College football rankings: Our all-too-early Top 25 for 2023


No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs rushed for 350+ yards and 38 points, leading by 31 points in the first half — Monday en route to a 65-7 victory over No. 3 Texas Christian.

In doing so, they became just the third team in history to go 15-0 and became the sport’s first back-to-back national champions in the College Football Playoff era.

Before the first half was over, the national championship game was over. Now, it just goes without saying that this UGA team wasn’t as talented as the 2021 team, even though they finished the season undefeated. This is scary because he was even more dominant.

It also means that the mantle of sports king not only rests with UGA, but the dynasty title appears to be theirs as well. The balance of power in college football has shifted once again, not from the SEC but from the SEC West to the SEC East.

Perhaps the biggest question after watching UGA demolish a different national finalist in the CFP era and not since Oklahoma was crushed 55-19 by Matt Leinart’s USC, how did this team beat the TCU at Michigan?

Anyway, here’s my top 25 ahead of next season

1. Georgia

The magically gorgeous Stetson Bennett will be gone after a 304-yard, four-touchdown performance in winning a second straight title. But tight end Brock Bowers will return along with a host of other talented players. Can anyone stop Kirby Smart’s Dawgs?

2. Michigan

Blake Corum’s return is legitimately shocking. The safe first-round pick chose to bring it back, giving the Wolverines a chance to win their third consecutive Big Ten title and make their third consecutive CFP appearance.

3. Ohio State

The Buckeyes return the nation’s top wide receiver in Marvin Harrison, Jr. After getting pounded by Michigan in their final regular season game, the Buckeyes were just one field goal away from knocking off almighty Georgia in the Peach Bowl.

4. USC

The Trojans return the Heisman Trophy winner and hope to compete for the Pac-12 title and their first trip to the CFP.

5. Tennessee

After losing Hendon Hooker just two games into the season, the Vols bounced back with a resounding win against Clemson in the Orange Bowl and will look to Joe Milton to continue his remarkable 2022 season in 2023.

6. Alabama

Without Bryce Young, Will Anderson and Jahmyr Gibbs, the Tide could take a step back. But one step back for Nick Saban is three steps forward for almost everyone else.

7. Penn State

The Nittany Lions return the nation’s top tailback tandem in Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen. With Drew Allar behind center, PSU will look to get into the Big Ten title game.

8. TCU

Sonny Dykes managed to keep his coordinators, and he still has what he thought was the best quarterback on campus, Chandler Morris, who came back to help lead the Frogs back to the CFP.

9. Utah

With Cam “Bad Moon” Rising announcing his return to the Utes, expect Utah to come away with a third straight Pac-12 title in a league that hasn’t looked all that competitive since the early going.

10. Clemson

Even with a quarterback controversy in full bloom, Dabo Swinney managed to win 11 games in 2022. Now, with Cade Klubnik very much The Guy, the Tigers will look to defend their ACC title and return to the CFP for the first time since 2020.

11. Washington

With Kalen DeBoer and Michael Penix Jr. leading the Huskies, the program won 11 games for the first time since 2016. With this tandem back in Seattle, the Huskies look capable of chasing their first league crown since 2018.

12. Our Lady

After a shaky start to the Marcus Freeman era, the Fighting Irish finished strong and added a top-tier quarterback in Wake Forest grad transfer Sam Hartman. The Fighting Irish should believe they can win 10 or more games in 2023.

13. Kansas State

After falling apart in the Sugar Bowl, it’s easy to forget that Kansas State won 10 games and the Big 12 title while making a midseason change. The growing pains that Will Howard went through should make up for the loss of Deuce Vaughn in the NFL Draft.

14. State of Florida

After much wailing and gnashing of teeth, Mike Norvell delivered the kind of season FSU fans were hoping for with signature wins against LSU and Oklahoma — two CFP teams three years ago. Now, with Jordan Travis firmly planted, the Seminoles should contend for the ACC crown.

15. Oregon

Dan Lanning had his best year under a first-time head coach in 2022, and he did it after the Ducks were embarrassed by Georgia in Week 1. If UO can keep this momentum going, it can compete for the Pac- 12 and a CFP Offer in 2023.

16. Wisconsin

The Badgers are a team on the rise. With Luke Fickell (a brilliant defensive mind) sharing space with Phil Longo (a brilliant offensive mind) and former SMU quarterback Tanner Mordecai sharing a backfield with Braelon Allen, a Big Ten West division crown is not out of the question doubt

17. UCLA

Chip Kelly landed five-star quarterback Dante Moore during the early signing period, giving the Bruins a boost and the expectation to be the best team in college football in Los Angeles in 2023.

18. LSU

Brian Kelly has two outstanding quarterbacks in Jayden Daniels and Garrett Nussmeier, who will have a wideout Malik Nabors to throw bombs to in 2023.

19. Tulane

After the best turnaround in sports history, the Green Wave will return its starter at quarterback in a league in which it is the defending champion and in which Cincinnati, Houston and UCF no longer play.

20. State of Oregon

The Beavers were one quarterback away from realistically playing for the Pac-12 title in 2022. Now they’ve added DJ Uiagalelei, who promises to give OSU stability at one position.

21. Colorado

It’s Coach Prime Time in Boulder, and the Buffaloes should look ready to compete in a loaded Pac-12 with Shedeur Sanders and Travis Hunter each wearing the black and gold this season.

Deion Sanders, Colorado, Travis Hunter land

Deion Sanders, Colorado, Travis Hunter land

22. oklahoma

The Sooners are coming off their first losing season since Bill Clinton was in the White House. This anger, this disappointment, will lead them to a league that will have more members than when it was founded in 1995. And it will have to.

23. Texas

Quinn Ewers will be pushed by freshman Arch Manning for his starting spot at the Forty Acres, but expect Texas to be solid and healthy on both sides of the ball in its final year of Big 12 competition.

24. Iowa

Iowa needed a quarterback to run the offense while dominating the defense. In Michigan transfer Cade McNamara, Hawkeye coach Kirk Ferentz has a starter who has won the Big Ten title, beaten Ohio State and played on the CFP’s big stage.

25. Kansas

Everyone sees the Jayhawks coming now. Lance Leipold has turned this program from a doormat, to respectable, to a real brick of the Big 12. You might beat them, but you’ll get a bloody nose doing it.

RJ Young is a national college football writer and analyst for FOX Sports and the host of the podcast “The number one college football show.“Follow him on Twitter at @RJ_Young i subscribe to “The RJ Young Show” on YouTube.

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