CFB Power Rankings | Top 25 for 2023

Last Updated: Feb 24, 2023

A lot will happen before the 2023 college football season begins, although the picture is slowly becoming clearer.

Players leaving for the NFL have made their decisions. The transfer portal has made its initial mark. The majority of coaching movements have unfolded (or, in the instance of Michigan, not unfolded).

Sure, we don’t have the full picture yet. That will come in time. But we have enough information to deliver our first Top 25 of 2023.

There will be movement in the months ahead. But with the sport settling down, we’re settling in. Here’s our first crack.

Please note that all CFB odds and lines are current as of Monday, Jan. 16, at 8:00 p.m. ET and courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.

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CFB 2023 Power Rankings

25. Wisconsin

Luke Fickell‘s arrival immediately makes the Badgers a threat, and he is not alone. The hiring of OC Phil Longo from North Carolina coupled with the commitments of multiple quarterbacks should help an offense in need of a jolt.

Running back Braelon Allen will be back, and he could be in line for a huge year if healthy. While there are still questions, the potential is still there.

24. NC State

A season marred by injuries didn’t come close to matching the offseason promise. Still, NC State chugged along, was a threat in most games and will now look to rebound.

Brennan Armstrong, formerly of Virginia, will likely be the team’s starting quarterback. His presence should provide a boost for Dave Doeren‘s program as it looks to regain momentum.

23. UTSA

One of the hottest programs in college football could stay hot next year. The Roadrunners will welcome back Frank Harris after an enormous season, and the offense will return plenty of pieces around him.

UTSA could be in a position to play in a New Year’s Six bowl game with the talent returning. Considering the last few years, the expectations should be that high.

22. North Carolina

It starts with Drake Maye, because it has to start with him. The QB played his way into the Heisman conversation this season, and he should get better in 2023. He’ll lose some of his favorite weapons, although UNC will attempt to address losses on offense with the transfer portal.

To compete, the defense must improve. But with Maye, there will always be a chance.

21. UCLA

The quarterback battle should be fascinating. Transfer Collin Schlee will try to hold off five-star freshman Dante Moore, who has drawn rave reviews. Regardless, Chip Kelly has options at the position.

On defense, plenty of snaps will return, which might be needed as the offense figures itself out. Fascinating potential.

20. South Carolina

The Gamecocks enjoyed a huge boost when Spencer Rattler announced his return to the school for another year. There were moments in 2022 when he looked like one of the best QBs in the sport; there were others when he looked more like a work in progress.

Shane Beamer is finding ways to win, and he’ll have a pretty talented group to win with in 2023.

19. Kansas State

The Wildcats were a force in 2022, winning a Big 12 Championship along the way.

In 2023, the offense will return a ton of production, although the departure of running back Deuce Vaughn is a big one. On the positive side, the offensive line should almost completely return, and quarterback Will Howard will also be back.

The defense loses a lot, but a feisty team should stay feisty.

18. Tulane

One of the best stories of the past season has a chance at an encore.

Sure, losing running back Tyjae Spears hurts. He was one of the best running backs in college football last season. But Michael Pratt is back at quarterback, and the offensive line should be largely intact.

If the defense can find a way to replace lost production, an encore could be in order.

17. TCU

The national championship runners-up will lose a ton. There’s no way to sugarcoat it.

QB Max Duggan, wideout Quentin Johnston, and running back Kendre Miller will head to the NFL, and they have company. A talented roster will undergo a significant renovation, although all hope isn’t lost.

Chandler Morris, who began last season as the starting QB, will be back and likely the starter in the fall. There is work to be done, although Sonny Dykes‘ group will still have a shot to compete in the Big 12.

16. Oregon State

Jonathan Smith is quietly becoming one of the best coaches in college football, and he’ll return a roster in 2023 that could be a factor in the Pac-12.

The addition of QB DJ Uiagalelei from the transfer portal is a massive one, and he’ll be surrounded by both talent and experience on offense. There is a lot to like about this program and the trajectory it’s on. Don’t be surprised if the Beavers are a factor next year.

15. Texas

The offense will return just about everyone outside of running back Bijan Robinson. Robinson, of course, was a star, and he will be missed. The offensive line, however, will return four starters, and true freshman Arch Manning could push Quinn Ewers at quarterback.

Is this the year finally the year that the Longhorns take the next step? The roster is in much better shape, but time will tell.

14. Oregon

In terms of momentum, Oregon is loaded. The Ducks just landed a tremendous recruiting class, and they will pair talented true freshmen with a roster that has star power. Bo Nix, back after a tremendous season, will be the key piece at QB.

The concerns? A superb offensive line must be rebuilt, and former OC Kenny Dillingham is now coaching Arizona State. Still, the Ducks will be a factor.

13. LSU

Given where the roster was a year ago, Brian Kelly did a brilliant job with LSU in Year 1. In Year 2, a young roster should be even better, especially on offense.

QB Jayden Daniels is back, and wideout Malik Nabers is destined for stardom. The offensive line should also be one of the best in the SEC.

A lot to like here on both sides.

12. Utah

The heart and soul of Utah, Cam Rising, will be back next season. That alone should give Utes’ fans hope, as the QB is one of the best innovators in all of football. He’ll have to heal up from an injury in the Rose Bowl, although he’ll be a force if healthy.

On offense, Utah will have to replace tight end Dalton Kincaid, who was fabulous in 2022. The Utes will also have to replace other key pieces on both sides of the ball.

11. USC

A season with tremendous highs ended on a low note, as the USC defense came apart at the end. Defensive coordinator Alex Grinch will be retained, although the questions on this side of the ball will be significant.

There will be no questions about Caleb Williams, who enters 2023 as the best college football player on the planet. If he can get some help, USC will make a run.

10. Tennessee

  • National Championship Odds: +2200

The offense loses a ton, although all hope is not lost. At quarterback, the battle between Joe Milton and true freshman Nicholaus Iamaleava will be fascinating.

Defensively, Tennessee must take another step forward. While there were flashes in 2022, there were also a few clunkers. If the Vols can address that, they could be dangerous once again.

9. Florida State

  • National Championship Odds: +1800

It has been a long road back to relevancy, although this Florida State team has all the pieces needed to compete for an ACC title.

Jordan Travis is back quarterback, and he should improve upon a really solid season. Also returning is defensive lineman Jared Verse, who might have been a top-15 pick in the NFL Draft if he declared.

The team is loaded, and the hype will be building every step of the way.

8. Washington

National Championship Odds: +5000

The offensive line, which was excellent last season, will take a hit. QB Michael Penix Jr., however, will be back, and that’s an enormous boost for a unit that came to life.

Head coach Kalen DeBoer found immediate success in his first year at Washington, and there’s no reason that success shouldn’t continue, even in a loaded conference.

7. Penn State

  • National Championship Odds: +2200

The freshmen were sensational this year, and a strong class should create a solid foundation for the Nittany Lions.

Drew Allar will be thrown into the starting role at QB, and he’ll be handing the ball off to Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen plenty. For many, Penn State will likely be one of the most discussed teams this offseason.

In many ways, it’s not hard to see why.

6. Clemson

  • National Championship Odds: +1500

The program needed a change, and it got one with the hire of offensive coordinator Garrett Riley. The former OC of TCU will lead an offense with some fascinating pieces.

Running back Will Shipley is a star, quarterback Cade Klubnik should be a problem for other teams, and there is plenty of talent around them.

Dabo Swinney needed a splash after two years of “meh" on the offensive side. It feels like he’s done just that.

5. Notre Dame

  • National Championship Odds: +2000

The offense should look different next year for a few reasons.

Sure, the loss of tight end Michael Mayer is a big one. But the addition of QB Sam Hartman, who broke ACC records at Wake Forest, might be the most important addition this offseason.

Like many teams, there are holes to fill. Still, the offense should be as good as it has been in some time.

4. Ohio State

  • National Championship Odds: +650

Although rumors swirled that QB C.J. Stroud would return to the Buckeyes, the two-time Heisman finalist officially declared for the draft. While there will be a QB battle, Kyle McCord feels like the likely starter come fall.

He will be surrounded by talent, especially at wide receiver. McCord’s former high school teammate, Marvin Harrison Jr., might be the best at his position in football.

A lot to like here, per usual. Also, some big questions.

3. Michigan

  • National Championship Odds: +1200

It’s official: Jim Harbaugh will return to Michigan next fall. Joining him will be an experienced roster loaded with potential.

On offense, QB J.J. McCarthy, along with running backs Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards are all returning, and the potential could be dazzling. They are not alone. The roster has options on both sides, and another playoff trip could be in store.

2. Alabama

  • National Championship Odds: +550

Nick Saban will say farewell to some historic players, headlined by QB Bryce Young and linebacker Will Anderson Jr. But no team is equipped to fill those holes better than this one.

All eyes will be on the next QB, and Jalen Milroe, who was up and down when thrown into action this year, feels like the early favorite to win the job. An experienced group of wideouts should be an enormous lift.

1. Georgia

  • National Championship Odds: +325

Quarterback Stetson Bennett has finally exhausted his eligibility, although the Bulldogs return a wealth of talent one year after sending 15 players to the NFL Draft.

Tight end Brock Bowers will be back, and there is no shortage of options at quarterback. There will be holes to fill on defense, but this roster is still absolutely loaded.

The champs will likely be in position to win another title.


Adam Kramer

Adam Kramer is an NFL, college football, and gambling analyst for The Game Day. While college football has long been his calling, he’s also covered sports such as boxing, horse racing, and baseball at The Game Day and in other places. He’s also written for Bleacher Report, VSiN, and various other outlets over the past decade-plus.

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