The college football world is taking over headlines with conference realignments and NIL deals, but most of that will impact college football in the distant future. We still have a fascinating season ahead of us with elite teams looking to make history.
Georgia returns as the top dog after beating Alabama in the 2022 championship game, but the Tide returns the two best players in college football. Ohio State has a Heisman candidate at quarterback, and many traditional powerhouses look to be on the rise after making big moves at the head coach position.
We’ve seen the same teams compete for championships at the end of the season, but what will the college football landscape look like in 2023? Here are the five best contenders to win the title this year. We’ll discuss why they are contenders and what hurdles they’ll have to overcome.
Alabama Crimson Tide Analysis
We have to start with the Crimson Tide. Alabama is always a top contender, and it is easy to see why. Even when they are looking to rebuild, they make it to the title game. This year, they bring back the Heisman winner and the best defensive player in college football. They also brought in plenty of transfer receivers, and the secondary should improve with Eli Ricks.
The offensive line remains a question mark. Last year, Alabama had one of the worst lines in the Saban era. They hope that simple development will help them be better, but something has to improve for the Tide to handle stout defensive fronts. Thankfully, the team appears to be significantly better across the board.
Alabama has +200 odds to win the title, and they deserve to be the favorite. Since the team’s first title with Saban, they are 4-2 in championships after failing to win the year prior. Nick Saban has only gone back-to-back years without bringing a trophy to Tuscaloosa three times.
Ohio State Buckeyes Analysis
OSU deserves to be near the top of the list because of the offensive talent. CJ Stroud could be the first player drafted next year, and he is the Heisman frontrunner. OSU also has Jaxon Smith-Njigba, the best receiver in college football. That duo will be lethal this year and don’t be surprised if they set records at Ohio State.
The defense will be as solid as always, and this team is looking to bounce back after a disappointing 2021 campaign. We’ll see how they compete in the big games, but Ohio State looks to be one of the few true title contenders on paper. It just comes down to executing when the opportunity arises.
Georgia Bulldogs Analysis
Georgia may have lost almost the entire starting defense, but they still have plenty of talented recruits ready to play big roles. Stetson Bennett is back under center, but there is talent behind him if the Bulldogs decide to go another route.
The real challenge for Georgia is finding the motivation to bounce back and win another title. Every team will try to knock them off the pedestal, and Alabama will be more motivated than ever.
Few teams repeat as champions, and Georgia will have tough competition in the SEC.
Clemson Tigers Analysis
Clemson has a lot of red flags, and we’ve now left the realm of solid contenders. Clemson has a shot thanks to elite recruiting and experience, but they struggled last year more than they should have. DJ Uiagalelei was not the Heisman candidate everyone thought he was, and the offense had a low ceiling.
There is now depth at quarterback, and the defense brings back many key players. With such an easy schedule, the Tigers should at least be 10-2. If they go 11-1 and win the ACC, they will be in the College Football Playoff.
Clemson isn’t as good as the other contenders on this list, but they have the easiest path to the title game.
Texas A&M Aggies Analysis
Texas A&M would likely have better NCAAF odds if they were in the Big 12 or ACC. They bring in a great recruiting class and hope to have an upgrade at quarterback. The only problem is they have to beat Alabama if they want to have a chance in the SEC West.
The Aggies beat Alabama last year at home, but they travel to Tuscaloosa this year. Expect the Tide to be heavily favored that weekend.