Preseason Top 25 | What’s A Resonable Starting Spot For The Sooners In 2023?

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.

1. Georgia

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.

2. Michigan

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.

4. Alabama

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.

5. USC

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

RankTeam2022 Record
1. Georgia15-0
2. Michigan13-1
3. Ohio State11-2
4. Alabama 11-2
5. USC11-3
6. Penn State11-2
7. LSU10-4
8. Clemson11-3
9. Florida State10-3
10. Washington11-2
11. Tennessee11-2
12. Texas8-5
13. Utah 10-4
14. Notre Dame9-4
15. Oregon10-3
16. TCU13-2
17. Kansas State10-4
18. Oregon State10-3
19. North Carolina9-5
20. Wisconsin7-6
21. Ole Miss8-5
22. Texas Tech8-5
23. Oklahoma 6-7
24. Tulane12-2
The Next Five Out: South Carolina (8-5), Colorado (1-8), Texas A&M (5-7), Iowa (8-5), UTSA (11-3)

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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3 Replies to “Preseason Top 25 | What’s A Resonable Starting Spot For The Sooners In 2023?”

  1. I can’t say that I totally disagree with you. 23 may actually be a little high. I’d rather they not be ranked at all to start the season.
    I’m not a hater, far from it, but when you consider everything OU has to improve on, it looks almost impossible.
    Lack of depth killed them last year. How deep can they be? They’ve recruited very well, and I love the enthusiasm.
    We need it, but here are some thing to keep in mind before this season kicks off.
    In conference and their bowl game OU led in the first half of its last 7 games. They won 3 of them. KU & OSU in Norman and ISU on the road
    In conference they led at halftime against BU, WV, TT and lost all 3 games.
    They gave up 27 in the first quarter against TCU and the game was over at that point.
    The Texas game…I don’t even count it in this because the defense was outmanned for sure but without a QB they were doomed.
    They led at half against Florida State in the bowl, and lost
    So in their last 7 games they had the lead at the end of the first half and won 3 games.
    I don’t see that turning around immediately. You can point the finger at the D, but there wasn’t much complimentary football being played.
    They were out scored in the second half of their last 4 games with only 1 W over OSU in Norman.
    More depth will help that situation, but that’s a long term solution and as you can tell BV is fixing it from the ground up.
    Be patient.
    We got off to a great start last year and then from the 4th QTR of the KSU game (OU led by 14 going in to the 4th) through the 4th QTR of the FLA ST game we fought like hell …and it was ugly as hell.
    Through 9 conference games and a bowl game we went 3-7.
    This team has some great talent and they showed some guts when most would have crumbled last year.
    They will be ranked by the end of the season, I’m not worried about that.
    They need to develop depth, talented depth.
    I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of people getting reps this year.

    1. It’s been a while since there was this much uncertainty surrounding an Oklahoma football team in the offseason. I agree that depth is going to pay huge dividends this season but so will a second year of experience for everyone…coaches included.

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