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2023 College Football Transfer Portal Assets & Returning Production

2023 College Football Transfer Portal Assets & Returning Production article feature image

Steph Chambers/Getty Images. Pictured: Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr.

Long gone are the days of the college football offseason. With the implementation of the transfer portal and NIL deals, no sport has accelerated faster to a full calendar of activities.

Action Network presented TARP — the management of predicting roster experience through the portal and returning production — for the first time in 2022. Last season’s numbers called for Troy to have a huge year, while Iowa State and Kent State were predicted to slide out of bowl season.

Although TARP is the largest ingredient for setting win totals, lessons were learned along the way.

How Transfer Portal Windows & Roster Releases Impact TARP

First, the transfer portal has two separate windows of activity in 2023. With the first window closing on Jan. 18, the first edition of TARP can be produced. The second window of portal activity is set to occur from May 1-15, meaning any player with antipathy from the spring game may look for a new campus.

Because of these dates, a TARP update will occur before Memorial Day.

Also, not every school has released its 2023 roster at the time of this article. The college football world is still sorting through the ramifications of the COVID plus-one season for players.

The specific area where this will have the most impact is the trenches, with only 53 schools reporting rosters as of this writing.

Finding news on the whereabouts of college football quarterbacks is an easy social media query, but finding out if an offensive lineman has exercised a sixth season is an endless task. For instance, thanks to Clemson’s roster release, we know center Will Putnam is back for a senior-plus season after logging 1,000 snaps last season.

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Introducing Player Strength Index

Finally, Action Network will debut a Player Strength Index in the summer of 2023.

Phil Steele counted starters and Bill Connelly counted production, but LSU and USC broke those models last season. The Tigers and Trojans were both vastly underrated, with returning production models putting them in the bottom half of FBS.

However, the Tigers brought in 15,129 snaps through the portal, the most of any team in FBS. The Trojans finished third in snaps gained with just over 13,000. Both teams ended up making their respective conference championship game.

The new Player Strength Index will not only assign point spread value to 133 quarterback depth charts, but it will also adjust Power Ratings based on snaps gained and PFF grades.

Before we get into the biggest winners and losers from a portal and returning experience standpoint, it’s important to review the categories of grading. Statistics from transfers are included in the new update, with offensive totals weighted for the run-pass ratio of their new team.

Defensive statistics will lean heavily on returning tackles and assists. Passes defensed, meanwhile, is the combination of pass breakups and interceptions. Total pressure is the summation of sacks, hits and hurries, as defined by PFF. Stops — a tackle that constitutes a “failure” for the offense — are also critical to count.

Here are the coordinating weights of these categories:

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%

Without further ado, here are the numbers for 2023 TARP 1.0. Again, there will be another update in May when rosters are complete following the second transfer portal window.


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