The Indiana football program appears to be in a good position to build on its memorable 2019 season.
After the Hoosiers’ first season with at least eight wins since 1993, most of the roster will be back in 2020 to try to keep the momentum going.
ESPN staff writer Bill Connelly produced his annual analysis of the college football teams with the most returning production. According to Connelly, IU leads the Big Ten East division in that regard, and it has the 11th most returning production in the country.
Returning production is not a measure of returning starters, but instead an attempt to quantify the most valuable returning components of a roster. Here is how Connelly describes it:
It looks at the most predictive key personnel stats — percentage of your QB’s passing yards returning, percentage of your secondary’s passes defensed returning, and everything in between — and is weighted based on what correlates most strongly with year-to-year improvement and regression.
If there was a year for IU to crack the top four in the Big Ten East, 2020 might be it.
While the Hoosiers sit atop the division in terms of returning production, four Big Ten East foes come in at No. 90 or worse nationally (out of 130) — including three of the traditional powerhouse programs in the league.
Of particular note are Michigan and Michigan State.
The Wolverines are taking a big hit on the offensive side of the football, with quarterback Shea Patterson moving on along with 75 percent of their offensive line snaps according to Connelly. Michigan has the least returning production in the entire league. IU will travel to Ann Arbor to face the Wolverines in November.
The Spartans are going through a coaching change of course, but they will also be experiencing major roster attrition, losing more than 50 percent of their production on both sides of the football. With all of the change in East Lansing, IU will have its best opportunity in years to surpass MSU in the division. Moreover, Indiana hosts Michigan State in Bloomington in 2020.
Also coming in at No. 90 or worse are Maryland (90) and Ohio State (93).
Here is a complete summary of the Big Ten East’s returning production along with the other teams on Indiana’s 2020 schedule.
When it comes to IU’s Big Ten West opponents, the Hoosiers will be facing some of the more experienced teams in that division.
Indiana travels to Wisconsin to open the 2020 season, and then hosts Illinois and Purdue during the the latter part of the campaign.
It isn’t clear how Connelly’s analysis addressed Indiana’s quarterback situation. Obviously a significant portion of the production is leaving with the news that Peyton Ramsey has entered the transfer portal. But with starter Michael Penix, Jr. back, the Hoosiers should not see a decline in production if he can stay healthy.
For more on Indiana’s 2020 schedule and complete position-by-position summary of who is coming and going in 2020 for the Hoosiers, check out these links:
- The 2020 schedule
- Position-by-position summary of who is returning
- Status of 2019 freshmen under redshirt rule
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