We provided an analysis earlier about returning all-conference performers (1st team, 2nd team, honorable mention) taking into account players leaving early for the NFL draft. That analysis was before the final deadline to declare, which was January 15. We now have the final listing (shown here), courtesy of Yahoo Sports. Even this listing is labelled unofficial, presumably to allow Florida State probation officers to get the forms to the NFL in a proper format).
Since our prior analysis, Ellis McCarthy chose to opt out in favor of the NFL. This is obviously not good news, but it does not impact our rankings, which were limited to players who were at least honorable mention all-conference.
The only all-conference performer who opted out since our prior analysis was Arik Armstead, honorable mention DL from Oregon. Removing Armstead from the equation results in the following rankings by team-
First, by absolute number of returning players who were named at least honorable mention all-conference (with 0.5 for special teams performers)-
Arizona St 10.5
Southern Cal 6.5
Cal and Utah 5
Colorado and Washington St 3
Oregon St 0
Here are the weighted rankings, which assign a value of 3 for returning 1st team selections, 2 for returning 2nd team selections, and 1 for returning honorable mention selections (with again a 50% discount for special teams)-
Arizona St 13
Southern Cal 12
Washington St 3
Oregon St 0
Please don't consider this a complete analysis of holes to be filled or not filled for every team. Obviously, Stanford has more stability at QB with Kevin Hogan deciding to return for his senior season. He did not make even honorable mention all-conference. So Stanford's score above has 0 for QB, the same as UCLA.
But, we still are definitely in reloading mode, not rebuilding. We still have Paul Perkins returning at RB, Jordan Payton returning at WR, Thomas Duarte returning at TE, Caleb Benenoch, Jake Brendel, Alex Redmond and Scott Quesssenberry returning on the OL, Kenny Clark and Eddie Vanderdoes returning on the DL, Myles Jack returning at LB, and Ishmael Adams, Fabian Moreau and Jaleel Wadood returning at DB. And this does not include Randall Goforth, who was all-conference honorable mention DB in 2013, but had to miss most of 2014 due to injury.