Mountain West Football: Which Teams Return The Most Production In 2023?

Mountain West Football: Which Teams Return The Most Production In 2023?

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Mountain West Football: Which Teams Return The Most Production In 2023?


Mountain West Football: Which Teams Return The Most Production In 2023?

Many teams in the Mountain West took their lumps last year, owing in part to a lack of returning experience. Have things changed ahead of 2023?

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What could we learn from who’s back in the Mountain West?

With his early off-season SP+ projections out soon, ESPN’s Bill Connelly once again foregrounded that reveal with his count of returning production figures for every team in college football this morning.

In 2022, the conference as a whole went into spring practices as the least experienced one overall at the FBS level, which explained why seven different Mountain West teams ranked 100th or worse, but this year looks a little more promising for some teams (with one standout in particular).

How is the percentage measured? According to Connelly, it considers the following three questions: “How good has your team been recently? How well has it recruited? And perhaps most importantly, who returns from last year’s roster?” Additionally, quarterback production tends to weigh the heaviest of any individual position on offense, accounting for more than one quarter of production, while defensive backs account for nearly half of the overall figure on defense.

  • 122. Hawaii — 47% (37% offense, 49% defense)
  • 111. San Jose State — 53% (57% offense, 48% defense)
  • 108. Nevada — 53% (53% offense, 54% defense)
  • 103. Utah State — 55% (44% offense, 66% defense)
  • 97. San Diego State — 56% (71% offense, 40% defense)
  • 86. Air Force — 57% (47% offense, 70% defense)
  • 84. Fresno State — 59% (48% offense, 71% defense)
  • 62. Colorado State — 64% (62% offense, 66% defense)
  • 61. New Mexico — 64% (78% offense, 49% defense)
  • 49. Boise State — 67% (78% offense, 55% defense)
  • 42. UNLV — 69% (71% offense, 66% defense)
  • 4. Wyoming — 82% (82% offense, 84% defense)

Craig Bohl’s Cowboys stand head and shoulders above the rest of the Mountain West on paper, trailing only Florida State, Kansas, and Florida Atlantic among all FBS teams. That may be good news for the Pokes faithful, as Connelly mentions that teams returning at least 80% of their production improve on average by 5.8 adjusted points per game, an improvement which would turn a top-25 team by SP+ into a top-ten one.

Conversely, Hawaii brings up the rear after ranking ahead of only Nevada last February, but the good news is that the Warriors’ overall percentage of production back for 2023 is significantly higher, increasing from 33% a year ago.

The Wolf Pack themselves also return a substantially larger chunk of last season’s production, too, doubling their percentage from 27% this time last year to 53% despite ranking 108th overall. In-state rival UNLV comes in second overall after leading the way last February, which could be good news for fans who hope new head coach Barry Odom will be able to hit the ground running despite losses like Daniel Gutierrez, Aidan Robbins, and Nohl Williams.

In particular, the Rebels will return 71% of last year’s offensive production, one of six units in the conference to top 70%. Their offense is joined by an eclectic mix of teams hoping to maintain or reverse their fortunes in Boise State, New Mexico, and San Diego State, while Fresno State and Air Force hit that mark on defense. Both the Bulldogs and Falcons return less than 50% on offense, however, with losses like Jake Haener, Jalen Moreno-Cropper, Brad Roberts, and Haaziq Daniels likely to raise big questions which will take time to address.



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