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CFB Catch-All Thread -- 2023


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College football rankings: ESPN way-too-early top 25 poll for 2023

  1. Georgia
  2. Ohio State
  3. Michigan
  4. Florida State
  5. Alabama
  6. Penn State
  7. USC
  8. LSU
  9. Oregon
  10. Tennessee
  11. Washington
  12. TCU
  13. Utah
  14. Notre Dame
  15. Clemson
  16. Texas
  17. Oregon State
  18. Kansas State
  19. Tulane
  20. Ole Miss
  21. North Carolina
  22. UTSA
  23. Texas Tech
  24. James Madison
  25. Iowa

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

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California bill would require state's colleges to share revenue with athletes

From the same people that brought you the Name, Image and Likeness era of college sports comes the bigger, bolder sequel: Direct Pay for Play.

ZACH BARNETT             16 HRS AGO

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From the same people that brought you the Name, Image and Likeness era of college sports comes the bigger, bolder sequel: Direct Pay for Play.

In front of the Rose Bowl on Thursday, California assemblyman Chris Holden, a Democrat from Pasadena and also a former San Diego State basketball player, introduced the College Athlete Protection Act. Among other things, the bill would require the state's college sports programs to share revenue with their athletes.

The formula would work as follows. Whatever revenue the team generates (say $10 million) minus what that team spends on scholarships ($1 million) would then be split in two between athletes and the athletics department. Of the remaining $9 million, $4.5 would go to the department and the other $4.5 would be paid to athletes through two avenues. Athletes could receive up to $25,000 per year, and the excess funds would be placed into the trust that would be paid to them upon graduation. (The CAPA specifies it would not classify student-athletes as employees.)

Under a different path offered by the CAPA, each college team would have to pass all "new" revenue directly to athletes. For instance, if Stanford's football team generated $40 million in revenue in 2023 and $45 million in 2024, the extra $5 million would go directly to Cardinal football players. 

Obviously, either path would be largely disruptive to the current college athletics model, where schools spend tremendous sums of money on their athletes from academics to facilities and equipment to coaching to food to travel and everything in between, but any money paid to an athlete must come from a third party in the form of NIL. That's also the point.

In one prong of the bill, ADs could face a 3-year suspension for cutting scholarships. Programs earning above a $20 million threshold would also be required to provide medical care for all athletes for a 2-year period after they complete their eligibility. 

The CAPA was launched with a coordinated media effort. 

Here's a statement Holden provided to ESPN: 

"Through the years, college athlete concerns have been overlooked because they are not in the professional leagues," Holden said in a statement provided to ESPN. "If colleges are profiting on their players, then these students deserve equitable pathways for their careers whether that is in the professional league or in California's workforce."

And here's one to Sports Illustrated:

‚ÄúIt‚Äôs no shock that college athletes experience injuries on the field, on the court or in the game/match,‚ÄĚ Holden said in a statement to SI. ‚ÄúWhat is shocking is the lack of protections helping athletes when they are down, or too afraid to say anything because of the repercussions, loss of scholarships and ultimately loss of a promising career. This ends now, with AB252.‚ÄĚ

The California assembly is the same place the NIL era started. The state's Fair Pay to Play Act, signed in 2019, inspired a number of copycat bills in state houses across the nation, to the point where the NCAA folded its cards, threw its hands up and essentially walked away from the table. That bill, by the way, did not technically come into effect until Jan. 1, 2023 -- two and a half weeks ago -- but it was so effective that it essentially made itself obsolete. A 2020 Florida bill pushed the ball forward to 2021, and by the summer of '21 NIL was effectively the law of the land.

However, while the California state assembly cannot be dismissed, its actions do not always become reality. Just last year, the state assembly authored SB-1401, which would have done largely the same things the CAPA is trying to accomplish, but that effort fizzled and has now been spun into the CAPA. 

The CAPA would go into effect in 2024.

While the CAPA works its way through the California state capitol, the National Labor Relations Board is pursuing unfair labor practices against USC, the Pac-12, and the NCAA, arguing that athletes of private institutions are employees. 

 

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Numbers show NIL benefits college football

Eighty-two submitted their names, the lowest number in more than a decade. The 2023 numbers represent an 18 percent drop from 2022, and the 2022 number was a 22 percent drop from 2021. Overall, the draft has seen a 36 percent drop of early entrants from the final pre-NIL year to today. 

That means we can safely say between 35 and 40 players (perhaps a few more, perhaps a few less) returned to school to continue to hone their craft. In the process, some of them will earn a degree. In the meantime, those third- and fourth-year players will make their teams better (though perhaps not the same team, though that's a separate issue altogether.) All this in turn makes the game better.

https://footballscoop.com/news/nil-nfl-draft-early-entrants-2023-dropped

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College Football Super Seniors Who Could Make the Biggest Impact in 2023

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BY:  MORGAN MORIARTY          JAN 19, 2023

  • Kansas State WR Phillip Brooks

  • Ohio State LB Tommy Eichenberg

  • Utah TE Brant Kuithe

  • Oregon QB Bo Nix

  • Clemson DE Xavier Thomas

  • Wisconsin QB Tanner Mordecai

  • Michigan WR Cornelius Johnson

  • Notre Dame QB Sam Hartman

 

https://bleacherreport.com/articles/10062188-college-football-super-seniors-who-could-make-the-biggest-impact-in-2023

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Pac 12 money problems...

 

 

"What’s next for the Pac-12 after revelations of financial impropriety: Unanswered questions, missing details and the likely outcome"

https://www.mercurynews.com/2023/01/21/whats-next-for-the-pac-12-after-revelations-of-financial-impropriety-unanswered-questions-missing-details-and-the-likely-outcome/#

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12 of College Football's Fastest Players in 2023

DAVID KENYON         FEBRUARY 7, 2023

Throughout the season, Reel Analytics shares the max speeds of ball-carriers each weekend. As a result, defenders aren't really covered here, even though there are a handful of blazers on defense.

On your marks, get set, go read.

https://bleacherreport.com/articles/10064405-12-of-college-footballs-fastest-players-in-2023

Fastest was at baylor...

Monaray Baldwin, WR, Baylor

Baylor had a disappointing finish to the 2022 campaign, dropping three straight games to close the regular season and also falling to Air Force in the postseason. However, the flashes of the explosiveness that Monaray Baldwin can provide wound up being one silver lining.

Oklahoma State certainly found that out the hard way.

Though the Pokes defeated Baylor 36-25, they watched Baldwin rack up seven catches for 174 yards and two scores. On his second touchdown‚ÄĒa 70-yard score on 4th-and-5‚ÄĒBaldwin hit the sideline and reached¬†22.8 mph¬†to outrun the entire OSU secondary.

For the season, Baldwin registered team-best totals of 33 receptions and 565 yards and a co-team-leading mark of four touchdowns.

 

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 Texas sitting at #9 in SP+ in latest update

https://www.espn.com/college-football/insider/story/_/id/35651872/2023-college-football-rankings-every-team

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The offseason is over! SP+ is here! With the 2023 recruiting class -- both traditional signings and transfers -- in the books for now, and with a reasonable feel for who's returning and who isn't, we can take our first step toward the 2023 college football season with the initial SP+ projections.

When last we saw college football, Georgia was finishing the season as an easy No. 1. What's changed since then?

I base SP+ projections on three primary factors, weighted by their predictiveness:

1. Returning production. The returning production numbers are based on rosters I have updated as much as possible to account for transfers and attrition. The combination of last year's SP+ ratings and adjustments based on returning production make up about half of the projections formula.

2. Recent recruiting. This piece informs us of the caliber of a team's potential replacements (and/or new stars) in the lineup. It is determined by the past few years of recruiting rankings in diminishing order (meaning the most recent class carries the most weight). Beginning this season, I am also incorporating transfers -- both the quality and the volume -- in a different way. After last season's transfer-heavy recruiting shift, I've got a bit more data for how to handle that. This piece makes up about one-third of the projections formula.

3. Recent history. Using a sliver of information from previous seasons (two to four years ago) gives us a good measure of overall program health. It stands to reason that a team that has played well for one year is less likely to duplicate that effort than a team that has been good for years on end (and vice versa), right? This is a minor piece of the puzzle -- only about 15% -- but the projections are better with it than without.

I will update these numbers in May and August, after further transfers and roster changes have come about (and after I've had a bit more time to tinker with handling transfers and other factors). But for now, let's look at what SP+ has to say about the college football landscape.

A reminder on SP+: It's a tempo- and opponent-adjusted measure of college football efficiency. It is a predictive measure of the most sustainable and predictable aspects of football, not a résumé ranking, and, along those same lines, these projections aren't intended to be a guess at what the AP Top 25 will look like at the end of the year. These are simply early offseason power rankings based on the information we have been able to gather to date.

Here are the full rankings, now featuring 133 teams with the additions of Jacksonville State and Sam Houston. The No. 1 team should surprise absolutely no one.

Preseason SP+ Rankings

TEAM RATING OFFENSE DEFENSE
1. Georgia 31.7 (1) 42.4 (6) 10.7 (2)
2. Ohio State 30.0 (2) 46.3 (1) 16.3 (10)
3. Michigan 28.8 (3) 41.8 (8) 13.0 (4)
4. Alabama 27.5 (4) 43.4 (5) 15.9 (9)
5. Penn State 24.4 (5) 37.9 (21) 13.5 (5)
6. Tennessee 24.1 (6) 46.0 (2) 21.8 (32)
7. LSU 23.5 (7) 41.1 (10) 17.5 (14)
8. Oregon 21.6 (8) 44.2 (4) 22.7 (38)
9. Texas 21.4 (9) 39.2 (14) 17.8 (16)
10. USC 21.3 (10) 45.3 (3) 24.1 (46)
11. Florida State 20.9 (11) 36.6 (26) 15.7 (8)
12. Clemson 20.0 (12) 36.4 (28) 16.5 (12)
13. Utah 19.0 (13) 39.5 (12) 20.5 (25)
14. Oklahoma 18.9 (14) 41.2 (9) 22.3 (36)
15. Notre Dame 18.9 (15) 36.6 (25) 17.7 (15)
16. Washington 18.7 (16) 41.9 (7) 23.2 (40)
17. Texas A&M 16.9 (17) 29.7 (51) 12.8 (3)
18. Ole Miss 16.7 (18) 38.5 (18) 21.8 (33)
19. TCU 15.4 (19) 36.5 (27) 21.1 (27)
20. Florida 15.1 (20) 37.3 (22) 22.2 (34)
21. UCLA 15.0 (21) 40.2 (11) 25.2 (55)
22. Kansas State 14.8 (22) 36.1 (29) 21.4 (28)
23. Mississippi State 14.8 (23) 37.0 (23) 22.3 (35)
24. Kentucky 14.5 (24) 28.5 (59) 14.0 (6)
25. Wisconsin 14.3 (25) 30.7 (46) 16.4 (11)
26. Auburn 13.7 (26) 34.0 (34) 20.3 (24)
27. Iowa 13.5 (27) 23.2 (81) 9.8 (1)
28. North Carolina 13.0 (28) 39.4 (13) 26.3 (62)
29. Arkansas 13.0 (29) 39.1 (15) 26.1 (60)
30. Minnesota 12.7 (30) 27.9 (61) 15.3 (7)
31. Oregon State 12.3 (31) 33.8 (35) 21.5 (29)
32. Missouri 12.1 (32) 30.2 (47) 18.1 (17)
33. South Carolina 11.9 (33) 38.1 (20) 26.2 (61)
34. Oklahoma State 10.8 (34) 36.8 (24) 26.0 (59)
35. Texas Tech 10.6 (35) 38.6 (17) 28.0 (69)
36. Louisville 10.3 (36) 29.6 (52) 19.3 (19)
37. Tulane 9.9 (37) 34.3 (32) 24.4 (50)
38. Baylor 9.8 (38) 35.7 (31) 25.9 (58)
39. UCF 9.6 (39) 32.8 (40) 23.3 (41)
40. Pittsburgh 9.4 (40) 33.2 (37) 23.8 (45)
41. Maryland 9.3 (41) 30.9 (44) 21.5 (30)
42. Miami-FL 8.9 (42) 29.0 (55) 20.1 (20)
43. Cincinnati 7.6 (43) 27.8 (62) 20.2 (23)
44. Illinois 6.6 (44) 23.2 (82) 16.6 (13)
45. Iowa State 6.3 (45) 25.1 (74) 18.8 (18)
46. NC State 6.1 (46) 26.3 (67) 20.2 (22)
47. Michigan State 6.1 (47) 30.2 (48) 24.1 (47)
48. Nebraska 6.1 (48) 28.6 (58) 22.5 (37)
49. Purdue 5.6 (49) 30.8 (45) 25.3 (56)
50. West Virginia 5.3 (50) 34.2 (33) 28.9 (74)
51. Houston 4.3 (51) 38.6 (16) 34.3 (104)
52. Wake Forest 4.1 (52) 33.1 (39) 29.0 (75)
53. Washington State 3.7 (53) 28.1 (60) 24.4 (52)
54. Troy 3.4 (54) 24.2 (78) 20.8 (26)
55. SMU 3.3 (55) 38.4 (19) 35.1 (109)
56. Duke 3.2 (56) 29.9 (50) 26.7 (64)
57. Kansas 3.1 (57) 35.7 (30) 32.6 (97)
58. California 2.6 (58) 25.9 (68) 23.4 (42)
59. Syracuse 2.4 (59) 26.5 (66) 24.1 (48)
60. UTSA 2.1 (60) 33.5 (36) 31.4 (88)
61. Memphis 1.9 (61) 32.5 (41) 30.6 (82)
62. BYU 1.6 (62) 31.4 (42) 29.8 (79)
63. Arizona State 0.7 (63) 30.9 (43) 30.2 (80)
64. Indiana 0.6 (64) 28.6 (56) 28.1 (70)
65. James Madison 0.4 (65) 27.7 (63) 27.4 (67)
66. South Alabama 0.3 (66) 25.4 (70) 25.1 (54)
67. Fresno State -0.1 (67) 23.1 (83) 23.2 (39)
68. Boise State -1.2 (68) 25.2 (71) 26.5 (63)
69. Virginia Tech -2.1 (69) 21.5 (89) 23.6 (44)
70. Georgia Tech -2.4 (70) 22.0 (86) 24.4 (51)
71. Vanderbilt -3.0 (71) 30.1 (49) 33.0 (100)
72. Boston College -3.2 (72) 21.7 (87) 24.9 (53)
73. Coastal Carolina -3.6 (73) 29.2 (53) 32.8 (98)
74. Marshall -4.3 (74) 19.1 (103) 23.4 (43)
75. UL-Lafayette -4.8 (75) 23.5 (80) 28.3 (71)
76. Virginia -4.8 (76) 15.4 (120) 20.2 (21)
77. Air Force -5.7 (77) 15.9 (118) 21.5 (31)
78. Arizona -5.8 (78) 33.2 (38) 39.0 (126)
79. Toledo -5.9 (79) 25.0 (76) 30.8 (83)
80. San Diego State -6.4 (80) 20.4 (95) 26.7 (66)
81. Florida Atlantic -6.5 (81) 22.3 (85) 28.8 (73)
82. Western Kentucky -6.5 (82) 29.1 (54) 35.6 (111)
83. Rutgers -7.0 (83) 19.7 (100) 26.7 (65)
84. North Texas -8.1 (84) 28.6 (57) 36.8 (116)
85. Liberty -8.2 (85) 23.8 (79) 32.0 (92)
86. Appalachian State -8.8 (86) 25.7 (69) 34.5 (106)
87. Army -9.0 (87) 21.5 (88) 30.5 (81)
88. Temple -9.5 (88) 20.3 (96) 29.8 (78)
89. Northwestern -9.9 (89) 14.4 (124) 24.3 (49)
90. Louisiana Tech -10.1 (90) 27.1 (64) 37.2 (117)
91. Miami-OH -10.6 (91) 15.3 (121) 25.8 (57)
92. Southern Miss -10.6 (92) 20.6 (94) 31.2 (86)
93. Middle Tennessee -10.8 (93) 20.3 (97) 31.0 (84)
94. Colorado -10.9 (94) 25.0 (75) 35.9 (113)
95. East Carolina -11.5 (95) 20.9 (92) 32.4 (93)
96. Buffalo -11.5 (96) 23.1 (84) 34.6 (107)
97. Navy -11.8 (97) 16.9 (115) 28.7 (72)
98. UAB -12.1 (98) 18.9 (104) 31.1 (85)
99. Eastern Michigan -12.3 (99) 20.2 (98) 32.5 (96)
100. Tulsa -12.8 (100) 25.2 (72) 37.9 (124)
101. Wyoming -13.0 (101) 14.7 (123) 27.7 (68)
102. Stanford -13.2 (102) 18.3 (107) 31.5 (89)
103. San Jose State -13.3 (103) 19.2 (102) 32.5 (95)
104. Ohio -14.1 (104) 26.6 (65) 40.7 (131)
105. Central Michigan -14.7 (105) 17.0 (114) 31.7 (90)
106. Charlotte -15.0 (106) 25.1 (73) 40.1 (129)
107. Nevada -15.3 (107) 17.6 (110) 32.9 (99)
108. UNLV -15.5 (108) 20.1 (99) 35.6 (112)
109. Georgia Southern -16.3 (109) 21.3 (90) 37.6 (120)
110. USF -16.4 (110) 24.6 (77) 41.0 (132)
111. Rice -16.6 (111) 21.1 (91) 37.7 (122)
112. Northern Illinois -17.0 (112) 20.8 (93) 37.8 (123)
113. Ball State -17.3 (113) 17.1 (113) 34.4 (105)
114. Arkansas State -17.4 (114) 18.6 (106) 36.0 (114)
115. Old Dominion -17.6 (115) 16.3 (117) 33.9 (102)
116. Texas State -18.0 (116) 13.2 (126) 31.2 (87)
117. UTEP -18.1 (117) 17.2 (112) 35.3 (110)
118. Utah State -18.4 (118) 15.5 (119) 33.9 (101)
119. Colorado State -18.8 (119) 10.7 (129) 29.5 (77)
120. Connecticut -19.0 (120) 12.8 (128) 31.8 (91)
121. New Mexico State -19.3 (121) 16.7 (116) 36.1 (115)
122. Georgia State -19.7 (122) 18.8 (105) 38.4 (125)
123. Florida International -19.8 (123) 17.5 (111) 37.3 (118)
124. Sam Houston -19.9 (124) 9.2 (131) 29.1 (76)
125. Western Michigan -19.9 (125) 14.8 (122) 34.7 (108)
126. Jacksonville State -20.4 (126) 19.6 (101) 40.0 (128)
127. Massachusetts -21.9 (127) 10.5 (130) 32.4 (94)
128. Bowling Green -22.2 (128) 18.1 (108) 40.3 (130)
129. Akron -23.0 (129) 18.1 (109) 41.1 (133)
130. UL-Monroe -24.1 (130) 13.2 (127) 37.3 (119)
131. Hawai'i -25.0 (131) 14.4 (125) 39.3 (127)
132. New Mexico -25.9 (132) 8.4 (132) 34.3 (103)
133. Kent State -30.6 (133) 6.9 (133) 37.6 (121)

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

Where the top college football quarterback battles stand after spring practice

ESPN staff  May 8, 2023

Last year at this time, it was easy for Nick Saban, Ryan Day and Kirby Smart.

Alabama's Bryce Young, Ohio State's C.J. Stroud and Georgia's Stetson Bennett were coming off monster seasons that included a Heisman for Young and a national title for Bennett.  No QB controversies to be found for the top three teams in the 2022 preseason AP poll.

Now all three programs are entering the unknown.

What's the latest with the Crimson Tide after bringing in Notre Dame transfer Tyler Buchner? Is there any clarity for the Buckeyes or Bulldogs? And what about crowded rooms at Texas, Ole Miss and beyond?

We break down the eight most important quarterback battles to see where things stand following spring practice.

Alabama Crimson Tide

QB contenders: Tyler Buchner, Jalen Milroe, Ty Simpson

Post-spring Week 1 favorite: Tyler Buchner

How the spring affected the race: The fact Alabama brought in Buchner from Notre Dame less than a week after the A-Day spring game tells you the Crimson Tide weren't content with what they saw from their quarterbacks during spring practice. Now, that doesn't mean they're ready to give up on Milroe or Simpson. It just means they wanted another option as they point toward the start of preseason practice in August. Milroe is a dynamic athlete who can give defenses fits running the ball when the play breaks down. His challenge remains cutting down on his turnovers and overall consistency throwing the ball. Simpson also is plenty talented and might end up being the guy, but he just didn't look ready to lead a football team this spring. So when Buchner hit the transfer portal, given his ties to his former coach at Notre Dame and first-year Alabama offensive coordinator Tommy Rees, the Crimson Tide didn't hesitate to scoop him up and reunite him with Rees.

Long-term outlook: It's difficult to believe Buchner would come to Alabama to be a backup. He has three years of eligibility remaining and began last season as the Notre Dame starter before injuring his shoulder in Week 2 and having surgery. He returned for the bowl game and accounted for five touchdowns in a Notre Dame win. Alabama offered Buchner when he was in high school, but he opted for Notre Dame. It says a lot about both Milroe and Simpson and their belief in themselves that they didn't transfer after Buchner came aboard. Milroe and Simpson, who have combined for 65 college passing attempts, are determined to stay and fight for the starting job. Alabama also has two more scholarship quarterbacks on the roster, freshmen Dylan Lonergan and Eli Holstein. We know this about Nick Saban: He's going to play the best guy and the guy who wins over the locker room. Buchner's stats at Notre Dame weren't eye-popping, but clearly Rees thinks he's an upgrade over what the Alabama coaches saw this spring. We're going to find out. -- Chris Low

Florida Gators

QB contenders: Graham Mertz, Jack Miller III

Post-spring Week 1 favorite: Graham Mertz

How the spring affected the race: It is probably fair to say the spring did not really affect the race much, as Mertz and Miller remain in a quarterback competition headed into fall practice. While we list Mertz as the favorite, based on his experience as a starter at Wisconsin, there is still plenty of work to be done for him to win the job. Especially after neither quarterback impressed in what was the lowest-scoring spring game in Florida history, with 17 total points scored. Mertz went 18-for-29 for 244 yards and a touchdown, while Miller was 10-for-20 for 144 yards and a touchdown as both took turns with the first-team offense. Coach Billy Napier has also said the team will be active in the transfer portal to find another quarterback, so this competition might not even look the same come August.

Long-term outlook: There is no question losing five-star prospect Jaden Rashada, who left after an NIL deal reportedly fell through, has hampered the plan at quarterback. Rashada was supposed to be the future at the position, after Anthony Richardson left school to enter the NFL draft. His signing was hailed as a huge victory for Napier, until it became somewhat of an embarrassment. Now the long-term outlook must be adjusted. The Gators do not have much depth between Mertz, Miller and redshirt freshman Max Brown, which only puts more pressure on the staff to find somebody currently in the portal. Mertz has started 32 games but was never meant to be the long-term answer when he signed; Miller did not play well in the Las Vegas Bowl, and Brown threw only four passes in the spring game. If there is any good news, it's that Florida already has a huge commitment from five-star QB D.J. Lagway in the class of 2024. Now the Gators just have to hold on to him. -- Andrea Adelson

Georgia Bulldogs

QB contenders: Carson Beck, Brock Vandagriff

Post-spring Week 1 favorite: Carson Beck

How the spring affected the race: Not much, if at all. Kirby Smart talked about Georgia's ability to give their quarterbacks more reps than anyone in the country, because they almost always have a third unit and sometimes even a fourth. Beck is the quarterback with the most reps given he has been around the longest, and after an impressive performance in the spring game, he looked the part. Smart said, "I was really pleased with all three quarterbacks and what you saw today was some of what we've seen all spring. We have three good quarterbacks who can make the throws and do a really good job. I was pleased with those guys." It should be noted Smart also went out of his way to mention Vandagriff had some passes that were dropped.

Long-term outlook: It's safe to say Beck is going to be the first to get a shot as the starting quarterback. However, if he were to struggle, Georgia's schedule allows the Bulldogs to experiment and figure out who really is the best fit for the offense. Georgia's first four games are at home, against UT-Martin, Ball State, South Carolina and UAB. Smart hasn't been afraid to switch things up at quarterback when they haven't worked in the past, so I don't think people should expect this season to be any different, especially with Georgia feeling like they can get a third consecutive title. -- Harry Lyles Jr.

Ohio State Buckeyes

QB contenders: Kyle McCord, Devin Brown

Post-spring Week 1 favorite: Kyle McCord

How the spring affected the race: Both quarterbacks shared first-team reps, but there wasn't enough separation to name a starter. Brown missed the spring game after undergoing a procedure on a finger on his throwing hand. In his absence, McCord had a rather pedestrian performance, completing 18-of-34 passes for 184 yards and one touchdown. Some of that was a product of a limited wide receivers group and inconsistent offensive line. It's McCord's third season in the offense, and he has an edge in experience. Coach Ryan Day told ESPN this spring that McCord "understands how defenses are trying to attack them," has changed his body this offseason and has a strong, accurate arm. Day said while Brown hasn't had as much time in the offense, he has learned quickly. "I've been very impressed with the amount of information he's been able to process in a short period of time," Day said. "Very good athlete, can move and change direction very well."

Long-term outlook: Ohio State had a hole to fill after Dylan Raiola, the No. 1 overall prospect in the 2024 class, decommitted in December, but last month the Buckeyes lured in quarterback Air Noland for the 2024 season. Noland, a 6-foot-3 pocket passer from Fairburn, Georgia, had interest from Alabama, Arkansas, Clemson, Miami, Oregon and Texas A&M. As a junior, Noland had 4,095 yards passing with 55 touchdowns to four interceptions. He also rushed for 156 yards and five touchdowns. Ohio State also has three-star quarterback Lincoln Kienholz, who flipped from Washington and committed in 2023. -- Heather Dinich

Ole Miss Rebels

QB contenders: Jaxson Dart, Spencer Sanders, Walker Howard

Post-spring Week 1 favorite: Jaxson Dart

How the spring affected the race: The Ole Miss coaches couldn't have been happier with Dart and the way he performed this spring. In some ways, bringing in Sanders and Howard might have lit a fire under him, as he clearly took it to the next level with his decision-making and consistency in leading the offense on scoring drives. Dart, who started 12 of 13 games last season after transferring from USC, had only one turnover all spring. Sanders was limited by a shoulder injury but made up ground as he became healthier. He saved his best for last and was the Rebels' most impressive quarterback in the spring game. Sanders, who accounted for 85 career touchdowns at Oklahoma State in four years as a starter, is a perfect fit for what Ole Miss does in its quarterback run game. Howard, a former 5-star recruit at LSU, showcased his ability to throw the deep ball and generated a lot of explosive plays, but he also turned the ball over and is still probably a year away from being a serious candidate for the starting job.

Long-term outlook: Dart was good enough (and consistent enough) in the spring that it's going to be difficult for anyone to unseat him. What he did better than anybody was get the ball into the end zone, and that's the ultimate measure of a quarterback. But to say Sanders, especially with all of his experience and athleticism, is too far behind to catch Dart would be premature. And who's to say both quarterbacks won't contribute in some form or fashion in 2023? Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin has been adamant that he's going to build the most talented roster he can, and he knows as well as anyone you can never have enough good quarterbacks. Ole Miss goes so fast on offense it helps to have as many reps as possible in that system. For Dart, everything seemed to slow down this spring, and his footwork, timing and rhythm were all improved. Ole Miss doesn't have to name a starter until more than three months from now. But if that decision had to be made today, it would be Dart. -- Low

Tennessee Volunteers

QB contenders: Joe Milton III, Nico Iamaleava

Post-spring Week 1 favorite: Joe Milton III

How the spring affected the race: It was Milton's job to lose, especially given the way he played when he filled in at the end of last season for the injured Hendon Hooker. Milton was excellent against a talented Clemson defense in Tennessee's 31-14 Orange Bowl win over the Tigers, and he built on that success this spring. The best news for the Vols is they had an ultratalented freshman pushing Milton all spring in Iamaleava, who arrived in December and went through the bowl practices. There's a ton of hype surrounding Iamaleava, who has elite arm talent, but Tennessee coach Josh Heupel was impressed with the way Iamaleava came to practice every day determined to get better, never showed any entitlement and soaked up everything he could from Milton. During the early part of his Tennessee career, Milton was prone to overthrowing receivers and getting too amped. He showed this spring he's capable of playing within the system, making big plays and being a team leader.

Long-term outlook: Heupel and the entire offensive staff are excited to see Milton operate now that he knows (and the team knows) that he's clearly the man at quarterback. Milton beat out Hooker as the starter when he transferred from Michigan, but it became clear a few games into the 2021 season that Hooker was the better quarterback. Milton knows the 2023 season is his chance to make the kind of jump that Hooker did, and at 6-5, 242 pounds and with an arm that's one of the strongest in college football, Milton has the tools to blossom into one of the top quarterbacks in the country. He will also be valuable in short-yardage situations with his ability to run but consistency will be the key. He has to prove he can do it over the course of the entire season, and all the while, the Vols know they have their quarterback of the future ready (Iamaleava) if Milton stumbles or experiences injury problems. -- Low

Texas Longhorns

QB contenders: Quinn Ewers, Maalik Murphy, Arch Manning

Post-spring Week 1 favorite: Quinn Ewers

How the spring affected the race: Sophomore Ewers was the favorite after making 10 starts last season, and nothing this spring put any wrinkles into that plan. At the beginning of the spring, with Murphy being held back with a leg injury, much attention was on Manning, the star freshman. Coach Steve Sarkisian said he would give Manning every opportunity to battle for the job and didn't want to put limits on him. But by the time the spring game rolled around, Ewers (16-for-23, 195 yards, TD) was a solid No. 1, redshirt freshman Murphy (9-for-13, 165 yards, TD) put on show of his own in his first appearance in front of Texas fans, and Manning, who played with freshmen and backups, went 5-for-13 for 30 yards. "I think it's pretty clear to say that Quinn's our starting quarterback and we feel very good about that," Sarkisian said after the game.

Long-term outlook: Ewers said he wasn't where he wanted to be last year, when he ranked 53rd nationally in QBR (64.3), but he will helm a reloaded Texas offense that has a strong supporting cast at wide receiver and tight end. Sarkisian is enamored with Murphy's arm strength and ability to make all the throws. He has a good problem, with three potential starting quarterbacks in his room, but it could prove to be a challenge to keep all of them in Austin. After redshirting in 2021 at Ohio State before transferring to Texas, Ewers could depart for the NFL with a strong season. The Mannings, meanwhile, knew the transition from a private school to Austin would not be an easy one, so the idea of a redshirt has never been out of the question, which is a luxury for both Manning and the Longhorns. "He's on the right trajectory he should be on," Sarkisian told Dallas radio station 105.3 The Fan about Manning after spring practice. "He's a true freshman in college. He really should still be in high school. He just finished his first semester on the Forty Acres, so there's a definite transition there. ... There's a lot of room for him to grow this summer. Ultimately, it's a great room that we have." -- Dave Wilson

UCLA Bruins

QB contenders: Dante Moore, Ethan Garbers, Collin Schlee, Justyn Martin, Chase Griffin

Post-spring Week 1 favorite: Dante Moore

How the spring affected the race: Some separation was created. While the quarterback battle in Westwood appeared to be particularly crowded after the departure of longtime Chip Kelly stalwart Dorian Thompson-Robinson, spring showed that Moore, Garbers and Schlee are the three who are truly fighting for the job. Moore was the most impressive of the bunch, which is no surprise given his five-star rating, but does complicate things given he's the least experienced of the trio. Garbers has shown himself to be plenty capable in limited play during the past two years and that continued this spring. Schlee, meanwhile, is the wild card. The senior arrives by way of Kent State, and while there were likely no promises made to him about a starting role, there had to have been at least an expectation that he was the favorite. After spring camp, however, it's a three-person race.

Long-term outlook: This is a true pick-your-poison situation for Kelly, who does not appear to be in a hurry to make a decision. Garbers is the longtime backup who is familiar with the system but whose ceiling isn't exactly soaring. Schlee is the incoming transfer who combines both talent with experience and should be good enough to keep UCLA afloat should Kelly hand him the ball. Moore, meanwhile, is the potential superstar who has already shown in spring that he is not going to settle for being second fiddle. Kelly knows Moore will be the starter sooner or later. The question is: Can he bring himself to go bold and let the true freshman start from the first snap of the season? Or will he play it safe, start Garbers or Schlee, and then eventually turn to Moore when in need of a spark? -- Paolo Uggetti

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Ranking the Best RB Units Heading into 2023 College Football Season

DAVID KENYON    MAY 11, 2023

  1. harbaugh's blue
  2. suckeyes
  3. razorhawgs
  4. whisky badgers
  5. pedo state
  6. ducks
  7. kiffin's rebels
  8. jawja dawgs

Honorable mention:  

  • gators
  • awwbrrrn¬†
  • dabo's tigers
  • ky jellycats
  • fsu semenoles
  • osu beavers
  • utah utes

https://bleacherreport.com/articles/10075457-ranking-the-best-rb-units-heading-into-2023-college-football-season

 

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The Big Ten is ‚Äústrongly considering‚ÄĚ removing its requirement for league teams to play a Power 5 nonconference team, starting in 2024, sources told Action Network. Big Ten teams also would be allowed to continue scheduling Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) opponents, sources said.

In 2024, the Big Ten grows to a 16-team league with the additions of¬†USC¬†and¬†UCLA. Although the league‚Äôs scheduling format has not been officially determined, the Big Ten is expected to continue with a nine-game league schedule ‚Äúunless something crazy happens,‚ÄĚ a source said.

If the change is made, Big Ten teams could still schedule games against Power 5 non-conference opponents, but it would no longer be required.

This season,¬†Michigan¬†is the only Big Ten school that did not schedule a Power 5 nonconference opponent (the second consecutive season UM didn‚Äôt schedule a Power 5 nonconference team). Only three programs ‚ÄĒ¬†Northwestern,¬†Ohio State¬†and¬†Rutgers¬†‚ÄĒ scheduled an FCS opponent in 2023.

https://www.actionnetwork.com/ncaaf/big-ten-considering-removing-nonconference-power-5-schedule-requirement#

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tech deserves a beatdown by Texas ūü§ė

McGuire on Texas:  "I told you they were gonna break, and they did"

What a speech from Texas Tech head coach Joey McGuire after taking down No. 22 Texas

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On 5/13/2023 at 1:04 AM, LTtxfan said:

The Big Ten is ‚Äústrongly considering‚ÄĚ removing its requirement for league teams to play a Power 5 nonconference team, starting in 2024, sources told Action Network. Big Ten teams also would be allowed to continue scheduling Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) opponents, sources said.

In 2024, the Big Ten grows to a 16-team league with the additions of¬†USC¬†and¬†UCLA. Although the league‚Äôs scheduling format has not been officially determined, the Big Ten is expected to continue with a nine-game league schedule ‚Äúunless something crazy happens,‚ÄĚ a source said.

If the change is made, Big Ten teams could still schedule games against Power 5 non-conference opponents, but it would no longer be required.

This season,¬†Michigan¬†is the only Big Ten school that did not schedule a Power 5 nonconference opponent (the second consecutive season UM didn‚Äôt schedule a Power 5 nonconference team). Only three programs ‚ÄĒ¬†Northwestern,¬†Ohio State¬†and¬†Rutgers¬†‚ÄĒ scheduled an FCS opponent in 2023.

https://www.actionnetwork.com/ncaaf/big-ten-considering-removing-nonconference-power-5-schedule-requirement#

Shouldn't Michigan get some kind of penalty for this? Or is this rule optional?

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Posted (edited)

Projecting Every Conference's Best D-Line in 2023 CFB Season

DAVID KENYON    MAY 25, 2023

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Nazir Stackhouse     Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire 

  1. Nothing is more important for a college football defense than finding ways to consistently create pressure.

There are many options to generate havoc, and coordinators unleash their personnel in different ways. But rolling out an active defensive line is the classic‚ÄĒand still reliable‚ÄĒmethod to cause disruption.

During the 2023 season, all 10 conferences will showcase high-end defensive lines. Three months out, we're aiming to predict one unit from each league that ends up the strongest.

The choices are subjective but based on returning production, incoming transfers and overall depth.

AAC: Tulane Green Wave

Tulane has a pair of standouts and a whole lot of depth.

Patrick Jenkins co-led the Green Wave at nine tackles for loss in 2022, and Darius Hodges followed close behind with eight TFLs. They combined to make seven of those takedowns in Tulane's biggest games of the year: the AAC Championship Game and Cotton Bowl.

Eric Hicks Jr. started at tackle for last year's 11-win squad, and Tulane also leaned on Keith Cooper Jr., Devean Deal and Angelo Anderson for regular snaps. They totaled 69 tackles with 8.5 for loss.

Add in Adonis Friloux, who recorded 23 tackles in 2021 but missed last season with injury, and the Green Wave are loaded on the line.

ACC: Florida State Seminoles

As if Jared Verse's decision to forgo the 2023 NFL draft wasn't enough of a spark, Florida State reinforced the defensive line in a major way through the transfer portal.

Last year, Braden Fiske notched 12 tackles for loss at Western Michigan. Gilber Edmond led South Carolina with nine TFLs, and Darrell Jackson Jr. posted 4.5 more on the interior for Miami. And they're now complements to Verse, who racked up 17 stops for loss.

But that is simply the beginning.

Florida State also returns Fabien Lovett Sr., Dennis Briggs Jr., Patrick Payton, Malcolm Ray and Joshua Farmer. All five played significant snaps for the Seminoles in 2022.

No matter the official first-string group around Verse, FSU has no shortage of options along the defensive line.

Big Ten: Ohio State Buckeyes

Really, the Big Ten has a handful of excellent candidates. Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Penn State all deserve a shout.

We'll lean toward star power, though.

Ohio State is ready to showcase Jack Sawyer, Michael Hall Jr., Tyleik Williams and J.T. Tuimoloau. All of them are consensus early top-50 draft prospects for the 2024 cycle, per Mock Draft Database, and combined to make 27.5 tackles for loss in 2022.

Ty Hamilton will be a fixture of the tackle rotation with Hall and Williams. Caden Curry and Kenyatta Jackson also return in the reserve group, and the Buckeyes recently added Ole Miss transfer Tywone Malone.

Ohio State will face major competition to match this billing in such an impressive Big Ten, but the talent level is clear.

Big 12: Cincinnati Bearcats

Cincinnati is set to give the Big 12 a rude welcome.

In the middle, the Bearcats have first-team All-AAC tackle Dontay Corleone and Jowon Briggs. Justin Wodtly added 31 tackles with 4.5 for loss as one of their primary backups.

Eric Phillips registered eight TFLs to lead UC's defensive linemen last season, and a familiar reinforcement is on the way. Malik Vann posted 8.5 takedowns for loss in 2021 but effectively missed the entire 2022 season. They'll be key disruptors opposite off-ball linebacker Daniel Grzesiak.

Thanks to this experienced group, the program's transition to a power conference will be a little more manageable.

C-USA: Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders

Needing to replace Jordan Ferguson, who posted 17 TFLs last season, will not be painless. Middle Tennessee, though, is primed to return an experienced and intriguing defense.

And the leaders will be Zaylin Wood and Marley Cook.

Each one registered nine-plus tackles for loss in 2022, earning All-C-USA honorable mentions. Along with them, Quindarius Dunnigan tallied seven TFLs and should headline the edge-rushers this season.

One of Jordan Branch and Damonte Smith will start at tackle, and the other will be a valuable member of the rotation. They combined for 32 stops last season. Vincent Dinkins and Tyrece Edwards both attracted some praise from coordinator Scott Shafer this spring.

Middle Tennessee might not catch Liberty and Western Kentucky, but this defense should give the Blue Raiders a chance.

MAC: Miami Redhawks

Miami boasted the MAC's best run defense in 2022, and the entire unit is back for another year.

The starting group‚ÄĒfrom end to end‚ÄĒwill likely include Brian Ugwu, Austin Ertl, Kobe Hilton and Caiden Woullard. Corey Suttle and Ty Wise played significant snaps last season, too. All six players contributed at least 24 tackles and combined for 31.5 stops for loss.

Nasir Washington and Anthony Collier didn't hold as large a role, but they offer more experienced depth.

Even if Miami doesn't reach its potential and contend for a MAC crown, the Redhawks should be a thorn defensively each week.

MWC: Wyoming Cowboys

Promising edge-rusher Oluwaseyi Omotosho left for Oregon State, but Wyoming still has a tremendous unit anyway.

Last season, both DeVonne Harris and Braden Siders collected 13.5 tackles for loss. Interior linemen Jordan Bertagnole, Gavin Meyer and Cole Godbout combined for 16 more, and Godbout even missed six games.

Reserve tackle Caleb Robinson has produced 31 tackles over the last two years, as well.

Because of Omotosho's departure, identifying depth at end is imperative. However, the Pokes had sizable expectations for Sabastian Harsh and Keelan Cox before injuries sidelined them in 2022.

Wyoming will be leaning on this defense to reach bowl eligibility for the third straight season.

Pac-12: Washington Huskies

UCLA is stacked at defensive end with Laiatu Latu and the Murphy twins, Gabriel and Grayson. Factor in tackle Jay Toia, and the Bruins have a legitimate claim to this spot.

Washington, however, has an intriguing blend of proven production, depth and upside.

Bralen Trice led the Huskies with 12 tackles for loss in 2022, and both Zion Tupuola-Fetui and Voi Tunuufi added five-plus apiece. They highlight the edge-rushing group, while Sioux Falls transfer Zach Durfee joined UW after posting 11.5 sacks with the Division II school last year.

Tuli Letuligasenoa and Faatui Tuitele are returning starters at tackle, along with top backups Ulumoo Ale and Jacob Bandes.

Washington, which ranked first in the Pac-12 in yards allowed per carry, should maintain high expectations for 2023

SEC: Georgia Bulldogs

Losing an All-American lineman? No problem. That's the nature of the Georgia machine these days.

Since the defense brings pressure from everywhere, the line doesn't need to carry UGA's havoc production. Nevertheless, the Dawgs can lean on second-team All-SEC tackle Nazir Stackhouse and Mykel Williams, who collected 6.5 tackles for loss as a true freshman.

Tramel Walthour, Zion Logue and Warren Brinson held regular roles in 2022, as did Chaz Chambliss when healthy. Those four‚ÄĒplus Tyrion Ingram-Dawkins‚ÄĒeach had 10-plus tackles last year.

For best results, Georgia needs a third standout to emerge with Stackhouse and Williams. But it's not time to start doubting a program that is annually among the nation's stingiest defenses.

Sun Belt: Troy Trojans

The technicality in play is position labels. Troy labels Richard Jibunor and Javon Solomon as bandit linebackers, but Sun Belt voting considers them defensive linemen.

Tomato, tomato. Potato, potato. They are excellent.

Solomon earned first-team All-Sun Belt honors in 2021 and third-team recognition in 2022. Jibunor landed third- and second-team status, respectively, and T.J. Jackson joined them as a first-teamer in 2022‚ÄĒa season in which the trio combined to record 34 tackles for loss.

Luis Medina is set to return from an injury-shortened year, while starting defensive tackle Buddha Jones is back. AJ Pierce added 3.5 stops for loss in his backup role.

Troy has a terrific chance to repeat as Sun Belt champions, and this impressive front line is a major reason for it.

 

 

Edited by LTtxfan
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Couple of weeks ago...

 

Part about Quinn is at 9:15 mark: Luginbill's answer was probably Texas, but he had criticism about Ewers maturity and body language.

Some decent stuff on CFB

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