Texas A&M football takes a slight dip in updated returning production rankings

After transfer portal movement, Texas A&M football's ranking when it comes to returning production have moved slightly down.
Sep 23, 2023; College Station, Texas, USA; Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Conner Weigman (15)
Sep 23, 2023; College Station, Texas, USA; Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Conner Weigman (15) / Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

Texas A&M football falls slightly in updated returning production rankings for 2024; Where do Aggies stack up?

Texas A&M football has done a great job of revamping their roster utilizing the portal since this new Aggie staff rolled into town. Not only that, though, but Elko and company were able to retain many of their top players who may have otherwise headed to the portal—it really was an impressive job by this new A&M staff.

Because of this, when the previous round of returning production rankings came out a couple of months ago, the Aggies were in prime position. In several categories that directly correlate to increased SP+ rating (which, in turn, is predictive of win totals generally speaking), Texas A&M football was one of the top in the nation—within the top 20 in the country, and the number one team in the SEC.

Reevaluating after the spring portal window, the Aggies have slid a little bit in these ratings. Bill Connelly released his updated numbers today and A&M has fallen to 38th:

Why is this the case? Well, it's a combination of two things. First, Connelly shifted his formula slightly, counting FCS stats as half of the value as FBS stats; that is, if an FCS player headed to an FBS school recorded 40 tackles at his FCS school, he entered the number as if they only recorded 20. This is in order to account for the shift in difficulty between the two levels. However, this only affects one player in the Aggies' transfer class: Donovan Saunders.

The second thing is, plainly speaking, the experience that the Aggies lost through the spring window. Guys like Sam McCall and Jacoby Mathews, coming from the secondary, weigh more heavily in Connelly's formula. Bryce Foster logged a significant number of starts that are now out the door.

One thing I will say is that this is a number that is somewhat artificially deflated for the Aggies. Max Johnson's passing yards were always going out the door since Weigman is the guy at signal caller, and that will make the returning passer numbers seem worse than they actually should. That's not so much an issue with the formula, though, as it is something that has to do with the Aggies' specific situation.

An encouraging note? The Aggies still only play two teams ahead of them in returning production, and their premier opponent opening the season, Notre Dame, is very far down this list. You'd rather catch an inexperienced team earlier in the year, so maybe the Aggies can make some hay there.