied for 4th with 19 returning.

  • Kbart4033

    Interesting stuff. Would like to see it weighted with QF (Quality Factor)…Got a feeling that backups returning for LSU and Alabama might be better than a lot of returning starters for others…

  • Sypkens

    Not sure if you included him or not in this report but the NCAA has given Missouri Tiger OT and 3-year starter Elvis Fisher a 6th year of eligibility after a season-ending injury during August two-a-days last year. That would put the Tigers at 14 returning starters. Gonna need all the help we can get in our first year of competition in the SEC.