More experience doesn’t necessarily mean more wins

Posted: July 9, 2018 in College football
Tags: , , ,
Football at Iowa State

LB Joe Dineen earned 2nd Tm AA Honors in 2017

Every year college football prognosticator Phil Steele releases an experience chart that compares every FBS team and ranks each them accordingly. The factors include career offensive line starts returning, percentage of tackles returning, percentage of yards returning, percentage of letterman returning, and Seniors listed as starters or in the two-deep. Teams ranking high on the chart are typically improved from the prior season.

Surprisingly, the most experienced team on the chart in recent years however, hasn’t always shown the normal improvement.

In 2015 Steele graded UMass as the most experienced team in the country entering the season with a point total of 83.6. Coming off a season in which they finished 3-5 in conference play and 3-9 overall, the Minutemen ended 2015 just 2-6 in conference play with the same 3-9 overall record.

Kent State was Steele’s most experienced team in 2016 with a point total of 79.9. The Golden Flashes were 3-9, including 2-6 in conference play in 2015. Unfortunately, Kent State finished with the exact same marks.

Last year Florida Atlantic earned the title from Steele as the most experienced team entering the season (80.3 grade). The improvement was substantial as the Owls went from 2-6 in conference play and 3-9 overall, to 9-0 in league action and 11-3 overall including a blowout Boca Raton Bowl win!

Kansas has the most experienced team in the nation according to Steele this year with a point total of 85.5. The Jayhawks return 19 starters from a team that finished 1-11 overall, including 0-9 in the Big 12 in 2017. They will be a ‘dog in all nine of their conference games this year, meaning they will need to pull an upset to avoid another winless B12 season. They could, however, double their overall win total. A victory over FCS member Nicholls in the opener should be attainable. While Kansas has lost 49 straight games away from Lawrence, they will be playing with revenge at a Central Michigan squad that is picked to finish last in the MAC West.

Wins and losses may not be a fair assessment of the improvement Kansas could show this season. They were outscored by over three touchdowns and outgained by 139 yards per game last year, but Steele is projecting the Jayhawks to get outscored by just over a touchdown this year while being outgained by 68 yards per game.

While Jayhawk fans are likely in for another long season with a coaching change imminent, at least the faithful should see a more competitive product on the field and the amount of blowout losses will be reduced.

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