Orangeyes Daily Articles for Tuesday - for Football | Syracusefan.com

Orangeyes Daily Articles for Tuesday for Football

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No recent Cali or Iggy awards; Mr Irrelevant
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Welcome to Peculiar People Day!


When something is peculiar, it is strange, unusual, or uncommon. Peculiar people are a little different than others and are a little bit out of the ordinary or eccentric. On Peculiar People Day, these people should be honored. It is not a day to point out differences in order to look down on someone. Instead, it is a day to celebrate all the originality in the world.

SU News

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Freeney becomes 10th SU player selected to College Football HOF (PS; Leiker)

Dwight Freeney is set to become Syracuse football’s 10th College Football Hall of Fame inductee as one of 18 members of the hall’s 2023 class.

This was Freeney’s third time on the ballot.

The Hartford, Connecticut, native played at SU from 1998-2001 and remains the NCAA leader in career sacks. He was a unanimous first team All-American in his final season with the Orange and was a finalist for the Bednarik, Lombardi and Nagurski awards. Freeney finished ninth in 2001 Heisman Trophy voting.

In his collegiate career, Freeney helped Syracuse to the 1998 Big East title game and three bowl games: the 1998 Orange Bowl the 1999 Music City Bowl, the 2001 Insight.com Bowl. He was a 2001 team captain and voted the team’s most valuable player.

Freeney was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts as the 11th overall pick in the 2002 NFL Draft. He played 16 seasons in the league for the Colts and various other teams. He is also a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year.
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Axe: Babers has a talent development problem (and it’s not the one you think) (PS; $; Axe)


Syracuse University football coach Dino Babers has a problem on his hands.

As odd as this sounds, Babers and his staff are becoming too good at developing talent.

Ex-starting cornerback Duce Chestnut is the latest example of SU football’s conundrum.

Chestnut announced on Sunday he was transferring to LSU.

The problem Babers faces: How does he prevent becoming the JUCO or G-League for the powerhouse programs in the sport?

#Committed pic.twitter.com/5Djts7C0Kf
— Darian “Duce” Chestnut (@BallgameDuce) January 8, 2023

You really can’t blame Chestnut for heading to Baton Rouge considering LSU’s reputation of sending a steady stream of cornerbacks to the National Football League. There’s arguably no bigger stage for a player at that position to shine in college football.

Chestnut’s departure follows safety Ja’Had Carter committing to Ohio State University last week and former defensive coordinator Tony White “upgrading” to the same position at Nebraska.

Coaches are used to developing talent that may leave early for the NFL, as Syracuse has seen with Sean Tucker, Garrett Williams, Matthew Bergeron and Mikel Jones.

An accelerated path to the NFL is something a coach can and should use to his advantage.

Coaches are also used to developing players for success in life beyond the game.

Developing talent for other schools? That’s the new bugaboo for Babers with the rapid acceleration of the transfer portal’s vice grip on college football.

The door swings both ways.

Babers landed four-star defensive lineman Braylen Ingraham from Alabama, four-star cornerback Jaeden Gould from Nebraska and three-star cornerback Jayden Bellamy from Notre Dame out of the portal.
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Two Syracuse defensive grad assistants depart for Nebraska (PS; Leiker)

Two former Syracuse football defensive grad assistants have followed their former coordinator west.

Jack Potenza and Josh Bringuel both updated their Twitter profile pictures to themselves in Nebraska gear Saturday. Ex-SU defensive coordinator Tony White took the same position with the Huskers in December.

Both Potenza and Bringuel will serve as defensive quality control coaches at Nebraska.




Potenza originally transferred to Syracuse from St. Lawrence as an undergrad and served as a recruiting office assistant and student coach. He was promoted to a grad assistant for the 2020 season after being assigned to the defensive line the previous season. He also served as a Washington Commanders training camp intern in 2018 and 2019.

Bringuel played four seasons at San Diego State and then was a student coach for one season before being hired at SU ahead of the 2021 season. A first team All-Mountain West linebacker at SDSU, Bringuel worked with the same position group at Syracuse.
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Syracuse Recruiting Roundup: Jermaine Terry II, Tyrone Broden, Ty Keyes - The Juice Online (the juice; Sears)

Plenty to talk about in the Syracuse recruiting world as we do our first roundup of 2023.

The Orange continues to mine the portal to bolster its 2023 roster, and it offered two of the top transfer prospects this week. We start with wide receiver Tyrone Broden. The Bowling Green transfer has received offers from Syracuse, Penn State, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, and Houston, among others, and he took an official visit to Oklahoma over the weekend. In 2022, he caught 32 passes for 506 yards and seven touchdowns. He has two years of eligibility remaining.

Syracuse also extended an offer to Cal transfer tight end Jermaine Terry II. In two seasons with the Golden Bears, he’s played in 17 games with eight starts and has seven receptions for 52 yards in his career. Hawaii, Colorado, Indiana, Nevada and Oregon State are among the schools to have offered him out of the portal so far. Terry was a four-star prospect and the No. 207 ranked player in the 2020 class according to 247 Sports.

After Syracuse had 2023 quarterback LaNorris sellers flip to South Carolina in the early signing period, the Orange is looking to add another quarterback. According to Sports Illustrated’s Mike McAllister, Syracuse offered Southern Miss transfer QB Ty Keyes, who take an official visit to Syracuse on Jan. 14. Keyes appeared in seven games over the past two years, and recorded 636 passing yards and six touchdowns.

SU isn’t done with its high school class, either. Syracuse offered 2023 ATH (RB/DB) Owen McGraw from Garden City (Mich.) High. The 5-foot-8, 165-pound speedster (he runs a 4.39 40M) holds offers from Drake and Northern Illinois.

Moving over to the basketball world, 2024 guard Jalik Dunkley is one of Canada’s top prospects and the No. 97 overall recruit in the 2024 class according to 247 Sports. The four-star wing visited Syracuse last week and posted about it in his Instagram story. He has offers from Pitt, Rhode Island, and Washington State, and the Orange offered him in October.


On The Block On Demand 1-9-23 (ESPN; radio; Axe)

Brent Axe discusses how it’s been a season of almosts for Syracuse men’s basketball. Later, he addresses the transfers of Duce Chestnut and Ja’Had Carter.

(youtube; video; ACC DN)

In his second year at Syracuse, Devaughn Cooper emerged as the top wide receiver for the Orange. He was second on the team in catches, yards, and receiving touchdowns to tight end Oronde Gadsden II. Cooper finished the year with 36 catches for 490 yards and three touchdowns. Look back at Devaughn Cooper's redshirt senior season tight now!

Texas Tech Lands Commit From Syracuse DL Transfer Steve Linton (SI; Staff)

With college football's 2022 season almost in the rear-view mirror, recruiting is again the focus in Lubbock as the Red Raiders prepare for the first campaign under Joey McGuire.

The noted Lone Star State legend hit the ground running in recruiting in the fall and has carried over the momentum toward the recruiting class of 2023 in putting together one of the best classes in the country to date.

Under McGuire, the Red Raider recruiting momentum is hitting full force, and as a result, the program is in the mix for some of the top names around the state of Texas and beyond. Stick with Red Raider Review for all of the latest updates in recruiting below:

January 9 UPDATE:

The Red Raiders have received a commitment from Syracuse defensive line transfer Steve Linton, as he indicated on his Twitter feed on Monday.

Linton signed with Syracuse as part of the Orange's 2019 recruiting class out of Dublin High in Georgia. He picked Syracuse over offers from Arizona State, Baylor, Louisville, Missouri, and several others. He immediately established himself as one of the more athletic players on the defensive side of the ball and spent time at both outside linebacker and defensive end during his time with the Orange.
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Open for Business: Syracuse NIL Store Launches - Syracuse University Athletics (cuse.com)

The Syracuse NIL Store powered by Campus Ink is officially open for business, featuring custom and co-licensed merchandise sold for Syracuse Orange student-athletes. The Syracuse NIL Store is every fan's one-stop-shop to score officially licensed Syracuse NIL apparel and directly support their favorite student-athletes. Athletes earn between $8-$15 on every item they sell.

This is just the start. The store, which acts as a hub for student-athletes to partner with designers and make apparel that uses officially licensed Syracuse marks, will continue to onboard student-athletes and create unique core products and custom merch drops, while also adding jerseys at a later date.

Among the current Orange student-athletes signed to the store are basketball forward Benny Williams and lacrosse All-American Emma Tyrrell. Each student-athletes locker room includes a collection of core products which feature personalized names and numbers for applicable student-athletes. Fans will discover merchandise for basketball, football soccer, lacrosse, softball, and more.

The NIL Store handles all the creative, product creation, design, marketing, fulfillment and customer service for its student-athletes. Additionally, the NIL Store works directly with student-athletes to educate them on merchandising, marketing and sales trends to develop strategies for optimal success.


ACC News

https://www.newsobserver.com/sports/college/acc/article270962957.html (N&O; podcast; Brown)

With a college football landscape changing as fast as it ever has, those in charge of operating bowl games are facing their own set of challenges, especially as the NCAA transitions into a playoff system with a larger field. Fiesta Bowl CEO Erik Moses, who holds degrees from both UNC and Duke, joins News & Observer reporter C.L. Brown for the latest episode of ACC Now. Among the topics discussed are the expansion of the college football playoffs, and the future of big-name bowl games.

Track which conferences are winning the 2022-23 bowl season (ncaa.com)

Bowl season is over. There were more than 40 FBS bowl games on the calendar, with matchups featuring conference champions, ranked teams and more. Conference bragging rights were up for grabs as well. We kept track of the conferences with the best bowl records all bowl season.

This article was updated after each game. Conference representatives are in bold.

CONFERENCE (BOWL TEAMS)RECORDWINNING PERCENTAGE
AMERICAN (7)4-3.571
ACC (9)5-4.556
BIG 12 (8)2-7.222
BIG TEN (9)5-4.555
C-USA (6)3-3.500
INDEPENDENTS (5)3-2.600
MAC (6)4-2.667
MOUNTAIN WEST (7)3-4.429
PAC-12 (7)3-4.429
SEC (11)7-5.583
SUN BELT (7)3-4.429
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Virginia Tech football legend Corey Moore named to the 2023 College Football Hall of Fame class (gobblercountry.com; Manning)

One of the greatest players in Virginia Tech’s rich football history received the ultimate honor on Monday, as Corey Moore was named to the College Football Hall of Fame.

Let's go!

Virginia Tech legend Corey Moore has been named to the @NFFNetwork College Football Hall of Fame

: https://t.co/VNjawOtZ0N#ThisIsHome pic.twitter.com/1tOrLy1fLP
— Virginia Tech Football (@HokiesFB) January 9, 2023

When fans remember the 1999 team that played in the national championship, it’s quarterback Michael Vick who first comes to mind. However, it was Moore who was the most dominant player on that Virginia Tech team.

Moore was a two-time All-American at Virginia Tech, had his No. 56 jersey retired in 2010 and is a member of the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame.

Moore was named Big East defensive player of the year in 1998, finishing with 13.5 sacks and he made multiple All-American teams.

In 1999, Moore was even better, leading arguably Bud Foster’s greatest defense, finishing his final season at Virginia Tech with 17 sacks and becoming the first repeat winner of the Big East defensive player of the year. In addition, Moore was a unanimous All-American, won the Nagurski Award as college football’s top defensive player and the Lombardi Award as college football’s lineman of the year.

Overall, in three seasons played, Moore recorded 166 tackles, 35 sacks, 58 tackles for loss, six forced fumbles and three blocked kicks. Moore was a one-man wrecking crew on defense and special teams for Frank Beamer.

Mark Berman of The Roanoke Times, who broke the story, spoke with Moore:

“Oh, wow!” Moore said. “I’m kind of at a loss for words right now.”
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BC Football Hall of Famers (bceagles.com)

Kuechly Headed to College Football Hall of Fame in 2023

IRVING, Texas (Jan. 9, 2023)Former Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2023 as announced by the National Football Foundation on Monday. Kuechly, who played at BC from 2009-11, is one of 18 First Team All-Americans and four coaches to earn a spot in this year’s Hall of Fame Class.

The NFF and College Hall of Fame announced that the Class of 2023 was selected from a national ballot of 80 players and nine coaches from the Football Subdivision and 96 players and 33 coaches from the divisional ranks. All 22 members will be inducted during the 65th NFF Annual Awards Dinner Presented by Las Vegas on Dec. 5, 2023.

Kuechly gains induction to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility and becomes the eighth Eagle player to receive the honor and 11th overall. He is the first BC player to enter the Hall of Fame since Mike Ruth in 2017.


Virginia Tech football: Georgia Southern CB Derrick Canteen is a Hokie (gobblercountry.com; Manning)


Virginia Tech head coach Brent Pry is staying busy adding to the roster via the NCAA transfer portal. After accepting a commitment from wide receiver Jaylin Lane [Middle Tennessee] on Sunday, the Hokies picked up yet another starter on Monday when former Georgia Southern cornerback Derrick Canteen chose Virginia Tech.

The 5-foot-11, 190-pound Canteen has played in 30 career games at Georgia Southern, making 25 starts. Over the course of the past three seasons, Canteen recorded 117 tackles, including 2.5 for loss, one sack, seven interceptions, 22 passes defended, one forced fumble recovery and one touchdown.

In 2020, Canteen started all 13 games, recording 48 tackles and tying the FBS lead with six interceptions. He was named a freshman All-American by the Football Writers Association of America and The Athletic. He was also a first-team All-Sun Belt Conference selection.

Canteen only played two games in 2021 due to a torn pectoral muscle.

He returned in 2022, making 64 tackles and finishing with 12 passes defended and one interception. When Canteen entered the transfer portal in December, he quickly became one of the best defensive backs available. The Hokies acted quickly to make contact with Canteen, and he visited Blacksburg over the weekend.
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Stewart Mandel’s too early Top 25 for the 2023 college football season (theathletic.com; $; Mandel)

The first December/January college football transfer portal window added a new wrinkle to this annual exercise. There has already been massive roster movement likely to impact teams’ 2023 fortunes. Will Georgia, after dominating TCU 65-7 in the national championship, remain on top for a third year? Will there be another TCU next fall?

Let’s start guessing.

1. Georgia (15-0)

Like last year, the champions will likely lose a ton of NFL talent, including NT Jalen Carter, CB Kelee Ringo and RB Kenny McIntosh. Carson Beck should be Stetson Bennett’s successor at quarterback. Stud TE Brock Bowers, RBs Daijun Edwards and Kendall Milton and WR Ladd McConkey return. ILBs Jamon Dumas-Johnson and Smael Mondon and DBs Javon Bullard and Malaki Starks lead a defense expected to reload.

2. Michigan (13-1)

It’s not certain Jim Harbaugh will still be their head coach, but QB J.J. McCarthy and standout RBs Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards will all be back. Three Pac-12 starting offensive linemen have transferred in, as has Indiana TE AJ Barner. Linebacker Junior Colson, CB Will Johnson and S Mike Sainristil return. Coastal Carolina edge Josaiah Stewart was a big pickup, as was Nebraska LB Ernest Hausmann, a freshman starter.

3. Ohio State (11-2)

The quarterback job is up for grabs post-C.J. Stroud, but the Buckeyes bring back WRs Marvin Harrison Jr., Emeka Egbuka and Julian Fleming, and RBs TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams. Ohio State must replace its starting tackles. The defensive line should be strong with DEs Jack Sawyer and J.T. Tuimoloau and DT Mike Hall Jr. returning, but the secondary must improve. Transfer S Ja’Had Carter, a three-year starter at Syracuse, should help.

4. LSU (10-4)

Brian Kelly’s first team overachieved. In 2023 he’ll have more experience and several high-end players in QB Jayden Daniels, stud LB Harold Perkins, 1,000-yard WR Malik Nabers, TE Mason Taylor and DTs Maason Smith and Mekhi Wingo. An O-line that started two freshmen should return intact. Kelly needs to plug holes at CB and edge. So far, he’s added Texas A&M CB Denver Harris and Oregon DE Bradyn Swinson.

5. Alabama (11-2)

There’s more cause for concern with Alabama than usual. As of now, Jalen Milroe and Ty Simpson will vie to replace Bryce Young. Though no Jahmyr Gibbs, Jase McClellan leads a deep RB room, and the O-line should be strong. Wide receiver could use an upgrade. The front seven loses Will Anderson and Henry To’o To’o, but should still be strong with Dallas Turner, Jaheim Oatis and Chris Braswell. The secondary could be young.

6. Penn State (11-2)

Penn State could be a College Football Playoff contender if five-star QB Drew Allar lives up to the hype. Running backs Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen broke out as freshmen. Rose Bowl star WR KeAndre Lambert-Smith and projected NFL draft first-round LT Olu Fashanu are back. Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz’s top-5 unit loses CB Joey Porter Jr. and S Ji’Ayir Brown, but All-Freshman LB Abdul Carter, DE Chop Robinson and CB Kalen King headline the returning talent.
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https://www.seattletimes.com/sports...-early-2023-top-25-college-football-rankings/ (seattletimes.com; Wolner)

The Hotline’s 16th annual early top-25 rankings are unlike any in recent years in their leftward lean.

The Pac-12 leads all conferences with six representatives, followed by the Big 12 and SEC with five each and the Big Ten with four.

Credit a stellar lineup of quarterbacks for the Pac-12’s placement atop the heap.

Then again, projections of this nature have become exponentially more difficult — some might say ludicrous — with the creation of the transfer portal, which closes next week and reopens in May.

Speaking of May: Our not-quite-as-early-top-25 rankings will be published after spring practice, followed by the Hotline’s preseason Top 25 during training camp.

Also considered: Baylor, Coastal Carolina, Fresno State, Iowa, Louisville, Minnesota, Mississippi, N.C. State, North Carolina, Oklahoma State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Troy and UTSA

1. Georgia: The NFL attrition will be heavy (again), and the Bulldogs must find a replacement for quarterback Stetson Bennett. But they are better equipped to dominate the 2023 season than any other team based on rosters at this point. And we’re not sure it’s close.

2. Michigan: With stout lines of scrimmage, loads of talented tailbacks and the return of quarterback J.J. McCarthy, the rugged Wolverines are built to beat Ohio State and well positioned for a Big Ten threepeat … unless, of course, Jim Harbaugh declares for the NFL.

3. Alabama: Nick Saban began preparing for Bryce Young’s departure before Young even became the starter — such is the nature of the Crimson Tide’s recruiting machinery. The last time Saban didn’t make the CFP (2019), he won the national title the following year. Don’t be surprised if that cycle repeats.

4. LSU: The Tigers are set at quarterback with Jayden Daniels’ return and possess the SEC’s best defender in linebacker Harold Perkins. And LSU being LSU, the other 20 positions have more than enough talent for coach Brian Kelly to duel with Alabama for supremacy in the SEC West.

5. Washington: The best team in the Pac-12 at the end of 2022 looks like the best for the start of 2023 with the return of quarterback Michael Penix, a slew of playmakers and several premier edge rushers. Our question: To what extent, if any, will the offensive line regress?

6. Ohio State: C.J. Stroud’s successor will have a stellar array of tailbacks and receivers available. We’re more interested in what second-year defensive coordinator Jim Knowles conjures from a unit that has been far from dominant in big games. This is a huge season in Columbus after back-to-back losses to Michigan.

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7. Notre Dame: The outlook brightened considerably last week when the top quarterback on the transfer market, Wake Forest’s Sam Hartman, selected the Irish and filled their greatest need. Add the fruits of all those top-10 recruiting classes, and Notre Dame should return to relevance.

8. Florida State: The Seminoles quietly produced a 10-win season for coach Mike Norvell, and they are stacked with returning talent. (The list starts with quarterback Jordan Travis.) Also worth noting: With Clemson no longer dominant, there is opportunity galore in the ACC.

9. Oregon: Continued success in Eugene was secured when quarterback Bo Nix announced his return for ’23. There are holes to fill on the offensive line, but our focus is the other side of scrimmage: Can second-year coach Dan Lanning craft a championship defense?


10. Kansas State: We’re predicting a repeat for the 2022 Big 12 champions, who beat TCU in the conference title game on their way to a 10-4 season. Coach Chris Klieman has proven (repeatedly) that he can maximize the talent at hand.

11. USC: We expect more of the same from the Trojans (i.e., stellar offense, wobbly defense), but with one notable change: Their incredible turnover margin cannot be repeated. That reversion to the mean will result in two or three regular-season losses.

12. TCU: So much broke right for the Horned Frogs to produce this incredible season, it’s difficult to envision an encore. That said, Sonny Dykes’ program will remain highly relevant in a Big 12 that welcomes Houston, Cincinnati, BYU and UCF next season.

13. Penn State: The Nittany Lions returned to prominence in 2022 after two mediocre seasons, and the ascent should continue with an elite group of playmakers offsetting the loss of quarterback Sean Clifford. Don’t rule out a Big Ten title, especially if Harbaugh leaves Ann Arbor.

14. Clemson: Have the Tigers slipped, or has their ACC competition (finally) improved? We believe it’s some of both as coach Dabo Swinney clings to dominance.

15. Oregon State: One of the best-run programs on the West Coast should produce another high-level season so long as one of the quarterbacks produces consistently. And the options now include Clemson transfer DJ Uiagalelei.

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16. Tennessee: Dynamic quarterback Hendon Hooker is off to the NFL; same with star receiver Jalin Hyatt. But Josh Heupel will find a way to plug-and-play and generate another first-rate season in Knoxville. Can he close the gap on Georgia? We’re skeptical.

17. Utah: It’s difficult to get an accurate read on the Utes given the uncertainty over quarterback Cam Rising’s recovery from a leg injury in the Rose Bowl. (“It doesn’t look good,” coach Kyle Whittingham said after the game.) But the two-time defending Pac-12 champs are long past the point where significant regression is a threat. The floor is eight wins; the ceiling, 11.

18. Texas Tech: The Red Raiders finished with four consecutive wins and beat Ole Miss decisively in the Texas Bowl. The upturn under rookie coach Joey McGuire should continue.



19. Wisconsin: The Badgers executed one of the top coaching hires of the winter by luring Luke Fickell away from Cincinnati. He inherits a roster talented enough to win the Big Ten West. Then again, the Big Ten West is a muddled mass of mediocrity.

20. Tulane: Quarterback Michael Pratt, who engineered the dramatic Cotton Bowl rally that toppled USC, has already announced his return for 2023. And best we can tell, miracle-working coach Willie Fritz isn’t going anywhere. The Green Wave wasn’t a one-hit wonder.
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https://www.latimes.com/sports/story/2023-01-09/college-football-2023-top-25-rankings-georgia (latimes.com; McCollough)

I’ve never attempted a way-too-early top 25, and, given the realities of the transfer portal, the idea of handicapping teams that won’t play until eight months from now seemed even crazier.

Well, as George Costanza once said: “You wanna get nuts? Let’s get nuts!”

To preserve my sanity, I tried to keep my criteria for evaluation pretty straightforward: Who is returning a proven quarterback, who has a coach who has developed a dependable culture of winning, and who is taking advantage of the transfer portal to plug holes?

Here’s where I landed as of Day 1 of the offseason — knowing that these rankings, just like the rosters that make them up, are very subject to change:

1. Georgia


The back-to-back national champions are a no-brainer pick to win their third in a row in 2023. Just how much has Georgia coach Kirby Smart built the Bulldogs to last? After winning the 2021 title, Smart didn’t bring in one player from the transfer portal to build his unbeaten squad in 2022. This year, Georgia has chosen to add two four-star wide receivers, Mississippi State’s RaRa Thomas and Missouri’s Dominic Lovett, from within the Southeastern Conference. Quarterbacks Carson Beck and Brock Vandagriff are expected to battle to take over for Stetson Bennett. Vandagriff was a five-star prospect in the class of 2021 and will be the favorite to lead the offense.

2. Michigan


Michigan was already positioned to start the offseason in this lofty spot before star running back Blake Corum announced Monday that he will return for his senior season, citing “unfinished business,” but now the expectations have grown even more for a third straight win over Ohio State, Big Ten championship and playoff appearance. Quarterback J.J. McCarthy should make a big jump in his second full year as the starter, and game-breaking tailback Donovan Edwards will join Corum in a terrifying backfield. Plus, Michigan owns the fourth-best transfer portal haul, according to 247Sports. The only question is whether Jim Harbaugh will be back with the Wolverines or coaching in the NFL.

3. Alabama


Can Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide be kept out of the sport’s winner’s circle for the second straight year in 2023? Alabama has never missed two College Football Playoffs in a row, and it would be foolish to believe Saban’s program won’t be back with a vengeance even without quarterback Bryce Young, running back Jahmyr Gibbs and defensive end Will Anderson. Alabama still deserves the benefit of the doubt, with Saban adding another top-rated recruiting class to the mix. The story of the offseason will be the quarterback competition between athletic freak Jalen Milroe and five-star freshman Ty Simpson.

4. Ohio State


The Buckeyes were one field goal away from knocking off Georgia and playing for a national championship, but the assumption is that quarterback CJ Stroud will declare for the NFL draft, leaving a cavernous hole in coach Ryan Day’s lineup for 2023. Two highly rated quarterbacks, Kyle McCord and Devin Brown, a former USC commit, will compete for the job during the offseason. The winner will have the best wide receivers in the nation at his disposal in Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka, plus a stable of talented running backs. Ohio State’s defense will have some attrition, and questions will linger about the Buckeyes’ strength in the trenches.


5. Louisiana State


Brian Kelly might need to work on his Southern accent, but he showed in Year 1 at LSU why the Tigers backed up the Brink’s truck to bring him to Baton Rouge. LSU upset Alabama and won the SEC West behind improved play throughout the season from quarterback Jayden Daniels, the Arizona State transfer from San Bernardino El Cajon. Daniels is back for 2023, and the Tigers are bolstering their roster with the third-ranked transfer portal class thus far. If LSU can avenge its loss to Florida State in the season opener in Orlando — certainly a big if — the Tigers will remain a playoff contender the rest of the way.

6. USC


If this seems high for the Trojans, who lost their last two games because of second-half implosions against Utah and Tulane, just try to remember that USC was positioned for the playoff entering December in coach Lincoln Riley’s first season. Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams returns to lead what will be a dynamic offense, and let’s be honest, the defense can’t possibly be any worse than it was down the stretch. That said, defensive coordinator Alex Grinch has his work cut out for him to make sure the Trojans don’t waste a transcendent quarterback like Williams. USC’s latest transfer portal roster overhaul is ongoing, but the early returns are impressive.

7. Penn State


The Nittany Lions made a statement about where they’re going by pushing around Utah in in a 35-14 Rose Bowl win. Penn State loses four-year starter Sean Clifford at quarterback, but it’s possible the team will find an upgrade in five-star freshman Drew Allar. It might not happen right away, but Allar should give the Nittany Lions a higher ceiling and a better chance to advance to the program’s first CFP in the coming years. Allar’s transition to starter will be made easier by handing off to exciting sophomore tailbacks Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen. Expect Penn State to maintain its excellence on defense.

8. Washington


After their shocking loss at Arizona State, coach Kalen DeBoer’s Huskies rolled off seven straight wins to finish the season, culminating with a 27-20 victory over Texas in the Alamo Bowl. Washington received great news with the return of quarterback Michael Penix Jr., who will be one of the favorites to challenge Williams for the Heisman Trophy. The Huskies added a proven tailback in Mississippi State’s Dillon Johnson from the portal, and Jalen McMillan returns to anchor the wide receiver corps. Washington came out of nowhere in 2022 and won’t be surprising anyone next season.

9. Florida State


Other than a rough three-game losing streak in October during which the Seminoles fell to Wake Forest, North Carolina State and Clemson, they seemed like a team on the verge of building something special. Florida State finished with wins over rival Florida and Oklahoma, an encouraging sign for its 2023 prospects. Quarterback Jordan Travis returns and should continue to dazzle as a dual-threat star. The Seminoles have the second-ranked transfer class so far, adding some intriguing players to a defense that will return star defensive end Jared Verse. This feels like the year Florida State could take down Clemson and challenge for a playoff spot.

10. Oregon


The Ducks were dancing with the potential of a Pac-12 Conference championship in Dan Lanning’s first season as coach before being upset by Washington and Oregon State down the stretch. Quarterback Bo Nix reached his potential in his first year in Eugene after floundering at Auburn, and he loved his new home so much that he decided to return for next season. The Ducks lost offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham to Arizona State, but Nix should provide the continuity to keep the offense humming.

11. Notre Dame


The second year of the Marcus Freeman era got off to a great start last week when Wake Forest quarterback Sam Hartman announced he was transferring to Notre Dame. Over five seasons with the Demon Deacons, Hartman passed for 12,967 yards and 110 touchdowns. After a shaky start, Freeman coached Notre Dame to a 9-4 finish, sparking renewed hope that the Fighting Irish will be OK without Kelly.
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https://www.usatoday.com/story/spor...op-25-early-rankings-2023-season/10997285002/ (usatoday; Myerberg)


Georgia will chase a third consecutive national championship in 2023 as the favorite in the USA TODAY Sports way-too-early Top 25 for next season, ahead of the familiar run of teams that have come to dominate the Bowl Subdivision.

The Bulldogs are followed by No. 2 Michigan, No. 3 Alabama, No. 4 Florida State and No. 5 Penn State. After an impressive win against Utah in the Rose Bowl and with quarterback Drew Allar set to take over, the Nittany Lions are the pick for second place in the Big Ten ahead of No. 6 Ohio State.

Several teams that showed promise this season are poised to take the next step in 2023. That includes No. 7 Notre Dame, which will get an enormous boost from the addition of quarterback Sam Hartman from Wake Forest.

The Pac-12 is led by No. 9 Southern California. USC will bring Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams and should be better on defense, though the Trojans can't get much worse. Joining the Trojans from the Pac-12 are No. 10 Washington, No. 12 Oregon, No. 19 Oregon State and No. 22 Utah.

But once again, the expectation is that every team will be chasing the Bulldogs.

1. Georgia (2022 record: 15-0)

With Stetson Bennett gone, there will be a decision to make at quarterback among Carson Beck, Brock Vandagriff, Gunner Stockton and potentially an unknown transfer, should Kirby Smart bring an outsider into the mix. The Bulldogs will also lose standouts such as defensive tackle Jalen Carter. But look for Georgia to reload and be up for the challenge of making history with a threepeat. An easier September — Tennessee-Martin, Ball State, South Carolina and Alabama-Birmingham, all at home — will help the new cast of contributors survive the early learning curve before turning to the heart of SEC action.

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2. Michigan (13-1)

Will Jim Harbaugh be around? He's received NFL interest and could opt to leave his alma mater after back-to-back Big Ten titles and College Football Playoff berths. If he does return, Michigan could be highly motivated by a Fiesta Bowl loss to TCU and again roll through Big Ten play with a physical running game and suffocating defense. The Wolverines have quarterback J.J. McCarthy and running backs Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards, and will rebuild on the offensive line with multiple transfers. The floor for this team is probably 10 wins due to an easy non-conference schedule and only a trip to Penn State and home game against Ohio State that seem dangerous.

3. Alabama (11-2)

There's a mammoth hole at quarterback with Bryce Young off to the NFL and no way to feel truly comfortable in the position until Jalen Milroe, Ty Simpson or a possible transfer proves capable of handing the load. But talent abounds on both sides of the ball, including an influx of athletes from this year's top-ranked signing class. And then there's this math: Alabama hasn't gone more than two seasons without a title since Nick Saban arrived in 2007. The last championship? In 2020. A big test comes early with a home game against Texas on Sept. 9.

4. Florida State (10-3)

Are the Seminoles ready to dethrone Clemson in the ACC after winning 10 games for the first time since 2016? Quarterback Jordan Travis is back and set to make a Heisman push. He's just one of several contributors who decided to come back to Tallahassee in 2023, including a likely preseason All-America pick in defensive end Jared Verse. The biggest challenge for Mike Norvell may be managing his team's expectations given its not been in this position recently. FSU will kick things off with a neutral-site game against LSU on Sept. 3.

5. Penn State (11-2)

The hype train is about to take off for the Nittany Lions after the Rose Bowl win and bounce-back season under James Franklin. Joining Allar in the backfield is second-year running back Nick Singleton, who is set to make a Heisman run after a very strong rookie season. Penn State needs receivers but will be very good on the defensive side in the second year under coordinator Manny Diaz. The Nittany Lions draw Illinois and Iowa from the Big Ten West, get Michigan at home but face Ohio State in Columbus.

6. Ohio State (11-2)

Picking the Buckeyes No. 6 and third in the Big Ten goes against recent history. They haven't lost more than two games in a season since 2011 and are a combined 42-6 with Ryan Day as the full-time coach. But C.J. Stroud is going to be very difficult to replace and there are still some outstanding issues with a defense that took a step forward in 2022 but cratered against Michigan and Georgia. The new quarterback will have three games to get settled before that huge matchup at Notre Dame on Sept. 23.

7. Notre Dame (9-4)

Hartman nails down a position that produced middling results the past two seasons. One of the nation's best, the Wake Forest transfer will broaden Notre Dame's passing tree and lead to a dramatic boost in offensive production after the Irish ranked 45th nationally this season in yards per play. After getting the hang of things as a first-time coach, Marcus Freeman should be more comfortable in 2023; look for the Irish to follow his lead and be a playoff factor. Notre Dame's schedule includes Clemson, Ohio State and Southern California with the latter two at home.

8. Clemson (11-3)

Cade Klubnik's sloppy Orange Bowl against Tennessee raises some questions about whether he'll be able to play at an all-conference level in his first year in the full-time job, though he'll benefit from an entire offseason as the established starter. There also are concerns about the offense in general, and specifically whether Clemson can give Klubnik the talent he needs at wide receiver. But the Tigers bring back star defensive tackle Tyler Davis and should be very stout defensively. They'll need to handle a pretty tough schedule that has Notre Dame and South Carolina in non-conference play.

9. Southern California (11-3)

And speaking of cratering defenses: USC can't be taken seriously as a championship favorite until fixing one of the worst units in the Bowl Subdivision. That starts by addressing needs in the portal after focusing on offense entering Lincoln Riley's debut. Unfortunately, the defense suffered a massive loss with lineman Tuli Tuipulotu's decision to forego his final two seasons for the NFL draft. The offense is going to be nasty, though. USC draws Oregon on the road but will face UCLA, Utah and Washington at home.
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https://247sports.com/LongFormArtic...y-too-early-top-25-for-2023-season-202467328/ (247sports; Crawford)

College football rankings are already beginning to surface for 2023 and we're unveiling a way-too-early top 25 installment coming out of Monday night's one-sided national championship game featuring Georgia and TCU.

There's still a great deal of players in the transfer portal and potential NFL Draft early entries left to decide, but for the most part, we have a good idea on how rosters and coaching staffs will look heading into spring.

Our way-too-early top 25 rankings voting team consisted of 247Sports national analysts Brad Crawford, Bud Elliott, Chris Hummer and Brandon Marcello. Votes were tabulated using a points system and then slotted accordingly. Outliers are mentioned. Teams receiving votes who just missed the cut were Iowa, North Carolina and Wisconsin.

Putting together a preseason top 25 eight months out from the start of play is risky business, and two of our 2022 preseason top four teams failed to reach the playoff. We're hoping this early projection is a bit more accurate than the last one a year from now.

Here's a look at our preseason top 25 rankings for the 2023 season.


25. Tulane Green Wave
24. Ole Miss Rebels
23. Oklahoma Sooners
22. Texas A&M Aggies (appeared at No. 22 on three ballots)
21. South Carolina Gamecocks (appeared at No. 20 on two ballots)
20. Texas Tech Red Raiders


Tulane lost a couple playmakers to the draft after beating USC in the Cotton Bowl, but the Green Wave do welcome back signal caller Michael Pratt after a program-record 12-win season. ... After debuting inside the preseason top 10 in last year's way-too-early polls, Texas A&M lost the benefit of the doubt after a disappointing 2022 campaign. Next season is vital for Jimbo Fisher and his future in College Station and his new-look coaching staff should assist in turning things around. ... Can Shane Beamer and South Carolina build on their 8-5 finish in 2022? The Gamecocks are hoping to do so with a top 20 signing class and transfer help. Much of the positivity surrounding South Carolina's spot in our preseason rankings depends on the return of Spencer Rattler and Juice Wells. If those two bounce to the NFL this month, the Gamecocks will be moved to the fringe.


19. UCLA BRUINS

Highest ranking: No. 18 on two ballots
We're believers in Chip Kelly. Even with multi-year starter Dorian Thompson-Robinson on the way out, UCLA's quarterback competition in 2023 should be one of college football's most exciting to watch. Kent State transfer Collin Schlee, Ethan Garbers and five-star freshman Dante Moore are the three players we expect to be in the mix for QB1 honors. At least early in the year, UCLA may need to lean on its defense while the offense sorts out life without its recognizable dual-threat and ballcarrier Zach Charbonnet. But Kelly will figure it out.
...


https://www.si.com/college/2023/01/10/college-football-early-rankings-2023-georgia-michigan-lsu (SI; Forde)

The confetti has fallen on another college football season, with Georgia capping off an undefeated season and a second straight national title by beating TCU in Los Angeles on Monday night. The last four months were filled with plenty of twists and turns, from the rise of teams like the Horned Frogs and Tennessee to Alabama’s Playoff absence. While predicting what will happen next fall this far out can be an impossible exercise, we’re going to try anyway. Presenting Sports Illustrated’s Way-Too-Early Top 25 for the 2023 season:

1. Georgia

Where else do you want to start? Kirby Smart has taken the baton from mentor Nick Saban as the preeminent coach in the sport, with a stockpile of talent that never dries up. He’s replacing the most accomplished quarterback in school history and several other studs on both sides of the ball, but plenty of important pieces will return for Georgia (starting with the best tight end in college ball, Brock Bowers). Carson Beck, a highly touted 2020 recruit, figures to get his shot at the quarterback spot. Even with several likely early-entry players coming off the defense, most of the top tacklers from the ’22 team are expected to return from a young unit. This also sets up as Georgia’s easiest schedule in years, with no major nonconference showdown game—though Tennessee in Knoxville will be no picnic.

2. Michigan

This is subject to radical revision if Jim Harbaugh bolts to the NFL. But until Big Ten East rivals Ohio State and Penn State prove they can even come close to beating the Wolverines, they deserve to be the highest-rated team from that conference. Quarterback J.J. McCarthy and running backs Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards return to keep the offense humming, with Colston Loveland looking like the next dynamic Michigan tight end. Replacements are needed at wide receiver and on the offensive line. An outstanding defense will also takes some hits, but that was the case last year as well, and the unit maintained a high level of performance. Cornerback Will Johnson is a rising star. The nonconference schedule is once again soft.

3. LSU

Brian Kelly’s opening act in Baton Rouge was impressive: a 10–4 record that included an SEC West championship after taking over a disorganized program. Quarterback Jayden Daniels (nearly 3,800 yards in total offense in 2022) has announced his intention to return. Top wideout Malik Nabers and promising freshman tight end Mason Taylor will be back to catch Daniels’s passes. Offensive tackles Will Campbell and Emery Jones Jr. are rising stars who started as freshmen. Havoc-raising linebacker Harold Perkins Jr. is a nice foundation to build around defensively. And a talented freshman class is incoming. LSU’s season opener against Florida State in Orlando is looming as a huge game.

4. Penn State

If ever the Nittany Lions are going to break to the Michigan–Ohio State grip on the Big Ten East, this could be the time. They have a pair of running backs returning who rushed for more than 1,900 yards combined in 2022. Everyone is excited about quarterback Drew Allar. Left tackle Olu Fashanu, a projected first-round pick, has already announced he will bypass the draft and stay in school. Linebacker Abdul Carter was one of the best freshmen in the country on that side of the ball in ’22, and North Carolina transfer defensive back Storm Duck will fill a need. The schedule is manageable, with an intriguing potential advantage in the middle: Penn State’s two weeks before playing at Ohio State on Oct. 21 are an open date and a walkover against Massachusetts.

5. Washington

Anyone ready for another purple-clad Playoff crasher? The Huskies could have a chance. In the final analysis, Kalen DeBoer was the best first-year coach not named Sonny Dykes. He now has the chance for a huge second season. Quarterback Michael Penix Jr., who finished in the top 10 in the Heisman Trophy voting, is coming back, as are most of his prime receiving targets. The Huskies have done some work in the transfer portal that should bolster the defense, particularly Oklahoma State defensive back Jabbar Muhammad. In terms of the schedule, there will be a trip to USC, but Oregon must come to Seattle. We’ll see whether Michigan State has recovered sufficiently to provide a test in East Lansing early.

6. Ohio State

The Buckeyes will be replacing two-time Heisman Trophy finalist C.J. Stroud at quarterback. Even with capable candidates for the position, that’s a significant loss. But the best wide receiver in college football, Marvin Harrison Jr., will make that job easier—and he will have a lot of company at Wideout U, as usual. The defensive issues Jim Knowles was brought in last year to fix remain unfixed, after the Buckeyes gave up more than 40 points in each of their last two games and were outscored by a combined 39–6 in those fourth quarters. Ohio State has a pair of hugely talented defensive ends in JT Tuimoloau and Jack Sawyer who need to become more consistent producers. A Sept. 23 trip to Notre Dame will be significant for both teams.

7. Alabama

Is there legitimate slippage in Tuscaloosa? The 2023 season should reveal the answer. The Crimson Tide will lose one of the best quarterbacks in school history in Bryce Young. They’ll also lose outside linebacker Will Anderson Jr., whose 17 tackles for loss and 10 sacks were actually disappointing totals after a massive ’21 season. Top rusher and No. 3 receiver Jahmyr Gibbs joins them in early entry to the draft, as does play-making defensive back Brian Branch. That kind of talent churn is an annual thing for Nick Saban, and he’s always had the reservoir of rising players to compensate. The quarterback spot is unsettled for the first time in several seasons. There may well be changes at the coordinator positions. LSU, Tennessee and Texas all come to Bryant-Denny Stadium in ’23.

8. USC

Lincoln Riley has shown no inclination yet to fire defensive coordinator Alex Grinch, which is the biggest reason why the Trojans aren’t ranked higher here. Without significant improvement on that side of the ball, even a team with the best player in college football (quarterback Caleb Williams) has a limited ceiling. Points allowed in three losses in 2022: 45.3. That said, USC has again scored well in the portal and should again be an offensive volcano, with the returning Heisman Trophy winner leading the way. Win the turnover margin as significantly as the Trojans did this past season (plus-21) and they can win a lot of shootouts. The schedule is rugged: trips to Notre Dame and Oregon, plus visits from Washington and Utah.

9. TCU

There are many reasons to believe the Horned Frogs will have staying power as a top-10 program and Playoff contender, starting with the wealth of talent from the Dallas–Fort Worth area—both high school players and collegians interested in transferring back closer to home. 2023 will be a bit of a reset with Heisman finalist Max Duggan and likely first-round wide receiver Quentin Johnston gone to the NFL, among others. But Sonny Dykes and offensive coordinator Garrett Riley thought highly enough of QB Chandler Morris to start him over Duggan at the beginning of the season, so if he can at all approximate Duggan’s ’22 season, the Frogs will again be potent offensively. Big-picture question: Can a program that was 9–1 in games decided by 10 points or fewer (heading into the title game) replicate that crunch-time poise—and good fortune?

10. Florida State

It took a little while, but Mike Norvell has gotten the program turned around. The Seminoles took giant strides back to prominence this past year, going 10–3 and ending the season on a six-game winning streak. Quarterback Jordan Travis is coming back, as are leading receiver Johnny Wilson and leading rusher Trey Benson. The FSU defense, which led the ACC in fewest yards allowed per play and per game, also got a boost when sack leader Jared Verse announced recently that he will play another season of college ball. Some key transfers have been added as well. A lot could be decided when LSU plays the ’Noles in Orlando and when Florida State visits Clemson.
...


https://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/35391913/2023-way-too-early-college-football-top-25 (ESPN; Schlabach)

The team that couldn't win a national championship for more than four decades can't stop winning them.

After winning its first national title since 1980 last season, Georgia crushed TCU 65-7 on Monday night in the College Football Playoff National Championship presented by AT&T. The Bulldogs became the first team in the CFP era to win consecutive national championships.

And it seems like Georgia coach Kirby Smart is just getting started. With a plethora of young defensive stars, a deep receiver corps and a cupboard full of former five-star recruits coming back, the Bulldogs are the No. 1 team in the 2023 Way-Too-Early Top 25.

The Bulldogs are followed by Ohio State, Michigan, Florida State and Alabama.

Last season, future CFP participants Ohio State, Georgia and Michigan were ranked in the top five of the initial Way-Too-Early Top 25. TCU wasn't ranked at all.

Among the teams that were ranked too high: Texas A&M (No. 4!), NC State, Oklahoma State and Michigan State. In addition to TCU, teams too low (or unranked) included Tennessee, Kansas State, Washington and Tulane.

Here's the 2023 Way-Too-Early Top 25:

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1. Georgia Bulldogs

2022 record: 15-0, 8-0 SEC

Expected returning starters: 6 offense, 6 defense, 1 special teams

Expected key losses: DT Jalen Carter, CB Kelee Ringo, OT Broderick Jones, QB Stetson Bennett, SS Christopher Smith, LB Robert Beal, TE Darnell Washington, C Sedrick Van Pran

Expected key additions: WR Rara Thomas, WR Dominic Lovett, S Joenel Aguero, DE Samuel M'Pemba, DE Damon Wilson, CB A.J. Harris

Outlook: After winning their first national championship in 41 years in 2021 and losing 15 starters to the NFL draft, the Bulldogs did even better by winning an SEC title and finishing unbeaten. The personnel losses shouldn't be quite as heavy this offseason and another top-three recruiting class will provide help. Sophomore Carson Beck will be the top contender to replace Bennett, who went from an unheralded walk-on to one of the most celebrated players in school history. Tight end Brock Bowers, who had 56 catches for 790 yards and six TDs entering Monday's game, returns to give Beck a big target. The additions of Thomas and Lovett, who led Mississippi State and Missouri in receiving yards this past season, respectively, should help shore up a thin receiver corps. Five freshmen and sophomores started on defense in 2022, including defensive end Mykel Williams and safety Malaki Starks, who might be the next big things in Athens. Georgia's nonconference schedule is especially soft in 2023, with games against FCS program UT Martin, Ball State, UAB and Georgia Tech, after a scheduled contest against Oklahoma was canceled.



2. Ohio State Buckeyes

2022 record: 11-2, 8-1 Big Ten

Expected returning starters: 7 offense, 7 defense, 1 special teams

Expected key losses: QB C.J. Stroud, OT Paris Johnson Jr., OT Dawand Jones, G Matthew Jones, DT Taron Vincent, DE Zach Harrison, S Ronnie Hickman, K Noah Ruggles

Expected key additions: WR Brandon Inniss, DE Jason Moore, OT Luke Montgomery, WR Noah Rogers, TE Jelani Thurman, CB Calvin Simpson-Hunt, G Joshua Padilla

Outlook: It might have been a deflating end to the 2022 season, after the Buckeyes lost to rival Michigan for the second straight season and then fell to Georgia in a CFP semifinal at the Chick-fil-A Bowl. But to suggest that Ohio State isn't trending in the right direction under coach Ryan Day is laughable. The Buckeyes won 11 games this past season, despite playing without star receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba and tailback TreVeyon Henderson for much of the campaign. Henderson is expected back in 2023; Smith-Njigba has already declared for the NFL draft. Kyle McCord, who started against Akron in 2021, will battle Devin Brown for the starting quarterback job in the spring. Whoever wins the job will be surrounded by plenty of playmakers, including receivers Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka. Replacing Johnson and Jones on the offensive line will be a priority in the spring. The Buckeyes play road games at Notre Dame, Wisconsin and Michigan in 2023.



3. Michigan Wolverines

2022 record: 13-1, 9-0 Big Ten

Expected returning starters: 6 offense, 8 defense, 0 special teams

Expected key losses: C Olusegun Oluwatimi, DT Mazi Smith, WR Ronnie Bell, OT Ryan Hayes, TE Luke Schoonmaker, CB DJ Turner, DE Mike Moris, K Jake Moody

Expected key additions: LB Ernest Hausmann, OL LaDarius Henderson, DE Josaiah Stewart, OL Myles Hinton, C Drake Nugent, WR Karmello English, RB Cole Cabana

Outlook: The Wolverines face a lot of uncertainty, as coach Jim Harbaugh has been connected to NFL openings in Denver and Indianapolis. For what it's worth, Harbaugh released a statement last week in which he said he intends to coach the Wolverines in 2023. If Harbaugh leaves, Michigan will probably fall out of the top four. It finally seemed to turn the corner under Harbaugh, defeating rival Ohio State and reaching the CFP in each of the past two seasons. Depending on how many underclassmen return in 2023, Michigan could again be the team to beat in the Big Ten. Quarterback J.J. McCarthy is coming back, and star RB Blake Corum announced Monday he would return after injuring his left knee 11 games into the season. Turner and Big Ten defensive lineman of the year Morris have entered the draft, while linebacker Michael Barrett might as well. Regardless, Harbaugh has built a solid culture and foundation. A handful of additions from the transfer portal might provide some immediate help. Henderson, Hinton and Nugent were multi-year starters in the Pac-12, and Stewart had 12 ½ sacks at Coastal Carolina in 2021.



4. Florida State Seminoles

2022 record: 10-3, 5-3 ACC

Expected returning starters: 7 offense, 9 defense, 2 special teams

Expected key losses: FS Jammie Robinson, G Dillan Gibbons, G D'Mitri Emmanuel, WR Ontaria Wilson, NT Robert Cooper, OT Jazston Turnetine

Expected key additions: WR Hykeem Williams, TE Jaheim Bell, TE Kyle Morlock, OL Jeremiah Byers, OL Casey Roddick, DT Darrell Jackson, DT Braden Fiske, CB Fentrell Cypress II

Outlook: It has taken longer than Florida State hoped, but the Seminoles have finally turned the corner and might be a legitimate ACC title and CFP contender in 2023. In coach Mike Norvell's third season, the Seminoles won 10 games for the first time since 2016 and won their last six contests. Quarterback Jordan Travis might be a Heisman Trophy candidate next season and most of his top running backs and receivers are expected to return. Ole Miss' Lane Kiffin can talk about being the transfer portal king, but Norvell has used it as well as anyone. Top tight end transfers Bell (South Carolina) and Morlock (Shorter) are nice additions. Two starters will have to be replaced on the offensive line; Byers, an All-Conference USA selection at UTEP, and Roddick, a team captain at Colorado, might be able to step right in. Jackson (Miami) and Fiske (Western Michigan) will add good depth to the defensive line, which welcomes back Fabien Lovett and Jared Verse, a potential top-10 pick, who returned for one more season. Cypress was one of the better cornerbacks in the portal.



5. Alabama Crimson Tide

2022 record: 11-2, 6-2 SEC

Expected returning starters: 5 offense, 5 defense, 1 special teams

Expected key losses: LB Will Anderson Jr., QB Bryce Young, RB Jahmyr Gibbs, LB Henry To'oTo'o, SS Jordan Battle, FS DeMarcco Hellams, G Emil Ekiyor Jr., S Brian Branch

Expected key additions: TE CJ Dippre, WR Malik Benson, OT Kadyn Proctor, OLB Jaquavious Russaw, DT James Smith, S Caleb Downs, CB Desmond Ricks, RB Richard Young

Outlook: It might seem like Alabama has reached a crossroads, but we have to remember how many times we've been here before. Yes, the Crimson Tide were uncharacteristically sloppy and undisciplined in 2022. They finished next-to-last in the SEC in penalties and 10th in turnover margin. That was a big reason Alabama lost twice -- each on the last play of road games. Replacing Bryce Young, the 2021 Heisman Trophy winner, won't be easy. Freshman Jalen Milroe struggled with ball security in limited time this past season; Ty Simpson was the No. 2 dual-threat quarterback in the 2022 ESPN 300. Alabama has to figure out a way to get better on the offensive line and at receiver. Benson, a junior college transfer, and Dippre, who caught 30 passes for 314 yards and three touchdowns at Maryland in 2022, might provide immediate help. Will Bill O'Brien be back to call plays on offense? Anderson and To'o To'o won't be easily replaced on defense.



6. Penn State Nittany Lions

2022 record: 11-2, 7-2 Big Ten

Expected returning starters: 6 offense, 7 defense, 1 special teams

Expected key losses: QB Sean Clifford, WR Parker Washington, C Juice Scruggs, TE Brenton Strange, CB Joey Porter Jr., DE Nick Tarburton, DT PJ Mustipher, S Ji'Ayir Brown

Expected key additions: WR Devin Carter, CB Storm Duck, P Riley Thompson, S Elliot Washington, G J'ven Williams, G Alex Birchmeier, S King Mack

Outlook: After a couple of mediocre seasons, coach James Franklin has the Nittany Lions headed back in the right direction. Penn State won 11 games in 2022 and might be poised to challenge Michigan and Ohio State for a Big Ten title. Clifford departs at quarterback, but the coaching staff is excited about freshman Drew Allar, who was the No. 2 pocket passer in the 2022 ESPN 300. Many of Penn State's best players this past season were freshmen or sophomores, including tailbacks Kaytron Allen and Nicholas Singleton, receiver KeAndre Lambert-Smith, cornerback Kalen King and linebacker Abdul Carter. The defense made tremendous strides under new coordinator Manny Diaz, finishing in the top 20 in the FBS in scoring defense, run defense and total defense. The Nittany Lions will play division crossover games against Iowa (home) and Illinois (road) next season, and they'll play Ohio State on the road and Michigan at home.



7. USC Trojans

2022 record: 11-3, 8-1 Pac-12

Expected returning starters: 5 offense, 7 defense, 2 special teams

Expected key losses: WR Jordan Addison, G Andrew Vorhees, C Brett Neilon, OT Bobby Haskins, DE Tuli Tuipulotu, RB Travis Dye, CB Mekhi Blackmon, DE Nick Figueroa

Expected key additions: QB Malachi Nelson, WR Zachariah Branch, WR Makai Lemon, ILB Tackett Curtis, DT Kyon Barrs, WR Dorian Singer, LB Mason Cobb, CB Christian Roland-Wallace, OT Michael Tarquin, RB MarShawn Lloyd

Outlook: The Trojans just missed out on winning a Pac-12 championship and reaching the CFP in coach Lincoln Riley's first season. Then they collapsed late against Tulane and lost 46-45 in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic. This past season looked all too familiar for a Riley-coached team: a Heisman Trophy winner leading an explosive offense and a defense that couldn't stop anyone. The Trojans will have plenty of firepower coming back on offense in 2023, including Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams and receivers Mario Williams, Tahj Washington and Brenden Rice. Singer, who led the Pac-12 with 1,105 receiving yards at Arizona this past season, was a nice addition from the transfer portal. So was Cobb, who had 96 tackles at Oklahoma State, and Roland-Wallace, who started 29 games at Arizona the past three seasons. Tarquin was an important addition with three starters leaving the offensive line. The Trojans will play Notre Dame and Oregon on the road next season, and they'll get UCLA, Utah and Washington at home.



8. LSU Tigers

2022 record: 10-4, 6-2 SEC

Expected returning starters: 10 offense, 5 defense, 2 special teams

Expected key losses: WR Kayshon Boutte, CB Jarrick Bernard-Converse, DL Ali Gaye, DL Jaquelin Roy, LB BJ Ojulari, S Jay Ward, CB Mekhi Garner

Expected key additions: CB Denver Harris, WR Aaron Anderson, DT Paris Shand, DT Jalen Lee, DE Bradyn Swinson, DT Jordan Jefferson, WR Shelton Sampson Jr., CB Javien Toviano, CB Zy Alexander

Outlook: After all the concerns about whether former Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly would be a good cultural fit at LSU, he proved to be what he has always been -- a good football coach. The Tigers won 10 games, stunned Alabama and captured the SEC West in his first season. Quarterback Jayden Daniels will return, along with all five starting offensive linemen. Receiver Malik Nabers is a future NFL first-round pick after catching 72 passes for 1,017 yards in 2022. The Tigers will have some holes to fill on defense, but the return of defensive tackle Maason Smith from a torn ACL will outweigh any of them. Kelly dipped into the transfer portal to land Shand, Lee and Swinson to give them SEC-like depth on the defensive front. The Tigers open the 2023 season against Florida State in Orlando, and play SEC road games at Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Missouri and Alabama.



9. Oregon Ducks

2022 record: 10-3, 7-2 Pac-12

Expected returning starters: 6 offense, 5 defense, 2 special teams

Expected key losses: OT T.J. Bass, G Ryan Walk, C Alex Forsyth, OT Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu, LB Noah Sewell, CB Christian Gonzalez, DE DJ Johnson

Expected key additions: WR Traeshon Holden, WR Tez Johnson, LB Jestin Jacobs, OL Junior Angilau, OT Ajani Cornelius, CB Khyree Jackson, DE Matayo Uiagalelei, CB Daylen Austin

Outlook: Dan Lanning's first season as a head coach started with a thud, as the Ducks fell to Georgia 49-3 in their opener. But Lanning and his staff did a remarkable job keeping the team together, finishing 10-3 and defeating North Carolina 28-27 in the San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl. The good news for 2023: Quarterback Bo Nix announced he's coming back after throwing for 3,594 yards with 44 total touchdowns. The bad news: Four starters from a very experienced offensive line are expected to depart. Lanning worked the transfer portal hard to pick up Angilau, who was a multi-year starter at Texas before missing 2022 with an injury, and Cornelius, who was one of the top transfers from Rhode Island. Lanning helped build a defense that led Georgia to a national title in 2021, but his first unit at Oregon wasn't very good. Losing Sewell, Gonzalez and Johnson won't make things easier. Lanning proved his recruiting chops by signing the No. 8 class in the FBS, according to ESPN Recruiting.



10. Tennessee Volunteers

2022 record: 11-2, 6-2 SEC

Expected key losses: QB Hendon Hooker, WR Jalin Hyatt, WR Cedric Tillman, OT Darnell Wright, DE Byron Young, DE LaTrell Bumphus, LB Jeremy Banks, S Trevon Flowers

Expected key additions: QB Nicholaus Iamaleava, DE Chandavian Bradley, WR Cameron Seldon, LB Caleb Herring, OT Andrej Karic, LB Keenan Pili, TE McCallan Castles

Outlook: The Volunteers enjoyed their best campaign in more than two decades and finally returned to national relevancy. Now, Josh Heupel has to replace many of the key pieces from his high-flying offense, including Hooker and star wideouts Hyatt and Tillman. Michigan transfer Joe Milton played well during a 31-14 victory over Clemson in the Capital One Orange Bowl, throwing for 251 yards with three touchdowns. Iamaleava, an incoming freshman from Downey, California, was the No. 6 pocket passer in the ESPN 300. Offensive coordinator Alex Golesh was hired as South Florida's coach, and Heupel promoted quarterbacks coach Joey Halzle as his replacement. The Volunteers have to figure out a way to get better on defense, and they'll have to do it without top pass-rusher Young and three other starters. Tennessee will play games against SEC West foes Alabama (road) and Texas A&M (home), and it'll face Georgia at home.
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https://www.foxsports.com/stories/c...ll-rankings-our-way-too-early-top-25-for-2023 (foxsports.com; Young)

The No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs put up more than 350 yards and 38 points — taking a 31-point lead in the first half — Monday on the way 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 champion in the College Football Playoff era.

Before the first half ended, the national championship game felt over. Now, all that’s left is to say that this UGA team wasn’t as talented as the 2021 team, even though it finished the season undefeated. That’s scary because it was even more dominant.

It also means the mantle of king of the sport not only stays with UGA, but the title of dynasty seems 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 national finalist unlike any in the CFP era and not since Oklahoma got smashed 55-19 by Matt Leinart’s USC, how did this TCU team beat Michigan?

Anyway, here is my way-too-early top 25 ahead of next season

1. Georgia

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

2. Michigan

The return of Blake Corum is legitimately shocking. The sure-fire first-round pick elected to run it back, giving the Wolverines an opportunity to win their third straight Big Ten title and make their third straight CFP appearance.

3. Ohio State

The Buckeyes return the nation's best wide receiver in Marvin Harrison, Jr. After getting thumped by Michigan in their final game of the regular season, the Buckeyes were just a field goal away from knocking off almighty Georgia in the Peach Bowl.

4. USC

The Trojans return the Heisman Trophy winner and expect to contend for the Pac-12 title and their first-ever trip to the CFP.

5. Tennessee

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

6. Alabama

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

7. Penn State

The Nittany Lions return the best tandem of tailbacks in the country in Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen. With Drew Allar behind center, PSU will look to force its way into the Big Ten title game.

8. TCU

Sonny Dykes succeeded in keeping his coordinators, and he still has what he thought was the best quarterback on campus — Chandler Morris — returning to help run the Frogs back to the CFP.

9. Utah

With Cam "Bad Moon" Rising announcing his return to the Utes, expect Utah to mount a run at a third-straight Pac-12 title in a league that hasn't looked this competitive since the early aughts.

10. Clemson

Even with a quarterback controversy in full bloom, Dabo Swinney succeeded in winning 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.
...


https://www.actionnetwork.com/ncaaf/brett-mcmurphy-too-early-college-football-top-25-rankings-2023 (actionnetwork.com; McMurphy)

Whether or not Georgia is successful in winning back-to-back national titles on Monday, I still have the Bulldogs as the team to beat in 2023.

The Bulldogs rank No. 1 in Action Network’s Way-Too-Early Top 25 rankings of 2023. Rounding out the top five are No. 2 Alabama, No. 3 Michigan, No. 4 Florida State and No. 5 Ohio State.

These rankings are fluid and expected to change based on the never-ending transfer portal, any late coaching changes or if the NCAA gives Michigan the Death Penalty (that’s a joke Wolverine fans, just like Michigan’s goal-line offense against TCU. Too soon?).

The remainder of my top 10 consists of No. 6 LSU, No. 7 Penn State, No. 8 Washington, No. 9 Clemson and No. 10 Oregon.

If you’re the only person on the planet who disagrees with my way-too-early Top 25, I have good news: I will provide updates to my Top 25 rankings as the season gets closer.

Overall, the Pac-12 leads the way with six teams among my Top 25, followed by the ACC (5), SEC (4), Big 12 (4), Big Ten (3), AAC (1), Sun Belt (1) and Notre Dame.

Action Network’s power ratings listed with each team are from Action Network senior writer Collin Wilson. They currently do not factor in all player transfers or players that may leave for the NFL. Wilson’s power ratings — and my Top 25 rankings — are expected to change drastically when rosters and/or coaching staffs are finalized in the coming weeks.

For supplemental information regarding college football, refer to our NCAAF futures, odds, picks and projections resources.

National recruiting rankings are from 247Sports, and transfer portal rankings from On3 as of Jan. 5.
...


https://www.orlandosentinel.com/spo...0230110-xjatmmdwgjhgzjwvfciph2uhbu-story.html (orlandosentinel.com; $; Murschel)

As the college football season comes to an end with the National Championship Game Monday night, it’s never too early to look ahead and predict which teams could wind up back in the top 25.

1. Georgia (15-0): It’s been an incredible run for Georgia and coach Kirby Smart and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. The roster is loaded with talent and will add more with the No. 2 recruiting class. The biggest question is replacing Stetson Bennett at quarterback, with backups Carson Beck and Brock Vandagriff battling for the job.

2. Michigan (13-1): After back-to-back semifinal appearances, the biggest question facing the Wolverines this offseason is where to go next. Jim Harbaugh is reportedly flirting with the idea of returning to the NFL, leaving the program in some flux. The roster remains solid, with quarterback J.J. McCarthy expected back and tailback Blake Corum could decide to return. Couple that with a top transfer class and things could be right for another run at a Big Ten title and playoff run.

3. Ohio State (11-2): The Buckeyes were a missed 50-yard field goal away from playing in the National Championship Game. Yet despite pulling off their fourth double-digit win season in the past five years, some critics have wondered if there needs to be a change at the top. Ohio State finished in the top 15 in offense and defense and returned a share of experience but must find a replacement for C.J. Stroud and could do so through the transfer portal.

4. Alabama (11-2): The Crimson Tide missed the Playoff semifinal only the second time in the last eight seasons. The last time that happened, Alabama went on to win the national championship the following year. The roster is bound to suffer through attrition, with quarterback Bryce Young, tailback Jahmyr Gibbs and linebacker Will Anderson already set to leave for the NFL. But the Tide have the top recruiting class and plenty of firepower to make another run at the playoffs.

5. Utah (10-4): The Utes are coming off back-to-back Pac-12 championships as Kyle Whittingham continues to reshape the program into a perennial conference power. Utah signed a top-25 recruiting class and with the return of quarterback Cam Rising, the roster should be loaded with enough talent an depth to make a run at a third conference championship.

6. TCU (13-1): It was a magical year for the Horned Frogs, who went from being picked to finish 7th in the preseason Big 12 media poll to playing in the national championship.
...


Other

YUPPAQGQLRAOPD67ZTILVHNNYE.jpg

Rendering shows Micron Technology Inc.'s planned semiconductor fabrication facility in Clay. Micron says the $100 billion plant will create 9,000 jobs over 20 years and four times that many support positions at related suppliers and service companies. (Micron Technology)

https://www.syracuse.com/business/2...-jobs-should-central-new-york-be-worried.html (PS; $; Moriarty)

Not quite three months after announcing plans to build a $100 billion computer chip plant near Syracuse, Micron Technology Inc.’s sales are falling and the company is cutting 10% of its workforce, or nearly 4,000 employees.

Should Central New York be worried? Micron says no, but the numbers look scary to the casual observer.

The company reported revenues last quarter of $4.1 billion, a stunning decline of 39% from the previous quarter and 47% down from the same period a year ago. The company lost $195 million in the quarter, compared with profits of $1.5 billion the previous quarter and $2.3 billion in the same period quarter a year ago.

But computer chip memory production is a long game and the current pain should be short-lived, experts told syracuse.com | The Post-Standard. Micron itself told investors the company expects sales to rebound by mid-2023.

What’s happening with Micron, and other companies that make highly advanced memory chips, isn’t so unusual.

At the moment, the demand has flattened for new computers, cars, smartphones, household appliances and scores of other devices that rely on chips. Companies like Micron ramped up production during the coronavirus pandemic, in part to satisfy our need to work from home. Now inflation is up, making consumers cut their spending.

That leaves companies like Micron with too many chips and too few buyers, and falling prices for their products.

That won’t last, analysts say.

“It wouldn’t surprise me to see in one year a shortage and prices going up,” said Hans Mosesmann, managing director of Rosenblatt Securities.

Over time, people will still need new washing machines. Countries will continue to add weapons systems.

And future innovators will need computer memory chips, like the ones Micron builds, for devices and uses that we might not even envision right now.
...
 

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