Tulane had a historic 2022 football season, finishing 12-2 overall with an AAC title win and Cotton Bowl triumph over USC. Thanks to an intact offensive line including LSU transfer Cameron Wire, quarterback Michael Pratt (7,196 yards, 68 touchdowns and 21 interceptions; 861 rushing yards and 23 rushing touchdowns in 34 career games) should remain protected – provided Tulane can compensate for key secondary losses; should this prove successful they may go on to achieve even greater things this season and remain one of the leading Group Five teams – their biggest test will come against Ole Miss who was one of two losses during 2022!
Washington ranks high in my college football rankings, as this team returned 11 wins last year and boasted plenty of talent that remains. Led by quarterback Michael Penix Jr., who threw for 4,641 yards and 31 touchdowns during his initial stint with Washington, they emerge as genuine Pac-12 title contender. Key games against Oregon and Utah at home, as well as road tests against USC, Oregon State and Michigan State, will help determine how serious their intentions indeed are.
Many have LSU higher than 8 to begin the season and I understand their high ranking; their 10-3 season surprised many last year, yet I’m not as high on QB Jayden Daniels as many around the country are. He is undoubtedly an impressive college quarterback; however, I can’t see them making the CFP with their schedule this year. They open with a critical test against the Florida State Seminoles — who edged LSU out 24-23 last season — in Florida in a “neutral site”. Brian Kelly righted their ship much earlier than many anticipated; therefore, now expectations in Baton Rouge are sky-high!
Ohio State remains a mighty offensive powerhouse even with C.J. Stroud gone, making them every bit a contender for a CFP spot. Marvin Harrison Jr.’s and Emeka Egbuka’s incredible receiving duo (77 receptions, 1,263 yards and 14 touchdowns combined) remains unrivalled while TreVeyon Henderson makes his return from injury (571 rushing yards, six touchdowns). Ohio State remains dangerous all year round as a national title contender.
Florida State is entering the 2023 season on an incredible roll. Even though their games are similar, I am significantly higher on Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis (3,214 yards, 24 touchdowns and five interceptions; seven rushing TDs). He outshines LSU QB Jayden Daniels, in my estimation. Travis was one of the most improved players in 2022, and I anticipate his continued improvement this season. On defense, FSU should benefit significantly from adding cornerback Fentrell Cypress II (39 tackles and 14 pass breakups in 2022 from Virginia) and lineman Gilbert Edmond (39 tackles, 9.0 tackles for loss) from South Carolina – both are expected to significantly bolster FSU’s defensive play and give it another shot at winning ACC titles and reaching CFP playoffs.
I think James Franklin assembled one of his finest Penn State rosters Nittany Lions fans have seen in years.. For starters, starting quarterback Drew Allar stands out for me; their only losses that year came against two CFP teams, Michigan and Ohio State; however, their five-game win streak culminated with an upset Rose Bowl win against Utah despite replacing quarterback Sean Clifford; backfield tandem Nick Singleton/Kaytron Allen could excel; junior linebacker Abdul Carter made significant strides towards keeping opponent points down; these Nittany Lions should aim towards competing for both their Big Ten title and a CFP playoff spot; I think this squad poses a serious threat!
Alabama enters 2023 with some significant uncertainty as Bryce Young departs, leaving Jalen Milroe and Ty Simpson competing for quarterback duties. Additionally, their offensive line needs work, and they suffered 103 penalties in 2022. Nick Saban’s track record warns against dismissing Alabama pre-season performances: they host some of their biggest matches like Texas in week 2, Ole Miss, Tennessee, and LSU home advantage will make Alabama a formidable College Football Playoff contender.
Michigan Wolverines have made waves in the Big Ten Conference by winning back-to-back games against rival Ohio State, taking consecutive conference championships, and reaching the last two College Football Playoff appearances – yet their ultimate goal of securing a national championship has eluded them thus far. 2023 presents fresh chances to do just that, though Jim Harbaugh may need one victory more to cement his legacy at Michigan.
Quarterback J.J. McCarthy led Michigan to victory with 2,719 passing yards, 22 touchdowns, and five interceptions – becoming an exceptional leader along with running backs Blake Corum (1,494 yards and 18 touchdowns) and Donovan Edwards (991 yards, seven touchdowns). These three combined create an unstoppable offensive unit capable of dominating in Big Ten play.
Michigan will need more than just its offensive prowess to reach the national championship game this year successfully. Michigan’s defensive strength – is led by rising star defensive back Will Johnson with 27 tackles, three interceptions and three passes defended) will play a critical role in winning back Ann Arbour a national title. A solid defense can create turnovers, disrupt opposing offenses and provide timely stops when needed; they must put on an impressive showing against Ohio State once again.
Georgia has a shot at being the first threepeat winner since Minnesota 1934-36.
Georgia faces the difficulty of replacing key players and seniors, 15 of which were taken in the 2023 NFL draft. Still, their track record from the previous season suggests their talent reload may outweigh concerns about rebuilding. They managed an unbeaten 15-0 season even after losing 15 players due to this year’s draft – we fully expect Georgia to return as contenders in 2023!
Caleb Williams is the top QB in the nation and Lincoln Riley and this Trojan schedule are top choices also. They will travel to Notre Dame and Oregon and host Utah and Washington. In their inaugural year under Riley, they managed to rack up 11 wins. Yet, their loss to Utah in the Pac-12 Championship Game ended their hopes of reaching the College Football Playoff. USC boasts one of the nation’s strongest offensive forces, with Heisman winner Caleb Williams (4,537 passing yards, 42 touchdowns, five interceptions and ten rushing TDs in 2022) returning as a quarterback and an elite receiving corps. Furthermore, Caleb serves as a play caller who may well be unparalleled across college sports. Defenders like Oklahoma State transfer Mason Cobb (93 tackles) and cornerback Christian Roland-Wallace from USC have been vital to USC’s recent defensive success, as USC conceded an average of 37.1 points over its final eight games last season – if their defense can figure things out even partially, USC could become one of the country’s premier teams.
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