College Football season is almost here, and there have been a ton of different preseason power rankings that are floating around the internet. Below is THE correct rankings. All other preseason rankings are null and void.
Just missed the cut:
Minnesota, Oklahoma, North Carolina, UCLA, Pitt, UTSA, James Madison
24) Texas A&M
16) Notre Dame
15) Oregon State
13) Kansas State
The Volunteers are looking to take advantage of the momentum from 2022. They lose the dynamic Hendon Hooker but Joe Milton could be the perfect replacement, with his veteran experience and cannon of an arm. If Milton is formidable, it all comes down to the Vol defense to improve and make a run for the SEC East.
After getting absolutely thumped by Georgia in week 1, the Ducks won 10 out of their last 12 games including the Holiday Bowl. Bo Nix is back under center in the College Football world to lead an offense that returns a good amount of their offensive production. This includes running back duo Bucky Irving and Noah Whittington and tight end Terrance Ferguson returning from a season-ending injury. On defense look for South Carolina transfer Jordan Burch to make an impact with the pass rush. Dan Lanning and company are looking to take the next step in Eugene.
8) Florida State
Mike Norvell finally breaks through in his third season with the Seminoles, and they are looking to compete for a spot in the College Football Playoff in 2023. Florida State returns more production than any other Power 5 program. The offense has playmakers such as quarterback Jordan Travis, running back Trey Benson, and receiver Johnny Wilson. The defense also returns almost all of their production including star edge rusher Jared Verse. Florida State looks to be back to form and will end Clemon’s reign of terror in the ACC.
There is no doubt USC is the favorite to win the Pac-12, with generational talent Caleb Williams. Lincoln Riley’s offense is going to be among the nation’s best, but unfortunately, the defense needs work. The Trojans can win the conference with an average defense, but they won’t give Lincoln Riley his first playoff win unless there is an improvement.
Brian Kelly’s Tigers are positioned to make a run at the SEC title. They return quarterback Jayden Daniels and all five of their starting offensive linemen. Harold Perkins was amazing last season at linebacker, but there are some questions in the secondary as LSU had to dive into the portal to fill some holes. LSU has three major matchups that will shape their season, the opener against Florida State, at Alabama, and then a home game against Texas A&M. LSU can very well win the SEC West again, but they’ll have to knock off Nick Saban for the second year in a row.
5) Penn State
It was starting to look like things were going stale with James Franklin and Penn State, going 11-11 in 2020/2021. Fortunately for PSU fans, the Nittany Lions went 11-2 with a victory in the Rose Bowl last season. Penn State enters the year with a good chunk of its core returning. Four out of five offensive linemen are back with a pair of extremely talented running backs. The offense has a small concern in the WR room but it has the potential to be more than just good. The defense is amongst the best in the country despite being a little thin on the interior of the defensive line. If the Lions can beat one of Michigan or Ohio State, and win the games they’ll be favored in, we could see a three-way tie for the Big Ten East.
4) Ohio State
Ohio State has become the second fiddle in a conference they have dominated for most of the turn of the century. There may be a bit of a concern around new quarterback Kyle McCord but the WR room is the best in the country, has a talented backfield, and some beef up front on the offensive line. McCord will have the tools around him to keep the Buckeye’s offense rolling. The area of concern in Columbus is the rush defense. If the Buckeyes can improve stuffing the run, Ohio State has a chance to reclaim their Big Ten crown.
The Crimson Tide have been a well-oiled machine, and even though they are losing a good amount of their core, they are returning enough for us to expect them near the top of the rankings again. The floor for the Tide is 10-2, but with LSU and Tennessee at home, there is a good chance of Alabama finishing the year 11-1 with a chance to get back into the College Football Playoff.
The turnaround done by Jim Harbaugh from the end of the 2020 season to now is incredible. Back-to-back Big Ten titles, with wins over Ohio State. It’s now time to take that next step and win a playoff game. On offense, Michigan will return quarterback J.J. McCarthy along with arguably the best backfield with Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards. Defensively the majority of their pass rush returns, along with an experienced secondary. The Wolverines’ “weak spot” is at receiver but it by no means should be a glaring issue. This could be the year that Michigan gets to the National Championship.
What is there to say? The Bulldogs are the kings of College Football with back-to-back national Championships to show for it. They return 13 of their 22 starters from last season. Losing Stetson Bennet is going to be a challenge, fortunately, the offense will have Brock Bowers and Ladd McConkey to lean on in the passing game. The defense has to replace some big-time names as well, but they have recruited at a high enough level that the Dawgs will be reloading