How much production does your favorite team return ahead of 2024 season?

Courtesy of Rice Football

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Keeping up with college football rosters is harder than ever been thanks to the transfer portal and the COVID year. ESPN staff writer Bill Connelly did the dirty work. He combed through each team’s imports and exports to determine the percentage of returning production for each program in the FBS.

Returning production doesn’t necessarily predict success or failure. FAU led the list in the G5 ranks in 2023 with 83 percent of its production returning, including a staggering 99 percent on defense, before finishing 4-8. Texas A&M returned the most production in Texas heading into last year with 80 percent, yet Jimbo Fisher ended the season without a job. Conversely, SMU was 117th in returning production in 2023 and won the AAC and 11 games in the regular season. 

For our purposes, here is what each of the 13 FBS programs in Texas return ahead of the 2024 season. 

Returning production percentages
1. Rice  73 62 (64) 84 (2) 12
2. Texas A&M 72 77 (22) 67 (35) 18
3. TCU 71 63 (58) 78 (10) 21
4. Texas  70 74 (30) 66 (38) 25
5. Baylor 66 71 (36) 62 (59) 41
6. Sam Houston 64 63 (56) 64 (48) 56
7. SMU 62 64 (55) 60 (64) 66
8. Houston 61 59 (72) 63 (50) 72
9. Texas State 60 54 (91) 65 (42) 77
10. North Texas 54 42 (115) 66 (39) 91
11. Texas Tech 52 54 (88) 50 (101) 93
12. UTSA 45 51 (98) 39 (118) 111
13. UTEP 45 57 (78) 32 (129) 112


A few percentages and rankings immediately stand out. The first is that Texas A&M replaced a ton of production through the portal. College coaches love the phrase, “recruit for potential, portal for production.” Texas A&M holds nearly two dozen portal commitments, which was necessary for new head coach Mike Elko in is first cycle. He needed to replenish the ranks, and he did, as well as holding on to key pieces on both sides of the ball. 


TCU might be in for a rebound season after a sophomore slump under Sonny Dykes. The Horned Frogs ranked 118th in returning production heading into 2023. They are now 21st nationally. Texas, at 25th in the country, returns more production than any other team that made the College Football Playoff last season. Like Elko at Texas A&M, new Houston head coach Willie Fritz combined a strategy of holding onto key pieces already on campus while hitting the portal to plug holes to keep the Cougars from a complete rebuild of production. 

Texas Tech is betting on the upside of younger faces that Joey McGuire and his staff have brought in through recruiting and the portal to replace the outgoing upperclassmen who accounted for most of the Red Raiders’ production. The loss of Frank Harris and wide receiver Josh Cephus on offense, as well as safety Rashad Wisdom and outside linebacker Trey Moore on defense means the Roadrunners need new faces to keep momentum alive in San Antonio. UTEP is in a complete rebuild mode in year one under Scotty Walden. 

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