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College football teams' returning production for 2022 season

NC State is the only team among last year's top 15 to return a top-15 level of production in 2022. Rob Kinnan/USA TODAY Sports

It's that time of year again. With the 2022 college football signing class in the books, we have the components we need to put together this season's initial SP+ projections.

As always, the projections stem from three primary questions: How good has your team been recently? How well has it recruited? And perhaps most importantly,: Who returns from last year's roster?

Full SP+ projections will come out Wednesday, but for now our focus is on that last question. For decades, we have used returning starters as a proxy for measuring experience, mainly because we haven't had anything better to use. But for a few years now, I've been attempting to expand how we measure returning production. The formula I have created shifts with each new year of data, but it's based on what has the greatest impact on year-to-year improvement and regression.

First the data, then the explanation. Here are the returning production percentages and rankings for all 131 FBS teams: