A crazy first full week of the 2023 college football season included Colorado upsetting No. 17 TCU in Deion Sanders first game as the team’s head coach, Florida State running away from LSU in a top-ten matchup, and Duke stunning Clemson on Labor Day.
1. Georgia Bulldogs (1-0) | Last week: 1
A ton of players saw action for Georgia in their 48-7 opening game victory against Tennessee-Martin, including new quarterback Carson Beck (294 passing yards, one passing touchdown, one rushing touchdown) and All-American tight end Brock Bowers (80 total yards, one rushing touchdown).
2. Michigan Wolverines (1-0) | Last week: 2
It was nice to see star running back Blake Corum healthy and on the field for Michigan, but the Michigan passing game might be the story after J.J. McCarthy was 26/30 for 280 yards and three touchdowns while coasting to victory versus East Carolina. McCarthy taking the next step to further complement that rushing attack would be huge for the Wolverine’s national title aspirations.
3. Alabama Crimson Tide (1-0) | Last week: 3
Starting quarterback Jalen Milroe totaled five touchdowns (three passing, two rushing) while leading the team in both passing and rushing to begin the season, and he looked very comfortable while doing so. This Saturday against Texas is one of the biggest games of the year; the Crimson Tide were tested by the Longhorns last season.
4. USC Trojans (2-0) | Last week: 5 (+1)
Caleb Williams in Lincoln Riley’s offense already appears to be in midseason form, putting up 66 points on Nevada and 56 points on San Jose State. Next up, USC begins their Pac-12 slate with Stanford.
5. Ohio State Buckeyes (1-0) | Last week: 4 (-1)
While it was a slow start for Ohio State’s offense, the unit looked much more comfortable in the second half, with first-year starter Kyle McCord showing some positive signs in the 23-3 win over Indiana. Getting Marvin Harrison Jr. (two receptions for 18 yards) going is key for the Buckeyes, but he did have a touchdown on a nice throw from McCord called back because he stepped out of bounds during his route.
6. Florida State Seminoles (1-0) | Last week: 9 (+3)
The Florida State defense led by Jared Verse turned up the heat during their convincing second half in the top-ten matchup with LSU, dominating the final 30 minutes en route to a 45-24 win. He might have been trying to do too much early, but quarterback Jordan Travis ultimately threw for 342 yards and four touchdowns in the victory—with three going to Michigan State transfer Keon Coleman, who looks like he’ll be a problem for teams in scoring territory.
7. Penn State Nittany Lions (1-0) | Last week: 8 (+1)
Drew Allar showed what makes him so exciting as the starting quarterback for Penn State, flashing ability both from inside and outside the pocket with his rocket arm. Penn State even arguably ran the score up on West Virginia to end the game (ending in a point spread cover). They should be able to have similar control of the game this week versus Delaware.
8. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (2-0) | Last week: NR
Notre Dame couldn’t have looked much better in their first two outings this season, and transfer quarterback Sam Hartman had had a seamless transition to his new school, with extremely efficient outings against Navy and Tennessee State. Now Hartman will face a familiar NC State team that picked him off multiple times his past two outings while at Wake Forest.
9. Oregon Ducks (1-0) | Last week: 10 (+1)
The Ducks put up video-game numbers in their 8-7 win against Portland State, with Bo Nix throwing three touchdowns while four different players found the end zone on the ground (Jordan James scoring three times and Bucky Irving scoring twice). Oregon is a very dangerous squad.
10. Washington Huskies (1-0) | Last week: NR
Michael Penix Jr. threw for 450 yards and five touchdowns in Washington’s 56-19 rout of Boise State. Oregon State is another Pac-12 team to mention with how good the offensive line and former Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei looked, and it’s almost sad that the conference has come apart—they’ve started the year 13-0 for the first time since 1938.