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The 2020 Big Ten advanced stats, recruiting, and returning player breakdown

We’ve put together the nittiest-grittiest numbers to breakdown all 14 Big Ten teams before the 2020 season. This is how we got them.

Joe Milton of the Michigan Wolverines scores a fourth quarter touchdown while playing the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Michigan Stadium on September 28, 2019 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Big Ten is back for the 2020 season! So we’ve decided to give you all the tools you’ll need when making wagering decisions about all 14 teams in the league for the upcoming season. Want to know how many offensive lineman starts return for the Ohio State Buckeyes? Or who has opted out of the season from the Northwestern Wildcats? And how many defensive players are the Michigan Wolverines bringing back this season? We’ve got all that information here.

Thanks to the help of our friend Seth Varnadore, we’ll have extreme deep dives on each college football team for the 2020 season. We call these Varnadore Information Compilation Spreadsheets — VIC Sheets for short.

VIC Sheets each will have three components: schedule, returning players, and talent and recruiting. Here’s a link to the corresponding spreadsheet as that works much better than embedding it here.

Big Ten Conference

We’ll keep these updated as the season goes along, and as spreads get added and as games get completed, we’ll enter all the data into here. So keep this page bookmarked and they’ll have whatever you need to get ready for 2020.

These are robust and filled with a ton of information. We’ll go over each line, what it means, and where it came from in the description below. We’ll link back to this explainer in each team and conference article so you do not have to worry about remembering all the details.

Team schedule

Returning Players

1. A copy of Bill Connelly’s formula for how returning players effect his preseason SP+ statistic.

2. a. The percentage of returning players across the overall roster in 2020.
b. The percentage of returning players across the offense in 2020.
c. The percentage of returning players across the defense in 2020.
d. The percentage of returning coaches on staff in 2020, with a notation listing the positions that have new coaches, including head coach. Each NCAA FBS team has 10 assistant coaches and one head coach.

3. a. The number of starters returning on offense in 2020.
b. The number of games started in 2019 by quarterbacks returning in 2020.
c. The number of games started in 2019 by offensive linemen returning in 2020.
d. The number of 2019 starters returning on defense in 2020.
e. The number of 2019 starters returning as specialists in 2020.
f. The number of games started in 2019 by kickers returning in 2020.
g. The number of games started in 2019 by kickers returning in 2020.

Talent and Recruiting

1. Team Talent Composite

a. From 247sports.com based on recruiting, which takes the grade of every player still on the roster from recruiting classes in 2016-19. The first number is the rank of the class (there are 130 FBS schools, but some FCS schools will rank ahead of bottom-tier FBS classes). The second number is the raw grade of the class.
b. The 2020 recruiting class grade. The first number is the ranking of the class, the second number is the raw grade of the class

2. Team Talent Rank

a. The recruiting class ranking from 2016-19.
b. The increase or decrease in class ranking from 2016 to 2019

3. Player Average Rank

a. The raw class ranking from 2016-19.
b. The increase or decrease in raw class ranking from 2016 to 2019.

4. Recruiting Class Rank

a. The recruiting class rankings from 2016-20 by year.
b. The five-year average recruiting class ranking from 2016-20
c. The four-year net change between the 2016 class ranking and the 2020 class ranking.

5. Player average in-vs-out

a. The raw class ranking for 2020.
b. The raw class ranking for 2015 (players leaving after fifth-year).
c. The difference between the 2020 incoming class and the 2015 leaving class.