Will 2023 be the ‘year of parity’ in college football?
With so many coordinator and quarterback changes among the sport’s top programs, this could be a year where several new teams emerge into the playoff conversation, according to FOX Sports college football analyst Joel Klatt. college football
Alabama, the winningest program in college football over the past decade, is in the process of replacing its offensive and defensive coordinators as well as 2021 Heisman Trophy winner QB Bryce Young.
Bill O’Brien, who served as the Crimson Tide’s offensive coordinator during the 2000 and 2001 seasons, left to take the OC job with the New England Patriots, while former defensive coordinator Pete Golding left for the same position at Ole Miss earlier this month.
While coordinators are often brought in to revamp an offensive or defensive unit, that’s not necessarily what Alabama will be looking for in those hires, according to Klatt.
“This is not something that needs to be fixed,” Klatt said when discussing Alabama’s offensive and defensive coordinator openings on the latest episode of his podcast, “The Joel Klatt Show.” “You will be a cog in the system.
“It’s still Nick Saban. Whoever he brings in is still going to have to assimilate into the Alabama culture.”
Alabama OC and DC Vacancies
Joel Klatt discusses the coordinator openings at Alabama and explains why these positions are so coveted.
Meanwhile, both Ohio State and Georgia, the second and fourth winningest programs in the last decade, respectively, also face big changes in 2023.
Ohio State has a new offensive coordinator in place as Brian Hartline takes the job after Kevin Wilson left to become the head coach at Tulsa. The Buckeyes will also be entering a new starting QB, as CJ Stroud declared for the NFL Draft earlier this month and is expected to be a top-10 pick in April’s draft.
Georgia, coming off back-to-back national championships, faces the challenge of replacing one of the most accomplished quarterbacks in college football history in Stetson Bennett. Meanwhile, Bulldogs offensive coordinator Todd Monken is a hot name among NFL job offers and is reportedly in the process of interviewing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator job.
“If there’s ever a year you can get new blood, like you saw with TCU, could this be the year?” Klatt asked. “If you’re a fan of the style of season we had last year, then 2023 could be more of the same.”
Klatt named several programs that are well-positioned to take advantage of these big changes in 2023.
Alabama, Georgia and Ohio State bring new blood
Joel Klatt discusses Alabama, Georgia and Ohio State breaking away with new quarterbacks and coordinators in 2023.
State of Florida
Registration 2022: 10-3
Klatt on the Seminoles: “That’s interesting. You’ve got your QB back. Lots of hype in the recruiting class. Good feeling around the program. Florida State is a team that could absolutely make a run.”
Registration 2022: 10-4
Klatt on the Tigers: “Brian Kelly had something going on. The win over Alabama was more atypical for them this year than the norm. But they were able to do it. So we know, at least at the top, that LSU has this team “.
Registration 2022: 11-3
Klatt on the Tigers: “With Garrett Riley as the offensive coordinator and playmaker, and Cade Klubnik at quarterback, maybe a spark on that offensive side would be just what they need to get back to what it was the six years prior to the last two.”
Registration 2022: 11-2
Klatt on volunteers: “Josh Heupel gets that new contract. When you look at Joe Milton and the way he played in the Orange Bowl, Tennessee could be right there.”
Registration 2022: 11-2
Klatt to the Nittany Lions: “This is a team that feels like they’re getting their quarterback back, even though he wasn’t a starter. Drew Allar is a guy they’ve been salivating over all year. They’ve got great young talent … a good veteran presence on offense. The line is back. They’ve got all their coordinators back. James Franklin has recruited well.”
Registration 2022: 6-7
Klatt on the Sooners: “Oklahoma is my team going out. They were close to a 10-win team when you look at all their one-goal games. That could easily go the other way. When you look at that conference, nobody is. It’s going to work out. It’s not like they have to go play Ohio State, Alabama, Georgia or Michigan. They don’t have that team in their conference.”
USC/Washington/State of Oregon/Oregon
2022 Registrations: USC: 11-3, Washington: 11-2, Oregon State: 10-3, Oregon: 10-3
Klatt in the Pac-12: “This is going to be the best quarterback league in all of college football. Maybe this is the year USC can do it, even though they have to improve on defense. Maybe this is the year we know Michael Penix and Washington for most. of the year and not just at the end of the season. Maybe this is the year everyone realizes how good a coach Jonathan Smith is at Oregon State. He has a new quarterback in DJ [Uiagalelei], who won’t be asked to do everything at Oregon State because of his ability to run the football and control the line of scrimmage. … Bo Nix is back in Oregon. This could be the Pac-12’s year to go to the playoff if you look at it through that lens.”
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