College Football Power Rankings: How Does Every Team Stack Up From 1-133

Every FBS Football Program, ranked, from 1 to 133 in our preseason College Football Power Rankings ahead of the 2023 season.

As the 2023 season edges ever closer, it’s time to unveil the first College Football Power Rankings of the new campaign. Can Georgia make modern-era history? Who emerges from the Big Ten and Pac-12? Is Texas really back? All these questions and many more are answered as we rank all 133 FBS programs.

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2023 College Football Power Rankings

Our College Football Power Rankings for the 2023 season takes into account a number of factors. Overall roster, coaching staff changes, schedule, predicted record, and individual conference rankings, all play a part in ranking the 133 FBS programs from first to worst.

1) Georgia Bulldogs

The Georgia Bulldogs start the 2023 college football season right where they left off at the end of the 2022 campaign, sat atop the College Football Power Rankings looking around at all the surveys. Kirby Smart’s team is on the precipice of accomplishing unprecedented modern-era greatness, and there’s every reason to believe that they’re up to the task of succeeding. Smart boasts one of the winningest records (.844) of any coach in the sport, and success starts with him.

As has become a yearly practice, Georgia has to replace plenty of departed talent — particularly on defense — but with players like Malaki Starks, Javon Bullard, Mykel Williams, and Smael Mondon, they’re well-positioned to continue their defensive dominance. A new offensive coordinator and an unresolved QB battle cast some questions on that side of the ball, but a strong offensive line, a deep running back room, and the best playmaker in the nation should help answer them.

MORE: SEC Weekly Football Schedule, 2023

2) Michigan Wolverines

It wasn’t long ago that Jim Harbaugh was under pressure as the Michigan head coach, but the Wolverines enter the 2023 season with the potential to land a third consecutive conference crown for the first time since 1990. They sit atop a highly-competitive Big Ten conference, but they’re also set to prove they’re one of the best teams in the nation. Other than having to replace kicker Jake Moody, there isn’t a weak link in the Wolverines’ roster or coaching staff ahead of this season.

With the return of J.J. McCarthy, Michigan boasts the QB consistency that several teams in our College Football Power Rankings lack. Their offensive line is well coached and restocked via the transfer portal, forming a formidable roadblock for a talented RB tandem in Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards. A defense that finished seventh in points allowed last year is stacked from front to back, with a secondary led by CB Will Johnson and S Rod Moore that rivals any in the country.

3) Florida State Seminoles

There hasn’t been this much expectation and excitement about an FSU team for a long time, and that’s reflected in the Seminoles starting the year near the very top of our College Football Power Rankings. After a two-year settling-in period, Mike Norvell finally had his team playing high-quality football last fall, and they’re ready to make the leap back to being nationally relevant. They’re the hot tip to win the ACC title and represent the conference in the College Football Playoffs in 2023.

A combination of returning talent and transfer portal acquisitions have made the FSU roster one of the best in college football. Jordan Travis is a true dual-threat whose talent is weaponized by an embarrassment of wide receiver riches, including former Michigan State WR Keon Coleman. Jared Verse is arguably the best defensive player in the country, and his supporting cast includes highly-rated CB Fentrell Cypress II. A Week 1 clash with LSU is an early test of their credentials.

4) Washington Huskies

If you’re expecting to see USC as the first Pac-12 program in our 2023 College Football Power Rankings, then you better start readjusting your expectations for the conference this fall. Washington is every bit a national contender this season — as long as they can overcome the cannibalistic nature of the Pac-12. Games against Oregon and at USC will determine whether they become the first team from the conference to make the playoff since, well, themselves in 2016.

Michael Penix Jr. returns to lead an offense that features two are the best WRs in the nation in Rome Odunze and Jalen McMillan. The addition of Dillon Johnson gives the running back room depth and talent, plus a reliable outlet in the passing game. Washington’s advantage over their conference foes rests with their defense. Bralen Trice and Zion Tupuola-Fetui are a dangerous one-two punch that will wreck offensive game plans for fun in any game that they’re involved with in 2023.

5) LSU Tigers

After opening their 2022 campaign with a frustrating defeat to FSU, Brian Kelly’s LSU team rebounded and got to the SEC Championship Game. While that was perhaps outside of expectation last year, their place in our College Football Power Rankings speaks to where this Tigers team can go this fall. Last year wasn’t a fluke, but more the beginning of a return to national prominence. While coach Kelly believes they’re a year away from that, they have the roster to make strides in 2023.

Quarterback Jayden Daniels spurned the NFL for another go around, and his dual-threat dynamism and continually developing arm talent is the headliner of an offense with a more mature offensive line, bolstered RB room, and a dangerous WR room led by Malik Nabers. LB Harold Perkins Jr. was all over the field last fall and has the potential to develop into the best defensive player in the country. LSU landed Omar Speights to partner with him, while DT Maason Smith is a name to know.

MORE: SEC QB Rankings, 2023

6) Texas Longhorns

Expectations of a return to national relevancy have become a now-annual joke for the Texas Longhorns. Yet, this year, it really feels like the answer to the question “Is Texas back?” actually might be, yes. Steve Sarkisian’s team is favored to win the Big 12, and they’re the highest-ranked team from that conference in our 2023 College Football Power Rankings. A Week 2 clash with an Alabama team that they were just an injured Quinn Ewers away from winning in 2022 is an early measuring stick.

Texas has all the ingredients to cook up something tasty this fall. Ewers is back, healthy, and comfortably beat out Arch Manning for the Week 1 starting QB job. Xavier Worthy, Adonai Mitchell, and Ja’Tavion Sanders are a dangerous one-two-three receiving punch, with a stellar offensive line weaponizing the passing and ground game. Barryn Sorrell leads a talented defensive front, Jaylan Ford is one of the best LBs in the country, and Jalen Catalon arrives to solidify the secondary.

7) Ohio State Buckeyes

The Ohio State Buckeyes were within a touching difference of the College Football National Championship Game last fall, giving Georgia the fright of a life before ultimately succumbing to the Bulldogs. That game gave us possibly the best of C.J. Stroud’s college career, and the memory of that performance haunts the Buckeyes somewhat in our initial College Football Power Rankings. Ryan Day’s team will always compete near the top, but lost talent leaves questions to answer.

Who replaces Stroud? That’s the main one and heading into camp we still don’t have an answer between Kyle McCord and Devin Brown. Additionally, the loss of both offensive tackles is a concern for a line that was dominant at times last fall. You could argue that with Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka at WR, it doesn’t really matter who is throwing the ball. JT Tuimoloau and Michael Hall Jr. lead a defense that should no longer be considered a weak link for a national contender.

8) Penn State Nittany Lions

The SEC has championed itself on being the pinnacle of the sport, but the Big Ten put more teams in the College Football Playoff last fall, and the conference promises to be even more competitive at the top in 2023. James Franklin’s Penn State team has a Michigan and Ohio State-sized roadblock to overcome to reach the Big Ten Championship Game, but that shouldn’t prevent them from a top-10 slot in our 2023 College Football Power Rankings. Penn State is a power this year.

The return of left tackle Olu Fashanu is a huge boost to an offense that boasts the nation’s best running back duo in Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen. While the Nittany Lions could run over most opponents, Drew Allar gives them an exciting option at QB. A consistent provider of DB talent, a potentially dominant Penn State defense is led from the back by Kalen King, features standout LB Abdul Carter, and will cause pass rush problems behind Chop Robinson and Adisa Isaac.

9) USC Trojans

After dominating the transfer portal, reaping the rewards of recruiting, and bringing in a once highly-regarded offensive mind with a reputation to rebuild, USC under Lincoln Riley is starting to resemble the Alabama regime under Nick Saban. The program is clearly trending in the right direction, and they begin the 2023 season in the top 10 of our College Football Power Rankings as one of the teams to watch out for. However, their defensive deficiencies could prove costly again this year.

There won’t be a more exciting offense to watch this year than the Trojans. Caleb Williams is a special talent whose Houdini-esque escapability makes him near unstoppable. The WR room is loaded, with Dorian Singer joining Mario Williams to form a deadly duo. Running back Raleek Brown is slated to line up everywhere this year. There are six transfers expected to start in an attempt to boost a defense that returns Calen Bullock and Eric Gentry at the heart but will live and die by defensive coordinator Alex Grinch’s playcalling.

10) Alabama Crimson Tide

Rat poison. Nick Saban thrives on it. Being ranked anywhere outside the top four of the College Football Power Rankings is so far beneath the expectation of the Alabama Crimson Tide program that it can be used for motivation and classed as disrespect. It’s always foolish to bet against any team led by one of the most successful coaches of all time, but between a schedule with some difficult games and a roster with some difficult decisions yet to be made, it could be a tough year.

In recent seasons, Alabama has had a succession plan at the QB position, but following Bryce Young’s departure to the NFL, we don’t know who will be the starter under center this year. Spring camp didn’t provide an answer, and in fact, prompted the addition of Tyler Buchner to the roster. Leaning on the ground game while being defensively dominant could be their best chance of success. With Dallas Turner, Kool-Aid McKinstry, and freshman Caleb Downs, there is elite defensive talent.

MORE: SEC Week 1 Predictions

11) Clemson Tigers

12) Notre Dame Fighting Irish

13) Oregon Ducks

14) Utah Utes

15) Oklahoma Sooners

16) Tulane Green Wave

17) Tennessee Volunteers

18) North Carolina Tar Heels

19) Wisconsin Badgers

20) South Carolina Gamecocks

21) Kansas State Wildcats

22) UTSA Roadrunners

23) Texas Tech Red Raiders

24) South Alabama Jaguars

25) Boise State Broncos

26) Duke Blue Devils

27) TCU Horned Frogs

28) Maryland Terrapins

29) Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

30) Oregon State Beavers

31) Arkansas Razorbacks

32) UCLA Bruins

33) Ole Miss Rebels

34) Toledo Rockets

35) Wake Forest Demon Deacons

36) Kansas Jayhawks

37) Louisville Cardinals

38) Iowa Hawkeyes

39) Memphis Tigers

40) Ohio Bobcats

MORE: MAC Weekly Football Schedule, 2023

41) Miami (FL) Hurricanes

42) Pittsburgh Panthers

43) North Carolina State Wolfpack

44) Washington State Cougars

45) Fresno State Bulldogs

46) Iowa State Cyclones

47) Minnesota Golden Gophers

48) Illinois Fighting Illini

49) UCF Knights

50) SMU Mustangs

51) Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

52) Texas A&M Aggies

53) Purdue Boilermakers

54) Troy Trojans

55) Marshall Thundering Herd

56) James Madison Dukes

57) Arizona Wildcats

58) Arizona State Sun Devils

59) Baylor Bears

60) Kentucky Wildcats

61) BYU Cougars

62) Auburn Tigers

63) Louisiana Tech Bulldogs

64) Mississippi State Bulldogs

65) Florida Gators

66) Syracuse Orange

67) Buffalo Bills

68) Boston College Eagles

69) North Texas Mean Green

70) Liberty Flames

MORE: Conference USA Weekly Football Schedule, 2023

71) Colorado Buffaloes

72) San Jose State Spartans

73) Oklahoma State Cowboys

74) Nebraska Cornhuskers

75) Michigan State Spartans

76) Eastern Michigan Eagles

77) Air Force Falcons

78) Appalachian State Mountaineers

79) Georgia Southern Eagles

80) Temple Owls

81) UAB Blazers

82) Tulsa Golden Hurricane

83) Northern Illinois Huskies

84) Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders

85) UTEP Miners

86) Miami (OH) RedHawks

87) Bowling Green Falcons

88) UNLV Rebels

89) UConn Huskies

90) Houston Cougars

91) San Diego State Aztecs

92) Cincinnati Bearcats

93) Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns

94) Georgia State Panthers

95) West Virginia Mountaineers

96) Vanderbilt Commodores

97) Missouri Tigers

98) Georgia Tech Yellowjackets

99) Virginia Tech Hokies

100) Indiana Hoosiers

101) Rutgers Scarlet Knights

102) Stanford Cardinal

103) Cal Golden Bears

104) Sam Houston Bearkats

105) FAU Owls

106) East Carolina Pirates

107) Rice Owls

108) Army Black Knights

109) Navy Midshipmen

110) Western Michigan Broncos

MORE: MAC QB Rankings, 2023

111) Southern Miss Golden Eagles

112) Texas State Bobcats

113) Utah State Aggies

114) Wyoming Cowboys

115) New Mexico State Aggies

116) Jacksonville State Gamecocks

117) Ball State Cardinals

118) Colorado State Rams

119) Hawaii Rainbow Warriors

120) Nevada Wolfpack

121) Central Michigan Chippewas

122) Northwestern Wildcats

123) Virginia Cavaliers

124) New Mexico Lobos

125) Old Dominion Monarchs

126) Arkansas State Red Wolves

127) USF Bulls

128) Charlotte 49ers

129) Akron Zips

130) FIU Panthers

131) Kent State Golden Flashes

132) Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks

133) UMass Minutemen