Schools have a lot of different methods in determining returning starters. I personally look at the individual starters for all 124 FBS teams. I determine only 11 starters from the previous year. Some schools have the criteria of 5 or more starts and therefore list 14 starters returning (as an example: 9 starters returning, 5 starters lost). I look at each position and determine my starters. Sometimes my criteria is not just 6 or more starts. As an example: at Nebraska a couple years ago year RB Marlon Lucky had 11 starts at the I-back position. His “backup” Roy Helu had 2 starts and Quentin Castille had 1. Determining the Nebraska RB position on the start basis would have a starter lost from the RB position. I look at the fact that Helu led the team in ’08 with 803 yds rush while Lucky was a distant second at 517. Castille almost topped Lucky’s numbers with 467. Each of the 3 had almost identical carries. With the top rusher back and 1,373 of the teams 1,910 RB yds (72%) I graded that unit as a starter returning.
In the magazine I list what I feel is the most accurate starters returning chart in the country on each team’s right page. Since the magazine was published in May there have been some teams which have lost some returning starters for different reasons. Here on my Sunday blog I am providing you with a single chart that lists all 124 teams so you can see the starters returning at a glance and in RED I list the teams who have lost starters since May. If you’re wondering who was lost, check out my complete list of injuries on the front page of PhilSteele.com which we update daily.
An * means the QB is returning (note: Akron is the only tm that has lost its returning st’r at QB).