Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Oklahoma Sooners [Print without images]

Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Stat crunch: Big 12 returning production

By Max Olson

This summer, we've broken down each Big 12 team on the starting experience, lettermen and total tackles they bring back for 2014. So naturally, another piece of the puzzle is offensive production.

It might sound like a simplistic way to judge these Big 12 squads on paper, but it is worth taking stock of which teams lost their playmakers and which ones get 'em all back.

Below is the breakdown, in percentages, of how much passing, rushing and receiving production each team brings back from the 2013 season.

Untitled Document
Iowa State fared best in this study. The Cyclones bring back 82 percent of their total offensive production and have the only offense in the Big 12 that ranks above the league average in returning production in passing, rushing and receiving.

These aren't perfect numbers, of course, as we're not considering what these players did in 2012 or what transfers might have contributed at other programs. We're not using career stats, just 2013 numbers. So the impact of experienced players such as David Ash, Matt Joeckel, Tyreek Hill, Rushel Shell and any injured players from last fall aren't captured in these percentages.

But these numbers do provide an intriguing snapshot, both of experience and of which teams will need young or unproven players to step up in 2014. A few takeaways: Another way to break down returning offensive production: by the skill players. Consider this chart, which combines the returning rushing-plus-receiving production against each team's 2013 total offense.

By this measurement, Texas and TCU are in the best shape when it comes to their returning backs, receivers and tight ends. Preseason Big 12 favorite Oklahoma, on the other hand, lost its top three running backs and three of its top four receivers and brings back 31 percent of its skill-player production. They'll have to find new players to help Trevor Knight keep the Sooners offense rolling.

And in fairness, Texas and TCU being atop this chart won't mean a thing if they don't find better solutions for their quarterback issues. As we said, these are just small pieces of the grander offseason puzzle.