Everyone and their grandma is coming out with a 2023 preseason football ranking so I thought I would go ahead and give it a shot myself. Once upon a time I got to vote in polls and such so let’s see if we can dust off the cobwebs and come up with a good starting spot for twenty five teams. Keep in mind, this is preseason so it’s not an indicator of where we might think the team will finish, it’s an indicator of where we think they should start.
That brings us to Oklahoma. As a fan, I want them to be the highest ranking team in the conference. I think they’ll improve their 2022 record by at least three wins, and will compete for the Big 12 title. However, logically, I don’t think they should start the season inside the Top 20. As much as it pains me, I feel like somewhere between 20 and 25 is way more reasonable.
The Sooners are coming off their first losing season since 1998. They’ve lost their top receiver, top running back, and top two offensive linemen to the NFL Draft and are looking to a true freshman to finally add depth at the quarterback spot. That’s without even mentioning a defense that ranked 115th nationally in 2022 after allowing an average of 435.7 yards per game.
Remember, this isn’t an indicator of where I think the Sooners will finish but where they should start. If we’re going to reward teams like Georgia, Michigan, and Ohio State based on where they finished in 2022, and who they have coming back, then the same principle applies to those teams on the other end of the spectrum. With that in mind, here’s my Top 25 to start the 2023 college football season.
The Bulldogs have been stacking elite recruiting classes for years so reloading at key positions shouldn’t be an issue in 2023. Look for Georgia to field one of the top defenses in the nation again this fall. A three-peat is in sight for the Bulldogs and the defense should carry the load as they march towards another S.E.C. title and the College Football Playoff.
The Wolverine offense shouldn’t take a step backwards in 2023 and the defense should take a step forward, making Michigan the frontrunner to win the Big 10 and head back to the College Football Playoff. Getting Ohio State on their home field is the cherry on top of an advantageous schedule.
3. Ohio State
The Buckeyes will play on the road at Notre Dame, Wisconsin, and Michigan in 2023. They’re reloading at quarterback but have one of the top receivers in the nation in Marvin Harrison Jr. Defensive improvement is going to be the biggest factor when it comes to passing Michigan as the top team in the Big Ten.
The Tide are retooling the offense in 2023 and there are more questions than answers, right now, on the offensive side of the ball. That said, ending a two-year College Football Playoff drought is going to hinge on competing with Georgia and while there may be more questions in Tuscaloosa than in Athens, the depth and talent on the roster is pretty much the same.
This is Lincoln Riley’s best shot at a national championship since his first year as the head coach at Oklahoma. He’s got the reigning Heisman Trophy winner running his offense and skill position players for days. The Trojans are favorites to win the Pac 12 but defensive improvement is going to tell USC’s story in 2023.
Heartland Sports 2023 Preseason Top 25
Teams Most Likely To Rise: Florida State, Tennessee, Oklahoma, UCLA
Teams Most Likely To Fall: USC, Notre Dame, Texas Tech, Tulane
Unranked Team That Shouldn’t Be: South Carolina, Iowa
Alright, there it is! Dissect it, break it down, and tell me where I’m right or wrong.
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