2022 College Football Transfers & Returning Production | Action Network

2022 College Football Transfers & Returning Production | Action Network article feature image

Michael Shroyer/Getty Images. Pictured: Lane Stadium, home of the Virginia Tech Hokies.

History was made when Georgia was crowned the national champion after a 41-year journey back to the top. As a consumer in Las Vegas with a considerable amount of investment on the Bulldogs, the spoils lasted well into the evening.

Most consumers tuck college football away and veer into college hoops or the NFL playoffs by mid-January, but my personal concern on an outbound flight from McCarran International was the transfer portal and returning production.

Off a COVID-tormented 2020 season of college athletics, The Action Network released the first-ever version of TARP.

Knowing the number of returning starters was a primary summer handicap a decade ago, producing the more in-depth returning production calculations in the playoff era.

But amateur football is transforming by the day. Players have entered the transfer portal at a furious pace with the evolution of immediate waivers and promises of NIL deals on the other side.

Thanks to an extended bowl menu, National Signing Day, spring games and Week Zero, the portal has made college football a 365-day handicap.

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Introducing the Transferring Assets & Returning Production (TARP) System

With the number of moving parts in an unstable environment, offseason roster grading must adopt a Transferring Assets & Returning Production (TARP) system.

Transfers will now have their statistics weighted to the balance of their new team's rush-pass rate. For example: If former Illinois tight end Daniel Barker, who tied for the team lead in touchdown receptions, lands at a program that targets tight ends, his stats will be weighted accordingly.

Here is a look at how weights are assigned at each individual position:

Offensive Grade

  • Quarterback Passing Yards = 33%
  • Rushing Yards = 7%
  • Receiving Yards = 33%
  • Offensive Line Snaps = 27%

Defensive Grade

  • Tackles = 40%
  • Passes Defensed = 33%
  • Total Pressure =10%
  • Stops = 17%

For those who tracked TARP in 2021, there have been some changes in the data used to calculate the carryover statistics for each roster.

With accessibility to snap count data, the offensive line is no longer concerned with number of starts or total games played. The offensive line is now a calculation of total returning and portal snaps to generate a quarter of the offensive TARP.

There is a similar change on the defensive side of the ball, as sacks and tackles for loss have been traded in for pressure and stops. Total pressure is the summation of sacks, hits and hurries, as defined by PFF. This statistic goes beyond just sacks, a staple in the returning production calculation in years past.

Tackles for loss have also been traded in for stops, defined as tackles that constitute a "failure" for the offense by PFF. College football is in the golden age of offenses through the RPO, making tackles that send opponents into passing downs a crucial component to handicapping a defense.

Each one of the coordinating statistics is compiled to a percentage of portal and returning players. That percentage is weighted by a power rating scale of plus-minus seven points on offense and plus-minus five points on defense.

Here are the coordinating offensive and defensive percentages and how they change a power rating:

The portal consistently keeps TARP in flux, as big-name players such as Travis Dye to USC and Jermaine Burton to Alabama have moved the needle. As of writing, there are several top talents who have not made decisions.

Our Action Analytics team has built an interactive TARP dashboard that will update daily throughout the beginning of the 2022 season.

Here's a first look at 2022 TARP for each of the 130 FBS programs:

2022 TARP Biggest Risers

Syracuse Orange

There will be no sleeping on the Orange offense heading into 2022, as offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert has been replaced by Robert Anae from the Virginia staff.

In the wake of Bronco Mendenhall's retirement, Syracuse head coach Dino Babers was also quick to scoop Virginia quarterback coach Jason Beck. This is great news for an offense that returns over 75%, led by quarterback Garrett Shrader and running back Sean Tucker.


📺 @accnetworkpic.twitter.com/BkLsgEGSRF

— Syracuse Football (@CuseFootball) November 20, 2021

The loss of defensive lineman Cody Roscoe lowered the returning pressure totals, but an above average return clip in Stops, passes defensed and tackles has the Orange getting the premium power rating boost heading into 2022.

With UConn and Wagner on the nonconference schedule, Syracuse will be a bullish investment when win totals are released.

Troy Trojans

Former Kentucky co-defensive coordinator Jon Sumrall walks into a great situation in a familiar place. The new head coach was once a defensive assistant in the Neal Brown era that beat LSU and won a Sun Belt title in 2017.

Sumrall gets the biggest piece of the defense back in Carlton Martial, who had 60 more tackles than any other defender in 2021.

Tick, Tick…BOOM!
Unfinished business!
Ready to get to work with @Cmartial2! @TroyTrojansFBhttps://t.co/tO4pfWLLmY

— Jon Sumrall (@CoachJonSumrall) January 5, 2022

New offensive coordinator Joe Craddock branches out from the Chad Morris coaching tree to implement the "smashmouth spread."

Gunnar Watson will continue starting duties with Taylor Powell announcing his intention to transfer to Eastern Michigan.

Troy may be a sneaky Week 1 consideration against an Ole Miss team replacing some of the best talent in the SEC.

2022 TARP Biggest Fallers

Iowa State Cyclones

The best offense in the history of the Cyclones program is gone, as quarterback Brock Purdy, running back Breece Hall and tight end Charlie Kolar have departed Ames.

Head coach Matt Campbell not only has to replace an offense, but a defense that sheds linebacker Mike Rose and defensive back Greg Eisworth.

Iowa State has drawn just one four-star player through the 2020 and 2021 recruiting classes, as Hunter Dekkers will fill the role at quarterback with just 43 career passing attempts.

Campbell will continue to run multiple tight end sets on offense and heavy 3-3-5 on defense with plenty of new faces in his seventh attempt to beat Iowa on Sept. 10.

Kent State Golden Flashes

Head coach Sean Lewis took over Kent State in 2018 and implemented the "Flash Fast" narrative to the offense.

For the first time in his tenure, quarterback Dustin Crum will not be under center to lead the offense. Another gaping hole is more than a half-dozen offensive linemen whose amateur clocks have expired.

Cornerback Elvis Hines was a senior in 2021 and is now focused on the NFL Draft, leaving a large hole in passes defensed and tackles for the Golden Flashes.

While the handicap for Kent State is always on the offense, the trench and quarterback position will be the biggest questions in the handicap of the MAC East.

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