DVV’s college football top 25: Teams 1 – 5
Next game: vs. Indiana on Sat. Sept. 2nd
Ohio State begins life after CJ Stroud at quarterback, but they have a good problem in deciding between Kyle McCord and Devin Brown. If anything, the Buckeyes’ downfall could be the result of trying to play both throughout the season. Head coach Ryan Day has suggested both quarterbacks can play during Ohio State’s Week 1 contest.
The best quarterback for Ohio State is the one that best gets the ball into Marvin Harrison Jr.’s hands. Regardless, the Buckeyes will cruise through much of their schedule. As usual, they’re loaded with four and five-star talent on both sides of the football.
Next game: at Duke on Mon. Sept. 4th
With much hype of Florida State, we’re circling Clemson for a resurgence. Such is not to suggest the Tigers disappeared, but they have not competed quite the same as they did with Trevor Lawrence at quarterback. Nevertheless, we think sophomore signal-caller Cade Klubnik is in for a huge season.
It also feels like folks are sleeping on running back Will Shipley. The junior topped 1,000 rushing yards and 15 touchdown runs a season ago. We expect the Shipley to factor more into the passing game this year. Moreover, Clemson will boast a stingy defense that is led by Jeremiah Trotter Jr.
Clemson beat Florida State in Tallahassee last season with ease. The ACC still belongs to the Tigers and we think they’re primed for a return to the CFP in 2023.
Next game: at Florida State (in Orlando) on Sun. Sept. 3rd
All the continuity in Baton Rouge makes the LSU Tigers a top four team in college football. The Bayou Bengals bring back both coordinators and their starting quarterback. We expect the group to build off their 10-win season and thrive in year two of Brian Kelly’s tenure.
LSU’s only weakness on paper is their thin secondary. However, the Tigers have the talent at defensive back to avoid disaster, given progression and support from other areas. We expect a top-tier pass rush to alleviate our secondary concerns.
Maason Smith and Harold Perkins Jr. will have huge seasons on defense and take some pressure off the offense. Nevertheless, we expect Jayden Daniels to compete to the Heisman Trophy continuing to do damage with his mobility, but putting the ball downfield more in 2023.
We think the Tigers are going back to the CFP this year.
Next game: vs. Tennessee-Martin on Sat. Sept. 2nd
Georgia has every right to remain in the top spot of everyone’s preseason top 25. However, the Dawgs are in a slight transition on offense; thus, we see a step back in 2023.
Kirby Smart is now where Nick Saban was at the apex of Alabama’s rise to dynasty status. The Georgia head coach is tasked with replacing popular coordinators and quarterbacks while maintaining a sense of urgency within his program. He also needs to stop his players from driving so fast at night.
Georgia’s defense has the players and potential to be better in 2023. However, we think the offense loses a step with the change to Mike Bobo calling plays and Carson Beck under center. But a step back for Georgia doesn’t mean they’re outside the CFP picture by any means.
Next game: vs. East Carolina on Sat. Sept. 2nd
Michigan fell on their faces during last season’s CFP, but we think they’re primed to get over the hump with a third try. There’s a lot to like about JJ McCarthy coming into the season as the Wolverines’ undisputed starting quarterback. Also, Blake Corum returns and remains one of the best runners in all of college football.
On defense, Michigan brings back their top three edge rushers and the nation’s leading interior defensive lineman, Kris Jenkins. We expect that the Wolverines’ experienced players are motivated by their embarrassing loss to TCU back in January.
Jim Harbaugh is suspended for a few games to start the season, but we doubt his team struggles with the likes of East Carolina, UNLV, and Nebraska.
Michigan has a very favorable schedule in 2023. On the surface, their toughest contest is a Nov. 11th road game at Penn State. Their annual rivalry game with Ohio State is at The Big House on Nov. 25th.