Top 25 college football

There have been realignment adjustments this season, particularly in Conference USA, the Big 12, and the AAC.

Top 25 college football

The Michigan Wolverines, under Jim Harbaugh, have emerged victorious over Ohio State on a run, earning places in the College Football Playoffs. The next stage is to actually win a game once bowl season rolls around, but this Michigan team is primed for more. Jim Harbaugh’s future with the show is in question.

Michigan

Let’s review Ryan Day’s four seasons as Ohio State’s head coach: a 42-6 record, two trips to the College Football Playoffs, and a trip to the National Championship Game. For any coach, let alone someone’s first four seasons as head coach, that is an unbelievable stretch. Day has a terrific career record of 31-2 versus the Big Ten, but those two defeats don’t sit well with supporters. The past two seasons, both have visited Michigan, and neither game was especially close.

Ohio State
Alabama

Though there are a handful, none are very noteworthy. Last season, Jalen Milroe took over for an injured Young; redshirt freshman Ty Simpson played just a limited role; and Tyler Buchner, who started for the Irish in 2022 but sustained an injury that ended his season, transferred from Notre Dame. These are Sabin’s possibilities, along with Kevin Steele, the new offensive coordinator. may be trying to find a solution all season long. Naturally, Alabama’s second game is against Texas, so resolving this quarterback dilemma as soon as possible is imperative if the Tide hope to return to the postseason this year.

5 – Penn State: Replacing Sean Clifford

The Dittany Lions this season appear capable of competing in the East, but they will be beginning a new quarterback after their four-year starter was lost to injury. Penn State has the unfortunate distinction of being in the same division as both Ohio State and Michigan.

 Penn State

Penn State is a formidable opponent, and if Alar’s team wants to surpass the Wolverine/Buckeye ceiling, he needs to accelerate the learning curve.

6 – LSU: Defense

Jayden Daniels, the quarterback for Baton Rouge, is obviously the centre of attention, but this team’s defence will be its true strength.

LSU

Back is linebacker Harold Perkins Jr., one of the best defensive players in the nation and a near-unstoppable force. They have a terrific front line with Mekhi WinG and Mason Smith (who is returning from an injury), two excellent middle linebackers in Greg Penn III and Oregon State transfer Omar Speights. knee injury), and a rebuilt secondary. LSU’s defence might be the difference that sends them back to the SEC title in a league that has some offensive geniuses.

7 – Florida State: Ready for an ACC run

Florida State

It could be getting better. Mike Norvell assisted the Noels in winning their first 10-win campaign since 2016 and their first bowl game since 2019 in the previous year. Jordan Travis, the quarterback, is a candidate for the Heisman Trophy and will guide the offence. that played last season with over 36 points per game on average. Norvell has done an outstanding job adding depth throughout the team, bringing back starters and quality replacements. Given that they have just witnessed Clemson dominate, it appears that Florida State has a chance to reclaim the ACC that they once held.

The Noels will face LSU in Orlando to start the season, just like they did last year, and will then have to travel to Clemson at the end of September. The ACC did away with divisions as well, meaning that Florida State will still be able to go to the ACC title game in Charlotte even if they lose to Clemson. Is FSU reopen?

8 – USC: Lincoln Riley and Caleb Williams repeat Heisman’s

This season at USC, a lot is happening. The Trojans, who will be playing in their final Pac-12 season, just missed out on securing a College Football Playoff position last year and are eager to move up. This year, though, will be about whether Lincoln Riley and Caleb Williams can win another Heisman Trophy for Los Angeles.

 USC

You are aware that Archie Gryphon of Ohio State is the only player to have won two Heisman’s, and he did so in 1975 and 1976. The front-runner for the first pick in the NFL Draught the following year, Caleb Williams, is the favourite to win the trophy once more. Lincoln Riley, the head coach, has coached Heisman winners twice. (Kyler Murray in 2018 and Baker Mayfield in 2017), with Williams becoming his third champion in the previous six seasons. Heisman winners who went back to college and didn’t win it again have, of course, happened quite a bit (Bryce Young last year, for instance), but none of them had Lincoln Riley’s offence to play in.

Michael Pemex Jr., the quarterback for Washington, led the team in passing yards last season, and the offence was fantastic. With the return of two 1,000-yard receivers in Joellen McMillan and Rome Odense, along with new transfers, Pemex has an abundance of weapons at his disposal. The offensive line, where the Huskies are rebuilding their whole interior, will be the area of concern.

 Washington

Pemex’s college career has been somewhat intriguing. When Indiana made a contentious two-point convert to defeat Penn State in 2020, he practically jumped onto the pitch. Even though he was sidelined for the entire season due to an injury, he had the usually sleepy Hoosiers playing important games towards the end of the campaign. He moved to Washington last year and had a huge breakthrough. And He will be a candidate for the Heisman Trophy, might lead the country in passing, and have Washington in the running for the Pac-12 championship.

10 – TCU: What can you do for an encore?

TCU

That will be hard to repeat. Chandler Morris, who started as the starting quarterback the previous season, takes over after Duggan left for the NFL. Leading Frogs wide receiver (Kendra Miller) and rusher (Quentin Johnston) are also no longer with us. Garrett Riley, the offensive coordinator, left to take a similar position at Clemson. As the season progresses, there will be a lot of issues to answer regarding the offence because of the high turnover rate. TCU’s schedule is composed of Houston, West Virginia, SMU, and Colorado, where it begins play. If this Cinderella is a keeper, we’ll know it right away. (Kendra Miller) and rusher (Quentin Johnston) are also no longer with us. Garrett Riley, the offensive coordinator, left to take a similar position at Clemson. As the season progresses, there will be a lot of issues to answer regarding the offence because of the high turnover rate. TCU’s schedule is composed of Houston, West Virginia, SMU, and Colorado, where it begins play. If this Cinderella is a keeper, we’ll know it right away.

11 – Utah: Cameron Rising’s health

 Utah

Quarterback Cameron Rising’s ACL may be the deciding factor in whether the Utah Utes win a third consecutive Pac-12 championship. In the Rose Bowl game over Penn State, Rising tore his ACL. Rising is expected to start for the Utes against Florida in their season opener, but head coach Kyle Whittingham isn’t certain he will play and even if he does, he won’t be playing at full strength. Entering his sixth collegiate season, Rising will be essential to Utah’s eventual breakthrough and competitive run for a College Football Playoff berth. While winning against the Gators in Week 1 is imperative if Utah hopes to advance, his health comes first.

12 – Tennessee: Beat Georgia

Last year, Tennessee improved significantly as they won 11 games and defeated Alabama in one of the greatest college football games of 2022. The Vols’ victory over the Crimson Tide on the “Third Saturday in October” served as the capstone for a phase of their comeback towards national prominence. With the victory, Tennessee stopped a 15-game losing streak to Alabama (none of which were close games) and was rated as the top team in the College Football Playoff poll the following week. Additionally, Tennessee defeated a middling Florida squad to snap a five-game losing streak against the Gators, who had won 16 of the previous 17 games in the series.

 Tennessee

Tennessee has to demonstrate that they are more than just a one-hit wonder. Marvel and contend for the SEC East division championship. Naturally, that is difficult to accomplish given that the Georgia Bulldogs, the two-time defending champions, own the East. Against the Vols, Georgia has won six straight and eleven of the previous 13. In a game that was more competitive than it has been recently, the Vols lost 27–13 in Athens last year.

Sadly, Tennessee’s schedule requires them to play both Georgia and Alabama each year. If Tennessee wants to be a real competitor in the SEC and on the national scene, it will be difficult to defeat Alabama in Tuscaloosa this season; therefore, a victory over the Dawgs in Knoxville is imperative. If not, the previous year might just be another blip.

13 – Notre Dame: Three games

In 2023, is Notre Dame a legitimate title challenger or will they merely be a top-15 team? For the Irish, that will be determined by three games that will determine the season:

Notre Dame

23 September: Ohio State
USC Nov. 4 at Clemson, Oct. 14.

These are unquestionably the hardest games on the schedule, although there are others that are also tough. The Irish defeated Clemson but fell to USC and Ohio State in the previous season. This group ought to be superior. Sam Hartman, a Wake Forest transfer who is possibly Notre Dame’s greatest quarterback since Brady Quinn, is an accomplished quarterback that the Irish added, and they also bring back a strong group of running back options. However, the receiving group is inexperienced in producing results, and Tommy Rees, the offensive coordinator, left the Irish and was replaced by Gerado Parker. That In order to secure a postseason position, the Fighting Irish’s offence must quickly realise its full potential.

14 – Clemson: Dabo dabbling outside the family

Family is highly valued in the great culture that Dabo Swinney has created at Clemson. They go on adventures with Clemson men and exhibit unwavering loyalty. The departure of Tony Elliott and Ben Enables, the Tigers’ coordinators, to become head coaches at Oklahoma and Virginia, respectively, last season had a slight negative impact on the team’s culture. Brandon Streeter, who has been with the team since 2015, was promoted to offensive coordinator by Swinney, although the move was unsuccessful.

 Clemson

Hence, Swinney made an unexpected choice this offseason when he hired Garrett Riley away from TCU and fired Streeter. Although there is a clear change in Clemson’s approach, it is one that is required. In 2022, the Tigers were merely a mediocre passing club who had trouble scoring. versus stronger defenses. Riley sends junior Cade Kulonic to North Carolina. Kulonic looked good when he took over as the starting quarterback in the ACC championship. It will be interesting to watch how much Riley’s appointment as coordinator actually changes—would he merely be responsible for making minor adjustments to the Tigers’ current strategy? Clemson’s chances of winning the ACC once more will be greatly impacted by the response to that question.

15 – Oregon: The future is now

To be honest, this is a critical juncture for the Oregon programme. Bo Nix, the quarterback, and his top two receivers, tight end Terrance Ferguson and wide Troy Franklin, should unleash the Ducks’ Quack Attack on the field. With Dan Lanning in his second year as head coach, who previously served as Georgia’s defensive coordinator, the team’s defence should improve. With this group, the Ducks can win the Pac-12 and make the playoffs.

 Oregon

But this autumn, it would be impossible to discuss the Pac-12 without bringing up all of the changes taking place in that conference. As of this writing, Colorado has already declared their intention to join the Big 12, which has led to conjecture regarding the Pac-12’s future and that of its present members. Along with After this season, Oregon has emerged as the conference’s biggest brand and will be considering all of its choices, with USC and UCLA following suit. Every Pac-12 school has a limited amount of time to decide what to do next as the conference is still hammering out the details of its media rights agreement.

Oregon is a desirable alternative if the Big 12 isn’t done growing or if the Big Ten or ACC is interested in more western expansion, given its football prowess over the last 25 years and the support of Phil Knight and Nike. Alternatively, the Ducks may choose to be the Pac-12’s big fish and influence the conference’s next evolution. Eugene has a lot of decisions to make.

16 – Oregon State: DJ Uiagalelei

For the third time in programme history, Oregon State won ten games last season, and they accomplished it in an unusual fashion for the Pac-12: with defence. In 2023, the defence will undergo some restructuring, but Corvallis is excited about its new quarterback, who they feel has the ability to ignite the offence. DJ Uiagalelei, a transfer from Clemson, now.

 Oregon State

Uiagalelei time at Clemson wasn’t easy. Against Boston College and Notre Dame (the latter in a defeat) in 2020, he played brilliantly when Trevor Lawrence was sidelined by COVID procedures. We hardly ever saw that kind of output from him when he took over as starter in 2021. Following a dismal 8-for-29 performance against South Carolina, Clemson’s adversary in the regular In the season finale, Uiagalelei transferred to Oregon State when head coach Dabo Swinney benched him in favour of Cade Kulonic.

Hawaii native Uiagalelei might feel more at ease playing on the West Coast, where there won’t be as much pressure as there was at Clemson. He will only be expected to play at a level of productivity that will maintain team balance and help the Beavers win games, not to emulate Trevor Lawrence or Deshaun Watson. Oregon State can contend for a Pac-12 title if quarterback Uiagalelei had that kind of skill.

17 – Texas: Sarkisian is on the clock

The phrase “hot seat” can refer to a number of situations for a coach. For some, it’s essentially a critique of a subpar job, and this season is the last opportunity to make improvements. Others interpret it as a sign that the bar is high and that you absolutely must meet or surpass it. One such individual is Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian.

Texas

Not only is the oft-mocked “Longhorn Nation, we’re back” a post-Sugarland declaration, but it also represents the aspiration of all Texans this football season. Since 2017 will be the Horns’ final season in that league, it is significant to highlight that Texas is the favourite to win its first Big 12 championship since 2009. Texas will play in the premier conference in college football next year. , the SEC, and the rivalry will intensify significantly. Nobody can predict when Texas will eventually scale that wall if they keep failing to live up to the hype.

In the past 13 years, Texas has only finished with 10 wins once (in 2018, after declaring “we’re back”) and has participated in just one Big 12 title game. In the past nine years, they have experienced four losing seasons. After leading Texas to four bowl victories in four seasons, Tom Herman was fired. Sarkisian is into his third season in Austin, although he has only experienced one Alamo Bowl defeat at the hands of the Washington Huskies. How will Texas be able to compete in the Big 12 if they are unable to make it to the championship game this year? the SEC in the future? Texas undoubtedly has an enormous athletic department and outside funding, but that has also been the case for the previous 13 seasons. Again, it is unlikely that Sarkisian will be fired at the end of the season without the Longhorns having a clear cut starter to take his position, barring a complete collapse, but Texas must make a significant comeback in 2023.

18 – Tulane: Next Cincinnati?

Last year, Tulane shocked everyone by defeating USC 46-45 in the Cotton Bowl and making it to the game. In the final AP poll, the Green Wave came in at No. 9 with a 12-2 record. Though those seem to be the days of the past, keep in mind that this club only won two games in 2021.

Tulane

Tulane has a lot of momentum and excitement going into 2023. Tyjae Spears, the all-around running back, is no longer with the team, but quarterback Michael Pratt is back and will benefit from the return of the majority of his offensive line. The top two receivers in the receiving corps are gone, but the Green Wave have two seniors and two juniors returning to fill the void.

Cincinnati, an AAC team at the time, utilised a strong season (and a close defeat to Georgia in the Peach Bowl) in 2020 to start their season unbeaten and earn a spot in the College Football Playoffs. Could Tulane have the same success? Tulane will face Ole Miss on September 9th, and while it will be difficult, they have an easier AAC to navigate with Charlotte, Florida Atlantic, North Texas, Rice, UAB, and UTSA in place of Cincinnati, Houston, and UCF. If the Green Wave win, everyone would have to watch them closely until they lose, and that game is at Tulane.

19 – Texas Tech; Keeping momentum

The Texas Tech Red Raiders’ inaugural season under Joey McGuire’s leadership got off to a rough start. Tech was on the verge of another losing season after losing four of their next five games following a 3-1 start that saw the Red Raiders defeat Texas for the first time in five years. The Red Raiders subsequently won four games in a row to close up the season, defeating Ole Miss in the Texas Bowl and Oklahoma.

Texas Tech

Going into 2023, Texas Tech is getting a lot of attention. As the season progressed, Oregon transfer Tyler Sough gained confidence and played a great game in the Texas Bowl victory (242 yards passing, 111 yards rushing, and three touchdowns overall). The protection is skilled, and the The offensive line has been rebuilt after being an issue the previous season. Tech is therefore ready for a successful season.

Before facing Oregon in a game that Sough has undoubtedly had highlighted on his calendar all year, the Red Raiders begin their season at Wyoming. Tech’s schedule now includes Oklahoma instead of Oklahoma State because of the Big 12’s expansion. If they can defeat Texas in the final, they will have a chance to compete for a position in the Big 12 title game.

20 – Kansas State: No more Deuce Vaughn

Occasionally a player arrives on a college campus who is so exceptional that he or she almost defines a programme. That’s how I felt about Deuce Vaughn while he was at Kansas State. Even though Vaughn didn’t score as many touchdowns in 2021 as he did in 2022, the offence as a whole performed better than Vaughn alone.

Kansas State

Vaughn, who is now with the Dallas Cowboys, will not be available for that offence, therefore this season, sophomore DJ Giddens will be expected to perform more. Giddens, who carried for 518 yards and six touchdowns as a freshman, will likely see a significant increase in playing time in 2023. Tre Shaun Ward, a transfer from Florida State, is also willing to assist. He obtained last season, he had a fantastic start with the Seminoles before seeing his carries decline in the second part of the game. He did put on a strong performance in the Cheez-It Bowl to close the season (81 yards, two touchdowns), so Manhattan should be happy to have him.

The Kansas State programme is now a well-oiled machine under Chris Kleiman, capable of repeating their Big 12 championship triumph from the previous season. It will be difficult to move past Vaughn, but strong programmes must do that.

21 – Iowa: Scoring points

It’s no secret that Iowa was one of the most offensively unbalanced teams in the country and one of the few that had excellent defence. Despite scoring slightly more than 18 points per game on average in 2022, the Hawkeyes managed to finish 8-5. Iowa lost all five games by less than 17 points, and in three of those games, the score was 10 points or less. They were unable to score more than 13 points in two of their victories.

Iowa

The Hawkeyes are excited to have Michigan transfer Cade McNamara join them this season. He will be thrown to by a revamped receiving corps while operating behind a fully functional offensive line. McNamara already has a lot of pressure to turn around this horrible offence, but the Brian Ferentz, the offensive coordinator, is under fire from head coach Kirk Ferentz’s son. After throwing only seven touchdown passes in the whole previous season, the Hawkeyes might win the Big Ten West and contend for a conference championship if they can demonstrate some offensive prowess.

22 – North Carolina: Drake Maye

The current phase of quarterback performance for the Tar Heels is the best in programme history. The Heels smoothly transitioned into the Drake Maye era following three seasons of Sam Howell, and they saw rapid success. Maye led North Carolina in rush yards with 698 yards and seven additional touchdowns as a redshirt freshman while also throwing for 4,321 yards and 38 touchdowns. Maye was receiving some Heisman attention when the Tar Heels started their previous season 9-1.

North Carolina

Then everything collapsed. The Heels’ offensive coordinator, Phil Longo, left for Wisconsin after they lost their final four games, which included the Holiday Bowl against Oregon and the ACC title against Clemson. When Chip Lindsey takes over in Chapel Hill, coach inherits one of the best offences and quarterbacks in the country, but additionally a revised group of talent players.

Maye and the offence were the ones winning games in shootouts (40.1 ppg) during their 9-1 run. Will Maye and the gang be as dynamic as last year now that they have a new coordinator? The offence didn’t appear the same during the four-game losing streak (20.3 ppg). Although not significantly better, the defence cannot withstand another decline in attacking output.

23 – Wisconsin: Fickell changes up offense

Wisconsin is adopting more of an Air Raid attack in place of its conventional “three yards and a cloud of dust” offensive style. The former offensive coordinator of North Carolina, Phil Longo, has been brought on by new head coach Luke Fickell to help the Badgers shift to a pass-heavy offence. Graham Mertz has moved out, and Tanner Mordecai from SMU has moved in. Fickell also added a number of receivers who will be expected to contribute through the transfer site.

 Wisconsin

Of course, Wisconsin won’t give up on the run, especially with backs Braylon Allen and Chez Mellusi back in the lineup, but the selection of Longo indicates a significant shift in the team’s strategy moving forward. Will this change a thing quickly, or will it take some time? culture that has existed for many years?

24 – Ole Miss: Judkins gets off to a fast start

Ole Miss is facing a formidable quarterback competition as incumbent Jaxson Dart attempts to hold off transfers from Oklahoma State (Spencer Sanders) and LSU (Walker Howard). In addition to rebuilding the offensive line, head coach Lane Kiffin needs to replace two outstanding receivers. Under new defensive coordinator Pete Golding, the defence has improved as the season progressed.

Ole Miss

Quinton Judkins, the running back, will therefore be used extensively from the start. Last season, as a rookie, Judkins ran for a school record 1,567 yards and 16 touchdowns. Judkins becomes increasingly important during a tough first part of the schedule, as the rest of the offence can require some time to become adjusted. The Rebels host LSU and Arkansas in addition to visiting Tulane and Alabama during the initial six matches of the year. Before mid-October arrives, that may make or break Ole Miss’s entire season.

25 – UTSA: Taking over the AAC

After winning two straight Conference USA titles, UTSA is no longer a member of that conference. As a recent addition to the American Athletic Conference, UTSA is poised to challenge for the conference title right away. Nearly every starter is returning for the Roadrunners, who have an offensive that might keep scoreboard operators busy. Frank Harris, a quarterback who is regarded as one of the greatest in the Group of Five, is returning to San Antonio for his fifth and seventh seasons. Harris, who is 24 years old, missed his first two seasons at UTSA.

UTSA

Moving up to the AAC will be a significant step up in competition because Conference USA isn’t a very competitive league. As UTSAextremely strong and ought to challenge Tulane for the AAC championship and even a bowl in the New Year’s Six.

Reference

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