Returning production is never the be-all, end-all in college football, but it's still important. Good players at the peak of their athletic careers typically only get better, giving an edge to programs that can reload on an annual basis.
The betting markets obviously take this into account, too. Experience can provide a significant advantage, especially in certain situations.
As we peer ahead to the 2020 season, here are some notable teams trending up, and down, based on returning production.
Last season was a total rebuild for Georgia Tech. The program brought in head coach Geoff Collins from Temple to succeed Paul Johnson, and with that came a swift identity change. The Yellow Jackets abandoned their triple-option offense and completely started from scratch, leaving them with virtually their entire defense and more than 66% of the offense coming back for 2020. Georgia Tech put out a pretty bleak product in 2019 but could be a lot more fun this fall in the second year of a new system.
Maybe, just maybe, we were a year too early on Nebraska.