College Football Win Totals: 27 Teams On 2023 All-Continuity List

Written By Brett Gibbons on April 1, 2023
college football win totals

27 college football teams this season return their starting quarterback, head coach, and both coordinators from last year. While that’s subject to change as the offseason presses on, that number’s up from 21 last offseason. In theory, these “All-Continuity Teams” should lead to more wins. But what does the sample say as we begin to handicap college football win totals?

Below, we’ll take a look. Follow along with TheLines all offseason long for coverage of college football odds. Scroll to the bottom of the article for a complete list of the 27 teams.

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Methodology

Teams included here return their primary starting QB, full-year head coach, and both offensive and defensive coordinators. By “primary starting QB” I refer to the intended starting QB. So, Texas Tech counts since they return Tyler Shough despite him playing just four full games due to injury. Virginia Tech returns Grant Wells, although it’s unclear whether or not he’ll be the Day 1 starting QB next season.

College Football Continuity: What Happened Last Season?

Let’s dive back a year to look at how last season’s 21 teams fared. I broke those teams up into two tiers: teams that won more than eight games in 2021 and teams that won less than eight games in 2021. The reason behind that is twofold. First, there was a clear difference between the two groups. Secondly, eight wins is a generally successful season for most programs. (Note: “Most” excluding teams like Alabama or Ohio State.)

More than 8 wins

Every team in this category except for Utah failed to win as many games in 2022 as 2021. Teams above eight wins won an average 2.6 fewer games the following season. For examples like Alabama, that’s due to them having made the National Championship Game and winning the SEC, a successful season even by Nick Saban standards. Houston won its most games since 2015 and second-most ever, making it an outlier season.

But for the other teams – the Iowas, BYUs, and Arkansas – this represents a real decline.

In general, it’s not that I’m looking to necessarily bet under these college football win totals, rather as a cautionary tale from betting over any other win totals.

Less than 8 wins

In the other tier, every team but Miami (OH) at least matched their 2021 win total. The difference in Miami’s win total came in their bowl game each season. Navy and Stanford stagnated and, as a result, both fired their head coaches following the season. Kansas, Southern Miss, and Tennessee each increased their win total by four. Overall, this group saw their win total increase by an average 1.8 year over year, with much more variation than the 8+ win tier.

Interestingly, North Texas also fired their coach, Seth Latrell, despite appearing in the Conference-USA championship and winning one more game than the previous season. Boise State parted ways with both their offensive coordinator and, as a result, starting QB early in the season.

Drawing a conclusion from these data, bad teams that return their starting QB, head coach, and both coordinators generally increase their win total year over year.

Acknowledgements

Taking this stat in a vacuum of course causes a lot of issues. For one, did one of the teams that fell in wins lose a Heisman-finalist running back like Michigan State? Is the returning quarterback worth two cents? Did the strength of schedule change?

In the case of SoS, many of the biggest climbers actually saw their SoS increase. Kansas and Oregon State each saw their conference dramatically improve play between 2021 and 2022. Tennessee and Mississippi State play consistently arduous schedules in the SEC. Southern Miss moved from C-USA to the Sun Belt, a much tougher conference. In general, strength of schedule didn’t have a strong correlation here.

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College Football Win Totals: Teams Wth Most Continuity

10 teams that return their QB, head coach, and both coordinators won more than eight games in 2022. Teams like USC and Kansas State have multiple high-round talents leaving for the NFL Draft. Overall, Kansas State returns the 74th-most production nationally, an outlier for the group.

Upstart teams like South Alabama and Ohio are the most likely regressors, along with Kansas State. Ohio returns the 16th-least production in the nation (52%) – the least nationally on defense (26%) – also making them an outlier.

On the other side, 17 teams won fewer than eight games in 2022. Of those, Wyoming, Louisiana, Temple, Colorado State, and Virginia Tech may look to replace their 2022 starter with someone else. However, for the remainders, there could be an increase in wins upcoming.

Memphis, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arizona return the most talent at quarterback. This puts them on the upper end of the progression scale. I’m looking to these four teams early on to go over their win total.

Of course, this is all subjective to those win totals. As of early April, those numbers aren’t yet available.

Even More Continuity

With just 27 of 133 teams returning their starting QB, head coach, and both coordinators (20% of all teams), continuity in the college ranks is rare. It’s the nature of the sport, with players cycling out every three to six years. The transfer portal makes this even more rare.

Three teams roll this continuity over two seasons in a row: Michigan State, Utah, and Kansas. Of the group, only Utah won more than eight games and only Michigan State was bowl in-eligible. The two that won fewer than eight games – Michigan State and Kansas – are prime over win total bet candidates. Should Utah’s win total come in under 9.5, they’re also a prime over candidate.

None of these teams lost prolific pieces to their offense.

2023 College Football All-Continuity List: Returning QB, Head Coach, Coordinators

Team2022 Wins
Michigan13
USC11
Washington11
Florida State10
Kansas State10
LSU10
Ohio10
South Alabama10
Utah10
Toledo9
Texas8
Texas Tech8
Memphis7
New Mexico State7
Wyoming7
Kansas6
Louisiana6
Miami (OH)6
Oklahoma6
Arizona5
Michigan State5
UTEP5
Florida International4
Georgia State4
Colorado State3
Hawaii3
Northern Illinois3
Virginia Tech3
Brett Gibbons Avatar
Written by
Brett Gibbons

Brett is an avid sports traveler and former Division-I football recruiter for Bowling Green and Texas State. He’s a graduate of BGSU and works as an auditor for Google content curation products. He’s also contributed to Sports Illustrated and Fansided during his young writing career.

View all posts by Brett Gibbons