Which CFB Team Will Return Most Production in 2021? ESPN Says UL, Here’s Why
Louisiana's Ragin' Cajun football team is coming off one of the best seasons in program history.
UL finished the 2020 campaign at 10-1, ranked 15th in the AP poll, and 16th in the Coaches Poll.
It marks the first time in school history the team finished the year ranked in the top 25.
College football writer Bill Connelly of ESPN released his SP+ ratings yesterday.
According to Football Outsiders, an SP+ rating is based on "tempo- and opponent-adjusted measures of college football efficiency based on play-by-play and drive data designed to be predictive and forward-facing".
In other words, the amount of production expected to return to a team.
The cliff notes version of Connelly's SP+ rating formula is based on the answers to the following three questions.
How good have you been? How well do you recruit? Who do you return?
Connelly broke down all 127 FBS teams who played college football in 2020, rankings each school's offense, defense, and then a combined overall SP+ ranking.
Who does Connelly rank first? Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns.
With a defensive SP+ ranking of 1st, and an offensive SP+ ranking of 6th, UL scored a 96% SP+ ranking, more than 5% higher than the second-place UCLA and third-place Miami.
2020 was an unusual season for obvious reasons, but 2021's college football season offers an unusual circumstance as well.
Last summer, the NCAA ruled student-athletes who competed in 2020 would not lose a year of eligibility.
With the 2021 season on the horizon, head coach Billy Napier is excited to have a number of players returning who, in an ordinary year, would not have been able to.
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