Michigan ranks No. 5 nationally in returning production for the 2023 season, according to ESPN’s SP+.

The Wolverines, led by quarterback JJ McCarthy, are bringing back key players at multiple positions. Michigan, at 81% returning production, trails only No. 1 Florida State and No. 2 Kansas amongst Power 5 programs. Wyoming and FAU fill out the rest of the top 5.

SP+’s returning production formula includes production from transfers from FBS programs. That means the Wolverines will benefit from transfer additions like Myles Hinton, Josaiah Stewart, Ernest Hausmann and AJ Barner in this metric.

Returning production is also weighted by position. The percentage of a team’s returning passing yards, OL snaps and total tackles hold the most weight in the formula.

Michigan is far ahead of most College Football Playoff contenders for next season in this metric. Ohio State, for instance, ranks No. 48 nationally. Alabama is No. 125 while Georgia ranks at No. 80.

This is significant because returning production is often predictive of how a team will improve or regress in the upcoming season. Here’s an excerpt of analysis from ESPN’s Bill Connelly explaining the impact:

On average, teams returning at least 80% of production improve by about 5.8 adjusted points per game in the following season’s SP+ ratings. That’s a pretty significant bump! For a team ranked 25th in SP+ last year, adding 5.8 points to its rating would have bumped it to 10th.

Michigan will be looking to make its 3rd straight College Football Playoff appearance in 2023.