College football transfer portal: Power conference teams with most departures during 2023-24 cycle, ranked (2024)

Some college football programs were more affected by the transfer portal than others.

Cody Nagel

The transfer portal era forever changed college football as the task of assembling a rosteris increasingly more difficult for coaching staffs unsure of which players are staying or going ahead of the next season. The recent 2023-24 transfer portal cycle witnessed a record-setting number of entries with almost 3,900 players opting to explore other opportunities. For comparison, that exceeded the previous record by more than 300.

Not every college football program was impacted as much as others during the two transfer windows that took place this winter and spring, but every power conference team except for Nebraska suffered double-digit departures. Most of the teams that experienced the highest number of entries were those that underwent a change at head coach following the 2023 season.

Of course, a lot of attention is on Colorado and Deion Sanders with another roster overhaul that included a transfer portal exodus out of Boulder. However, a few other prominent teams were not far behind in total transfer portal departures this cycle.

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Below is acomplete look at which power conference college football teams had the most transfer portal departures:

1. Colorado Buffaloes — 41

College football transfer portal: Power conference teams with most departures during 2023-24 cycle, ranked (2)

Deion Sanders and Colorado face another significant roster overhaul with most of its incoming class from last year already out of Boulder. The Buffaloes certainly have not shied away from using the transfer portal almost exclusively to try and upgrade the talent level. Whether that approach will lead to on-field results is yet to be seen. As much as Sanders deflected the impact of the recent transfer departures, some were notable, like former five-star cornerback Cormani McClain and touted running back Dylan Edwards — one of the few high school additions for the Buffaloes since Sanders arrived.Coloradodoes have 38 incoming transfers already locked in for the 2024 season.

2. Indiana Hoosiers — 39

College football transfer portal: Power conference teams with most departures during 2023-24 cycle, ranked (3)

Curt Cignetti is tasked with building Indiana into a respectable college football program as the competition level in the Big Ten increaseswith expansion in2024. The new head coach of the Hoosiers seemed to clean house upon his arrival in Bloomington after five successful seasons at James Madison. Indiana witnessed another wave of transfer portal departures during the spring window, pushing the total number of losses to 39. Starting quarterback Brendan Sorsby, top running back Trent Howland as well as starting safeties Phillip Dunman and Louis Moore are among the notable departures from the portal cycle. Indiana has 29 incoming transfers for the 2024 roster.

2. Michigan State Spartans — 39

College football transfer portal: Power conference teams with most departures during 2023-24 cycle, ranked (4)

There is immense potential for Michigan State under new head coach Jonathan Smith, but the rebuild process could take time after the Spartans lost 39 transfers to the portal, with most of those leaving during the spring window. The group of recent departures included a trio of defensive starters from last season — linemen Derrick Harmon and Simeon Barrow Jr., as well as safety Jaden Mangham. That is on top of thesix Michigan State starters that entered during the winter window. The Spartans likely have some work to do still with just 17 incoming transfers committed so far.

2. Alabama Crimson Tide — 39

College football transfer portal: Power conference teams with most departures during 2023-24 cycle, ranked (5)

There is no arguing Alabama lost some high-end talent to the transfer portal following the retirement of legendary head coach Nick Saban and subsequent hire of Kalen DeBoer. But thanks to years of elite recruiting, the Crimson Tide are still stacked with one of the most talented rosters in college football for 2024.Three of the sixfive-star transfers from the past cycle came from Alabama — safety Caleb Downs, wide receiver Isaiah Bond and freshman quarterback Julian Sayin. Still, a majority of the transfer departures for the Crimson Tide rate as three-star prospects.

5. Houston Cougars — 33

College football transfer portal: Power conference teams with most departures during 2023-24 cycle, ranked (6)

Houston would be much lower on this list had it not been for more than 20 departures during the spring window alone. The Cougars witnessed a surge of entries after its first spring practice under new head coach Willie Fritz. Three starters from last season exited in April, joining the five others that left during the winter window. Two of the top receivers are gone in Sam Brown and Matthew Golden, as well as a pair of starting offensive linemen in Tyler Johnson and Reuben Unije. Houston returns just two starters on defense after four departed through the transfer portal for other power conference programs. The Cougars do have 25 incoming transfers for next season.

6. Cincinnati Bearcats — 32

College football transfer portal: Power conference teams with most departures during 2023-24 cycle, ranked (7)

Cincinnati actually had more transfer portal departures this most recent cycle than it did after former head coach Luke Fickell left to take the job at Wisconsin.Not much is left from that 2022 season before new head coach Scott Satterfield arrived with the Bearcats. A roster overhaul process is underway in Cincinnati with its latest exodus, which included five starters from last season. The greatest blow occurred on defense where the Bearcats lost each of their top three individual tacklers. Cincinnati made a handful of underrated moves to supplement its roster through the transfer portal with 19 total additions so far.

6. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets — 32

College football transfer portal: Power conference teams with most departures during 2023-24 cycle, ranked (8)

Georgia Tech ranks among the top-10 nationally for college football teams with the most returning starters in 2024. That may have played a factor in the Yellow Jackets' large number of transfer portal departureswith a majority of the starting spots already filled for next season. There were four Georgia Tech players that started in at least six games a year ago but left via the transfer portal during the recent cycle: defensive lineman D'Quan Douse, edge rusher Kyle Kennard as well as cornerbacks Kenan Johnson and K.J. Wallace. However, none of those four were starters on the depth chart for all 13 games as the Yellow Jackets made their return to a bowl game for the first time in five years.

8. Arkansas Razorbacks — 31

College football transfer portal: Power conference teams with most departures during 2023-24 cycle, ranked (9)

Sam Pittman faces a crucial season at Arkansas after winning just one game against an SEC opponent in 2023. The Razorbacks did not get much luck through transfer portal departures with six starters exiting the program, including multi-year starting quarterback KJ Jefferson and their top two individual tacklers in linebackers Jaheim Thomas and Chris Paul Jr. Even stud running back Raheim Sanders left Fayetteville through the portal after battling injuries for much of last season. The pressure is on to get Arkansas back to a bowl game in 2024 and the hope is the 22 incoming transfers can help make up for the losses.

8. Texas A&M Aggies — 31

College football transfer portal: Power conference teams with most departures during 2023-24 cycle, ranked (10)

. The Aggies are no different than most power conference programs that hired a new head coach after the 2023 season with a transfer portal exodus of talent. In fact, seven of the31 transfer departures rate as either four- or five-stars. Texas A&M joins Alabama and Georgia as the only teams with more than one former player in the top-15 of the individual transfer player rankings for 2024. Walter Nolen and Evan Stewart were both part of the historic 2022 high school recruiting class for the Aggies, but now continue their college career elsewhere. Texas A&M does have the third-highest-ranked incoming transfer portal haul with 27 newcomers — which is fourth-most nationally.

10. Louisville Cardinals — 30

College football transfer portal: Power conference teams with most departures during 2023-24 cycle, ranked (11)

Louisville reached the ACC Championship Game in its first season under head coach Jeff Brohm and almost immediately experienced a wave of transfer portal departures. However,only three of those that left were starters in 2023 — linebacker Jaylin Alderman, wide receiver Kevin Coleman and defensive lineman Jermayne Lole. The Cardinals did lose one of their top incoming transfers as former Tennessee edge rusher Tyler Baron re-entered the portal during the recent spring window. Louisville expects to be a threat again in 2024 withmore than a dozen returning starters and 30 incoming transfers to match the departures.

11. Arizona Wildcats — 29

College football transfer portal: Power conference teams with most departures during 2023-24 cycle, ranked (12)

All things considered, Arizona ended up in decent shape from an attrition standpointdespite a change in head coach in mid-January. The Wildcats lost just three starters from last season as new head coach Brent Brennan retained arguably the most important pieces on offense. The defense did suffer a few losses with starting cornerbackEphesians Prysock among those departures that followed former head coach Jedd Fisch to Washington. Arizona had just eight additional transfer departures during the spring window in April.

11. Arizona State Sun Devils — 29

College football transfer portal: Power conference teams with most departures during 2023-24 cycle, ranked (13)

Arizona State head coach Kenny Dillingham continues to fight an uphill battle in fixing the roster issues handed to him by the previous staff. To make matters worse, the Sun Devils had almost 30 transfer departures for the second year in a row. Only four of those were starters with leading receiver Elijah Badger joining that group during the spring window. Arizona State also lost touted quarterback Jaden Rashada to the portal after he played in just four games last season and missed spring practice due to a non-football related injury. The Sun Devils have 27 incoming transfers, but their portal haul ranks outside the top 25 nationally.

11. USC Trojans — 29

College football transfer portal: Power conference teams with most departures during 2023-24 cycle, ranked (14)

After a disappointing 2023 season in which USC failed to capitalize on a potential conference championship window with Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams at quarterback, the Trojans made it a point to upgrade at various positions and completely revamp the defense. That resulted in a large number of transfer portal departures, including double-digit exits during the recent spring window. Most of the notable portal losses came from the defensive side with linebacker Tackett Curtis and cornerback Domani Jackson among the starters leaving Los Angeles.USC also lost former five-star freshman quarterback Malachi Nelson as a transfer.

11. Washington Huskies — 29

College football transfer portal: Power conference teams with most departures during 2023-24 cycle, ranked (15)

Washington was already dealing with a high attrition rate with most of its key contributors from a national runner-up roster headed to the NFL. Then head coach Kalen DeBoer left for Alabama and the flood of transfer portal departures began. The Huskies had seven additional starters leave the program via the transfer portal. That wiped out the remaining starters on offense and left just a few coming back on defense. Offensive lineman Parker Brailsford and standout cornerback Jabbar Muhammad were the two highest-rated losses. New head coach Jedd Fisch was able to restore some of the talent level withmore than 20 incoming transfers and counting for 2024.

College football transfer portal: Power conference teams with most departures during 2023-24 cycle, ranked (16)

15. Miami Hurricanes — 28

15. Purdue Boilermakers — 28

17. LSU Tigers — 27

17. Syracuse Orange — 27

19. South Carolina Gameco*cks — 26

19. UCF Knights — 26

21. Mississippi State Bulldogs — 25

21. Ohio State Buckeyes — 25

21. Ole Miss Rebels — 25

21. Oklahoma Sooners — 25

21. Vanderbilt Commodores — 25

21. West Virginia Mountaineers — 25

College football transfer portal: Power conference teams with most departures during 2023-24 cycle, ranked (17)

27. Georgia Bulldogs — 24

27. Texas Longhorns — 24

27. Utah Utes — 24

30. Florida Gators — 23

30. Wisconsin Badgers — 23

32. Auburn Tigers — 22

32. California Golden Bears — 22

32. Florida State Seminoles — 22

32. Illinois Fighting Illini — 22

32. Iowa State Cyclones — 22

32. Kentucky Wildcats — 22

32. NC State Wolfpack — 22

32. North Carolina Tar Heels — 22

32. Texas Tech Red Raiders — 22

College football transfer portal: Power conference teams with most departures during 2023-24 cycle, ranked (18)

41. Oregon Ducks — 20

41. Pittsburgh Panthers — 20

43. Missouri Tigers — 19

43. TCU Horned Frogs — 19

45. Minnesota Golden Gophers — 18

45. Notre Dame Fighting Irish — 18

45. Virginia Tech Hokies — 18

48. Boston College Eagles — 17

48. Duke Blue Devils — 17

48. Kansas State Wildcats — 17

48. Michigan Wolverines — 17

48. UCLA Bruins — 17

53. BYU Cougars — 16

53. SMU Mustangs — 16

53. Virginia Cavaliers — 16

College football transfer portal: Power conference teams with most departures during 2023-24 cycle, ranked (19)

56. Baylor Bears — 15

56. Rutgers Scarlet Knights — 15

56. Tennessee Volunteers — 15

56. Wake Forest Demon Deacons — 15

60. Iowa Hawkeyes — 13

60. Kansas Jayhawks — 13

60. Maryland Terrapins — 13

60. Penn State Nittany Lions — 13

60. Stanford Cardinal — 13

65. Clemson Tigers — 12

65. Northwestern Wildcats — 12

67. Oklahoma State Cowboys — 10

68. Nebraska Cornhuskers — 8

College football transfer portal: Power conference teams with most departures during 2023-24 cycle, ranked (2024)

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