Texas is seeing plenty of respect from college football writers after an impressive spring game. Unlike past Orange and White game scrimmages, the offense looked consistently sharp with its top two quarterbacks in the passing game.
247Sports national college football writer Brandon Marcello took notice of the strong spring by ranking Texas No. 13 in his Top 30 rankings. After taking a deep dive and gathering information on teams across the country, Marcello has the Longhorns just behind No. 11 Clemson and No. 12 Notre Dame. That gives a general idea of how the Longhorns are tiered nationally heading into 2023.
Four Big 12 teams cracked Marcello’s Top 30. Texas led the way followed by No. 17 TCU, No. 20 Kansas State and No. 27 Texas Tech.
Here’s a complete look at the Top 30 rankings.
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Louisville begins life after head coach Scott Satterfield who departs to coach the Cincinnati Bearcats in the Big 12. They’ll do so without key recruiting pieces they hoped to retain in Texas wide receiver DeAndre Moore and Texas A&M running back Rueben Owens. There’s still plenty to like about the program heading into 2023.
South Alabama Jaguars
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It’s hard to fathom South Alabama defeating some of the Power Five teams omitted from this list, but the team could be in store for another strong season. Last season, the Jaguars went 10-3 losing their bowl finale with Western Kentucky, 44-23.
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Ole Miss reloads so far under Lane Kiffin, who has dealt with heavy roster turnover in his time in Oxford. Texas A&M transfer wide receiver Chris Marshall is the biggest name addition, but the Rebels have two big-time quarterbacks in hand with Jaxson Dart and Spencer Sanders.
Texas Bowl, Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022, at NRG Stadium in Houston.
Checking in at No. 27 and perhaps underrated are the Texas Tech Red Raiders. The team has a legitimate chance to make a run at a Big 12 championship game appearance after an impressive bowl win over Ole Miss. The team is due for bad luck after winning games it shouldn’t have against Oklahoma and Texas last year. Even so, the group remain one of the better teams in the Big 12.
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UCLA had a strong season but could take a step back without Dorian Thompson-Robinson leading the offense at quarterback. The Bruins will face a loaded Pac-12, but have the resolve to compete in a tough league.
NC State Wolfpack
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NC State was heralded as a potential contender last season, but fell flat going 8-5. To its credit, the team had to face tougher competition than the ACC once produced. The loss of transfer quarterback Devin Leary to Kentucky could play a huge role in the team’s ceiling.
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New head coach Luke Fickell comes in ready to win right away at Wisconsin. His strong track record of development is reason to believe the Badgers could reach new heights under his leadership. The Badgers hope to replicate the College Football Playoff appearance Fickell earned at Cincinnati.
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The Gamecocks are a force to be reckoned with after upset wins over Tennessee and Clemson last season. After returning starting quarterback Spencer Rattler, look for South Carolina to push for 8 wins and third place in the SEC East behind Tennessee and Georgia.
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Kentucky has been a mainstay around the Top 25 in recent seasons thanks to what head coach Mark Stoops has built. The addition of Devin Leary eases the loss of starting quarterback Will Levis to the NFL draft.
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Head coach Mack Brown has one of the best returning quarterbacks in the country in Drake Maye. Expect the Tar Heels to light up the scoreboard this season.
Kansas State Wildcats
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Kansas State is a Big 12 contender as they return a veteran team for 2023. All five offensive linemen return with dangerous quarterback Will Howard and impact running back Ryan Giddens joining them. Kansas State and Texas seems a logical Big 12 Championship prediction.
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Tulane looks to be back in the thick of New Years Six contention after a strong season. The team’s upset victory over Lincoln Riley and USC should have opened eyes to the team’s potential.
Oregon State Beavers
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Oregon State broke onto the national scene with a strong season last year. The Beavers capped the season with a dominant bowl victory over Florida. Their presence makes for a stronger Pac-12 conference in 2023.
TCU Horned Frogs
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The Horned Frogs have plenty of talent but lost talented experience with quarterback Max Duggan, wide receiver Quentin Johnston and several other contributors from last year’s team. They will be one of the more interesting teams to watch in 2023.
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Quarterback Bo Nix should keep things rolling at Oregon this season. They’ll have a loaded conference to make it more difficult than usual to win. Oregon could compete for a playoff spot at its best.
Texas A&M Aggies
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Conner Weigman and the Texas A&M offense looked much improved in the Aggies’ spring game. New offensive coordinator Bobby Petrino’s offense appears to be an upgrade over head coach Jimbo Fisher’s outdated offense. We’ll see if Fisher can avoid meddling in what looks to be a winning formula.
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Utah is another team who could make a push for the playoff out west. The team’s grit paired with the return of talented quarterback Cam Rising makes the Utes a factor nationally in 2023.
Frank Denius Fields on the University of Texas at Austin campus on Monday, March 6, 2023.
There’s more logic behind the hype this season as the Texas offense looks polished heading out of spring. Elite talent is there at premium positions with wide receiver Xavier Worthy, left tackle Kelvin Banks and linebacker Jaylan Ford. The stacked roster should help Texas to a Big 12 Championship appearance.
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The Irish had their fair share of ups and downs in Marcus Freeman’s first season as head coach. The addition of Sam Hartman could improve the team’s offense in 2023.
Clemson Football Spring Practice March 29 2023
New offensive coordinator Garrett Riley could create a similar turnaround for the Clemson offense that TCU enjoyed last season. Quarterback Cade Klubnik should be in store for improvement as he takes the reigns to the offense.
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Washington returns a talented group of players led by Heisman hopeful quarterback Michael Penix. The Huskies’ passing attack makes the team a legitimate College Football Playoff contender.
Tennessee broke out in head coach Josh Heupel’s second season in Knoxville. The win over Alabama snapped a 15-game losing streak to the Crimson Tide. The Volunteers are now set up to be one of the SEC’s top contenders for the foreseeable future.
Penn State Nittany Lions
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Five-star freshman quarterback Drew Allar is set to lead the Penn State offense in 2023. The team will look to get back into playoff contention in a wide open Big Ten Conference.
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Head coach Lincoln Riley and his quarterback Caleb Williams have unfinished business after ending last season on a losing streak. The addition of defensive tackle Bear Alexander should help the Trojans with physicality, but the team will need it elsewhere to reach its goals.
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Alabama doesn’t look like a Top 6 team in 2023, but the long track record of success makes the team difficult to doubt. Head coach Nick Saban appears to be looking for help at quarterback through the transfer portal. It could be too little too late. The Week 2 matchup with Texas will give a decent idea of how the season could go for the Crimson Tide.
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Head coach Brian Kelly had as good a first season as could be expected last year. The team will look to take another step forward with dual-threat quarterback Jayden Daniels leading the offense.
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There’s plenty of noise surrounding the Florida State head coach Mike Norvell’s Seminoles after a strong season last year. Perhaps there’s too much noise. The Seminoles narrowly escaped their bowl game with a win over Oklahoma. Nevertheless, the Sooners looked to have physically outmatched Norvell’s team despite the result of the game. Florida State should be good, but a playoff run seems too lofty of an expectation.
Ohio State Buckeyes
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The Buckeyes lose CJ Stroud and Jaxon Smith-Ngigba, but shouldn’t have any trouble reloading in 2023. Kyle McCord and Devin Brown will compete to start at quarterback. Even so, with a trio of receivers like Marvin Harrison Jr, Emeka Egbuka and Julian Fleming it might not matter who’s throwing the football.
Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022.
The Wolverines had plenty to think about watching TCU take their place in the championship game. For whatever reason, clearing the hurdle ahead has never been an easy task for head coach Jim Harbaugh and company. For years, the team couldn’t beat its rival, Ohio State. After a long rebuild, Michigan is in search of a third straight win over the Buckeyes and third straight playoff berth.
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It’s unlikely that any team win three consecutive national championships. Without a worthy competitor, Georgia could do just that in 2023. Head coach Kirby Smart has begun what looks to be a dynasty in Athens. The rest of college football will try to break up the championship streak for the Bulldogs.