Last week we looked at Phil Steele's list of combined offensive line starts and the numbers exposed the inexperience that the Syracuse Orange will be dealing with at that position this season. Fortunately, Syracuse is experienced pretty much everywhere else on the field.
Phil's latest stat complication tallied up the percentage of tackles returning for all FBS teams, and the Orange came in at 81.09 percent of tackles returning, good for a 9th-best rank in the FBS.
This sounds even better when you compare it to last year, in which Syracuse was dead last in tackles returning at just 29.30 percent. For some perspective on how that may have affected last season, in 2014 the Orange defense averaged 349 yards per game and 24.3 points per game, while last season the Orange averaged 439 yards per game and 31.0 points allowed per game.
Syracuse returns 100% of their offense and 80% of their defense next season according to Bill Connelly's formula. Don't read too much into this though, because an experienced roster does not always mean more wins, particularly when you're facing five other teams in the top-20 of returning roster experience.
We'll see how this all shakes out next season, which is 67 days away.