This comes to us courtesy of Bill Connelly, author of the Varsity Numbers column and creator of S&P+, one of the two premier advanced college football performance metrics. Tremendous read and very long. "Using draft points and total picks lost, you can derive almost as much about a team's success in the upcoming season as you can looking at returning starter data." "Here are some correlations for you: On offense, returning starter data holds a 0.36 correlation to improvement or regression the following season. Draft Points holds a 0.33 correlation. On defense, returning starters hold a 0.27 correlation; Draft Points, 0.22. For a change factor, these are rather strong numbers. More concrete, stable values like 5-year data and recruiting rankings hold correlations in the 0.6s and 0.7s, and they do not change much from year to year. But complementary factors like returning starters and draft data will absolutely play a role in FO's 2010 projections, if a more minor one." "*Sam Bradford was, of course, lost for most of the 2009 season already, and Jermaine Gresham didn't play a down, so incorporating their loss into the 2010 draft totals is a bit misleading as it pertains to 2010 projections. OU's offensive F/+ performance regressed by a staggering 36.7 percent last year, and it is unlikely to regress much more in 2010. Adjustments will be made before these losses are taken into account in our 2010 projections." What are your thoughts? Mine follow in the comment section.