The transfer portal can improve a program, but how do you really calculate who had the best cycle -- and not just which teams landed the best 2024 transfer classes? There are a few ways to break things down and below we analyze the Power Four conferences by categories:

  • Net Rating Gain
  • Average Transfer Rating
  • Transfers In
  • Transfers Out

Why is it important to look at net rating gain? Not every team adds as much as it subtracts in the portal, so the math rarely matches in the ledgers. So, in an effort to simplify the problem and better evaluate teams as we enter the summer, we took the average rating of the players leaving each program -- ratings via the 247Sports transfer rankings team -- and compared it to the average rating of the players entering the program. We then distill that number to reach a net gain or net loss. 

After doing deep-dives on each conference earlier this week, here's a more overarching look at how each Power Four team did in the transfer portal's 2024 cycle. We have sorted each table by the team's net rating gain, but there's plenty of other information to glean, too. 

ACC Transfer Portal Recap

Net Rating GainAvg. Transfer RatingTransfers InTransfers Out
1Florida State3.689.351722
2NC State3.2488.331522
3Boston College3.1687.11017
4Georgia Tech2.7585.851432
8Wake Forest1.5385.6515
11North Carolina0.6586.61023
12Virginia Tech0.6186.86718

Key ACC transfer portal takeaways 

  • FSU is arguably the most successful program in the portal era, ranking in the top 25 of 247Sports' rankings every year under Norvell with an average finish at No. 9. The Seminoles have done this despite not exceeding 17 transfers in the last four years, a stark contrast to the likes of Colorado (93 transfers in two years) or Arizona State (60 transfers in two years).
  • NC State is positioned to win at least eight games for a fifth straight season thanks to another strong haul from the portal, particularly on offense. The Wolfpack's offensive backfield is fantastic with Coastal Carolina transfer Grayson McCall at quarterback and Duke running back Jordan Walters.
  • Attrition is expected when a new coach is hired, but Fran Brown has seemingly upgraded the roster at Syracuse in his first few months on the job. Ohio State quarterback Kyle McCord brings a steady hand behind center and pass rusher Fadil Diggs (Texas A&M) could be the explosive defensive star the Orange need to break through as a bowl team this fall.
  • Not many teams were as busy as Louisville in the transfer portal. The Cardinals added 24 players in the first window before adding another seven in the spring -- and four incoming transfers re-entered the portal and left the team. The most noticeable departures included running back Peny Boone, who left after just a few months on campus, but the defensive line was hit the hardest with eight linemen entering the portal after reaching the ACC Championship Game.
  • Dabo Swinney is the outlier, an enigma in this modern age of college athletics. Clemson is the only program outside the service academies to not add a player from the transfer portal. The Tigers lost 12 players to the portal, including a pair of defensive backs (safety Andrew Mukuba and cornerback Toriano Pride Jr.) that were big hits. Only Miami had as many highly-rated departures in the ACC. 

Big Ten Transfer Portal Recap

Net Rating GainAvg. Transfer RatingTransfers InTransfers Out
1Ohio State5.6292.86725
7Penn State2.7289.8613
11Michigan State0.6887.52438

Key Big Ten transfer portal takeaways

  • Ohio State secured the greatest concentration of superstars out of the transfer portal, surpassing the nearest team (Georgia) by more than 1.5 rating points, according to 247Sports' ratings.
  • If any two teams' approaches in the portal are more alike than Oregon and Ohio State, we'd like to hear about it. The Ducks picked up their quarterback for this fall (Oklahoma's Dillon Gabriel) and for the future (UCLA's Dante Moore), and also added immediate help in speedy receiver Evan Stewart (98). 
  • Purdue needed big upgrades after Ryan Walters' first season leading the program and did just that in the portal with the second-best rating improvement among all Big Ten teams.
  • The quarterback transfer no one is talking about is Minnesota's Max Brosmer, the projected starter for the Gophers. He threw for 3,459 yards with 29 touchdowns against six interceptions at FCS New Hampshire last season and should upgrade a passing offense that was among the nation's worst (126th) last season.
  • Thirteen players from James Madison followed head coach Curt Cignetti. Among all the rebuilds, Indiana might be the most interesting as the talent swap was massive. Cignetti is going all-in on an immediate revamp for a program that was in need of a facelift after the last two years of the Allen era.
  • Michigan lost a lot from its second line of defense at linebacker and in the secondary, including six linebackers, with two starters leaving for the NFL Draft and All-American cornerback Mike Sainristi also landing in the prosl. Nine of the 17 departures in the portal landed at power teams. 

Big 12 Transfer Portal Recap

Net Rating GainAvg. Transfer RatingTransfers InTransfers Out
5Kansas State1.487.131017
6West Virginia1.3786.691325
9Oklahoma State1.1886.88811
10Texas Tech1.1787.071623
12Arizona State0.6886.562929
15Iowa State0.0286.57722

Key Big 12 transfer portal takeaways

  •  When players depart Utah, it's not usually for a better team (only 37.5% of departures landed with Power 4 teams), but the additions are usually highly-regarded prospects and that leads to a gigantic bump in the net rating every year.
  • Cincinnati turned over its football roster after a disappointing three-win debut in the Big 12, adding 25 players after 33 departed the program. Indiana quarterback Brendan Sorsby (90) leads the list of newcomers after a strong freshman debut last season.
  • Colorado's haul is led by a foursome of impressive defensive linemen and/or edge rushers, which included three players in 247Sports' 10 best available defensive linemen. Only 29.3% of Colorado's departures landed at power programs. 
  • Arizona suffered a mass exodus of players when Jedd Fisch left for Washington, but it could have been much worse, especially with everyone focused on the futures of quarterback Noah Fifita and receiver Tetairoa McMillan. They stayed with the Wildcats and coach Brent Brennan also managed to convince five players, including four blue-chip players, to withdraw from the portal.
  • TCU's incoming transfer class ranks third in the Big 12, but several high-level departures actually tipped the mathematic scales as the Horned Frogs finished as the only Big 12 program with a negative rating. Still, only five of the 19 departures have landed at power programs and 13 arrivals came from power programs, so keep that in consideration, too.

SEC Transfer Portal Recap

Net Rating GainAvg. Transfer RatingTransfers InTransfers Out
4Ole Miss2.7488.782425
7South Carolina1.6387.952227
12Texas A&M0.4788.722831
14Mississippi State0.4386.561925

Key SEC transfer portal takeaways: 

  • Texas lost its top five receivers from last season's run to the College Football Playoff but added veteran Alabama receiver Isaiah Bond, the Iron Bowl hero who caught the game-winning touchdown against Auburn. Bond (98) was rated as 247Sports' fourth-best player in the portal. The Longhorns also added Oregon State's Silas Bolden (90) and Houston's Matthew Golden to go along with Alabama tight end Amari Niblack (93), who steps in for Ja'Tavion Sanders.
  • Most of Tennessee's departures were backups, thus the gigantic uptick in quality score.
  • How good and deep is Georgia? Twenty of the 24 departures in the portal landed at power programs and yet the Bulldogs' quality actually jumped in the ratings department with 10 additions. Running back Trevor Etienne jumping from Florida was a fascinating transaction. 
  • Perhaps the Gators actually improved the roster via the portal this offseason? Six of the 15 additions are blue-chips, though USC offensive tackle Jason Zandamela is likely a year away from development. Colorado transfer Cormani McClain will grab headlines, and if he can come close to the hype out of high school he'll be worth the risk. 
  • No SEC school experienced more attrition in the portal than Alabama, and that wasn't a surprise after Nick Saban's shocking retirement. The Tide countered 40 portal departures with 15 newcomers, and though Kalen DeBoer owns the SEC's only negative net rating in the portal, he added several stars that will immediately help in the secondary – and also lost and regained the second-best player in the portal, Kadyn Proctor