The season just ended but it’s never too early to look ahead to the next college football season’s top-10. A few programs made huge leaps in 2022, and we expect these teams to be in the right position to make a run at a championship next.
After the 65-7 blowout Georgia delivered to TCU, it will be hard press to see a team match up. Then again, games aren’t played one paper.
Here’s our top-10:
The Tigers looked great to finish the season off. Head coach Brian Kelly will have a few guys to replace, but the Tigers should be contenders come August. Returning for the Tigers are quarterback Jaden Daniels and leading receiver Malik Nabers who caught over 1,000 yards in 2022. In coach Kelly’s first year at LSU he accomplished a lot. a 10 win season, stunning upset of Alabama, and the SEC West title. Knowing Kelly, LSU won’t have time to rest as they take on Florida State in Orlando. In 2022, Florida State stunned LSU in New Orleans to open the Tigers season. The 2023 matchup will be a top-10 team season opener.
Some might say that the 2022 roster was wasted on head coach Dabo Swinney’s inability to change quarterbacks. However, we know for a fact that Swinney in loyal to the guy he chooses to be QB1. Although the change came in the ACC Championship game, Swinney has shown that no matter how good the backup might be, he will believe in his veteran quarterback who is starting.
With that being said, there’s no question that quarterback Cade Klubnik is QB1 heading into 2023. His Orange Bowl performance wasn’t spectacular, but he did what he could. Swinney’s offense has to evolve this off-season because college football seems to have caught up to his system.
8. Florida State
The Seminoles come in as the top ACC program on this list for many reasons. Head Coach Mike Norvell has done a great job of evaluating talent in the transfer portal to speed up the rebuild at FSU. The Noles will have a veteran team of elite transfers all around the field. With the return of Jordan Travis under center and every key skill position player on offense, the Noles will be tough to beat.
In FSU’s last 6-games, they averaged 42 points a game. FSU will return the top edge rusher in college football next season in Jared Verse.
The Trojans return the Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Willams for his final campaign. USC exceeded expectations in year 1 under head coach Lincoln Riley. The Trojans only loss in 2022 came at the hands of the Utah Utes, but other than that the Trojans took care of the conference. I have the Trjans at #7 because of the key pieces from 2022 that they lose and the peices that they will gain. The 2021 Biletnikoff award winning receiver Jordan Addison will be headed to the NFL, and Williams will need to rely on the rest of the receiving core to step up. Mario Williams had a great year in 22′ but should have an even better one in 23′. The Trojans currently have a top-15 recruiting class that include the top -2 receivers in the class.
However, the defense will need to become a priority for USC in 2023. As the season wore on in 22′ we could see the defense giving up way too many points in 6 of the last 7 games. Honestly, the program that can hold teams under 20 points in todays college football will win the most games.
The Horned Frogs had one of their best seasons in program history; reaching as far as the National Championship. Although, the game left much to be desired from TCU. It was an eye opener to TCU and to the rest of college football as to how good Georgia is and how difficult the SEC can be.
With that being said, the Horned Frogs will lose a lot of talent on both sides of the field. It might take some time for TCU to return to College Football Playoffs. Head coach Sonny Dykes will have to reset his roster for next season, but with the transfer portal in. play, the Horned Frogs should be favorites to win the Big 12.
For the second straight year, the Wolverines saw their national championship hopes end in the college football playoffs. Too many turnovers did them in, however the team should be geared up for 2023. Starting quarterback J.J. McCarthy returns with a slew of talent around him. With that being said, the Michigan offense will have to start faster and close out teams quicker next season.
Jim Harbaugh has done an excellent job of building this roster and developing the players for the scheme he likes to run. This off-season will be a crucial one for the Wolverines program seeing that next year could be J.J. McCarthy’s last season under center.
The Volunteers will have huge expectations heading into the off-season. For the first time in over 15 years, the Volunteers are expected to be a force in the upcoming season. Although they lose their starting quarterback Hendon Hooker to the NFL, the next man up seems to be capable of leading the Volunteers as well. It is also important to note that incoming 5-Star freshman quarterback Nicholaus Iamaleava is already on campus in Knoxville. He was seen on the sideline during the Orange Bowl win against Clemson.
Ultimately, the Volunteers are the favorites to dethrone Georgia for the SEC East title in 2023. This task won’t be easy, but 2023 will be their best opportunity to take the Dogs down as they transition to a new quarterback.
3. Ohio State
The Buckeyes are 1 of 3 programs in college football that don’t rebuild but reload. The Buckeyes won’t have the future 1st round pick C.J. Stroud under center in 2023, however the next guy up will have the best receiver in college football to throw to in Marvin Harrison Jr. There’s a legitimate argument whether or not Harrison Jr. should have won the Biletnikoff Award this year over Tennessee receiver Jalin Hyatt.
Head coach Ryan Day knows that he was 1 point away from heading to the national championship game this past season. Offensively, the Buckeyes will be perfectly fine after a game or two, but this off-season the defense needs to be the primary focus.
What will Alabama do without quarterback Bryce Young? Well, we’ve asked those same questions every time Alabama loses a quarterback to the draft, and every year Nick Saban has an answer for us. The Crimson Tide will dominate like they always has. Granted, in 2022, the Crimson Tide’s offense wasn’t as crisp as years before, but the offense was still better than most teams in the country.
There are questions about offensive coordinator Bill O’Brian returning, but if he leaves we could see an even more prolific offense than we saw these last two seasons. The college football world’s worst nightmare would be if O’Brian leaves and recently fired Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury joins Saban’s staff. However, no matter who’s the coordinator, the Crimson Tide will continue to Roll.
The Bulldogs ended the 2022 season as they started, defending national champions. Although the Bulldogs will lose key players, head coach Kirby Smart has this program in reload mode an not rebuild. Quarterback Stetson Bennett leaves Georgia as the winningest quarterback in school history and a 2-time national champion. Even so, backup quarterback Carson Beck has had plenty of time to grasp the offense. Furthermore, Beck will have projected 1st round tight end Brock Bowers to throw to. Bowers caught 56 passes for 790 yards and 6 touchdowns and 3 rushing touchdowns.
Until we see a team beat Georgia, they’ll sit at the top of college football.