Projecting win totals for each of college football’s top 25 teams
As preseason rankings keep rolling in, leading college football analysts continue to set the stage for what should be a fascinating 2023 season.
One of the most intriguing analytics-based projections comes from college football analyst Kelley Ford, who has the “KFord Power Rankings” based on a number of metrics.
Ford recently projected each of the top 25 team win totals for the 2023 season, and Wisconsin made the list alongside a number of Big Ten powerhouses.
Where do the Badgers land given their schedule and projected wins? Here is a look at the win totals from Ford for each of college football’s top 25 teams:
Oklahoma State: 7.5 wins
PHOENIX, ARIZONA – DECEMBER 27: Wide receiver Keontez Lewis #3 of the Wisconsin Badgers gestures after a first down during the first half of the Guaranteed Rate Bowl against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Chase Field on December 27, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)
Wisconsin’s Guaranteed Rate Bowl opponent checks in at just over seven wins in Ford’s projections. There will be a bunch of changes for the Cowboys on both sides of the ball, beginning at quarterback.
Kansas State: 7.6 wins
Jul 14, 2022; Arlington, TX, USA; A view of the Kansas State Wildcats helmet logo during the Big 12 Media Day at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Although it ended in a Sugar Bowl loss to Alabama, Kansas State had some great moments in the 2022 campaign highlighted by taking down TCU in overtime to win the Big 12 championship.
Miami: 7.6 wins
Nov 26, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes tight end Will Mallory (85) scores a touchdown against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the second half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Miami feels like a mystery headed into 2023. Mario Cristobal failed to live up to the hype in year one, and will have to get things on the right track in year two.
Iowa: 7.9 wins
Nov 12, 2022; Iowa City, Iowa, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes defensive back Riley Moss (33) and defensive back Kaevon Merriweather (26) carry the Heartland Trophy after the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Kinnick Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
Iowa and Wisconsin will likely be at the top of the Big Ten West standings, and the Hawkeyes turn towards Michigan transfer Cade McNamara at quarterback to lead the way.
TCU: 8.2 wins
Jan 25, 2022; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; TCU Horned Frogs head football coach Sonny Dykes and wife Kate during the game against the Texas Longhorns at Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
What a year it was for the TCU Horned Frogs. Can they repeat a national championship game appearance? Probably not, but eight wins feels right.
North Carolina: 8.3 wins
Dec 3, 2022; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Drake Maye (10) looks to pass in the fourth quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Phil Longo is gone (to Wisconsin) but Drake Maye is back at quarterback for the Tar Heels. They will go as far as he can take them.
UCLA: 8.4 wins
Nov 27, 2021; Pasadena, California, USA; UCLA Bruins quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson (1) runs for 17 yards and a first down against the California Golden Bears in the second half at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
UCLA lost a lot of talent, most notably the guy in the picture above. The Dorian Thompson-Robinson era comes to an end and the Bruins will move into the future with new-look offensive contributors.
Oregon State: 8.6 wins
Nov 19, 2022; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils defensive lineman B.J. Green II (35) hits Oregon State Beavers quarterback Ben Gulbranson (17) as he throws the ball at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe. Mandatory Credit: Joe Rondone-Arizona Republic
It was a resurgent 2022 campaign for Oregon State, and the now bring in Clemson quarterback transfer DJ Uiagelelei to lead them to new heights.
Utah: 8.6 wins
Apr 23, 2022; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Utah Utes head coach Kyle Whittingham looks on during the second half of the Utah Spring Football Game at Rice–Eccles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports
While we just mentioned two Pac-12 teams with new quarterbacks, it’s Cam Rising back for Utah in a year where they look to break through to the College Football Playoff.
Washington: 8.7 wins
Washington Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr. (9) lines up the offense for a snap against Texas during the Alamo Bowl at the Alamodome, Thursday, Dec. 29, 2022 in San Antonio.
Aem Tx Vs Wu Alamo Bowl 9
Speaking of quarterbacks coming back to the Pac-12, Michael Penix Jr. has a chance to be the best player in the conference next season.
Tennessee: 8.8 wins
Sep 22, 2018; Knoxville, TN, USA; The 102,455 sign which is the seating capacity in Neyland Stadium and the Power T logo on the south entrance at Neyland Stadium at a game between the Tennessee Volunteers and Florida Gators. Mandatory Credit: Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports
Tennessee fell apart at the end of last year after a hot start to the season. Which Volunteers team do we see in 2023?
Wisconsin: 8.8 wins
Wisconsin Badgers running back Braelon Allen (0) runs the ball toward the end zone against the Oklahoma State Cowboys as his teammate wide receiver Chimere Dike (13) begins to react during the Guaranteed Rate Bowl Game at Chase Field on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022.
Ncaa Guaranteed Rate Bowl
This feels like a fair number for a Badger team undergoing a ton of change. Luke Fickell’s first year will be defined by whether or not Wisconsin gets to the Big Ten championship game.
Florida State: 9.1 wins
Sep 24, 2022; Tallahassee, Florida, USA; Florida State Seminoles running back Trey Benson (3) returns the opening kickoff for a touchdown against Boston College Eagles cornerback Josh DeBerry (21) at Doak S. Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports
Florida State feels like everybody’s College Football Playoff dark horse, and for good reason. This is their best chance in a long, long time.
Notre Dame: 9.1 wins
Dec 28, 2019; Orlando, Florida, USA; The Notre Dame Fighting Irish mascot celebrates the field goal against the Iowa State Cyclones during the first half at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Wake Forest transfer Sam Hartman is a massive upgrade at quarterback as the Fighting Irish look to keep up their second half of the year form in 2023.
LSU: 9.4 wins
LSU football coach Brian Kelly speaks to media following the first spring practice under him on March 24.
Few teams were playing better football down the stretch the LSU last season. Can Brian Kelly make another leap with the Tigers?
Oregon: 9.4 wins
Dec 29, 2021; San Antonio, Texas, USA; The Oregon Ducks mascot on the field during the second half of the 2021 Alamo Bowl against the Oklahoma Sooners at the Alamodome. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports
Bo Nix is back and the Ducks are the face of the Pac-12. This conference has depth, solid quarterback play, and could surprise a lot of people in 2023.
Texas: 9.5 wins
Texas running back Bijan Robinson (5) carries a ball during warmups before the Texas versus Oklahoma State football game at Darrell K. Royal Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021.
Texas loses a star in Bijan Robinson, and will turn towards Quinn Ewers at quarterback after his injury-riddled first season as a starter.
Oklahoma: 9.6 wins
Oklahoma’s Billy Bowman (5) celebrates an interception with Danny Stutsman (28) and Jeffery Johnson (77) in the first half during the Bedlam college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Oklahoma State University Cowboys (OSU) at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Nov., 19, 2022.
Last year was a disaster by Oklahoma standards. They went 6-7 and nearly everything fell apart as the year went on. Can they bounce back? This feels like a very, very high win total.
Penn State: 9.6 wins
Nov 12, 2022; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Sean Clifford (14) runs with the ball during the second quarter against the Maryland Terrapins at Beaver Stadium. Penn State defeated Maryland 30-0. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports
Goodbye Sean Clifford, hello Drew Allar. Penn State will rely on their highly-recruited first-year starter at quarterback to take them to new heights.
Clemson: 9.8 wins
Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports
Can Clemson get back to the playoff in 2023? There will be changes all over the roster, but there is a ton of talent for the Tigers.
USC: 9.9 wins
Dec 10, 2022; New York, NY, USA; Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams poses for photos during a press conference in the Astor Ballroom at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York, NY, after winning the 2022 Heisman Trophy. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Caleb Williams is back after his Heisman Trophy season, and USC is looking to get to the College Football Playoff for the first time in its existence.
Michigan: 10.2 wins
Nov 14, 2020; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Michigan Wolverines running back Blake Corum (2) breaks a tackle by Wisconsin Badgers linebacker Leo Chenal (45) in the first half at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
A dream season for Michigan ended in heartbreak to TCU, and the Wolverines are built to get back to the playoff once again.
Alabama: 10.4 wins
Apr 16, 2022; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Crimson running back Jahmyr Gibbs (13) returns a kick during the A-Day game at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports
A disaster year for Alabama just means not reaching the playoff. A Sugar Bowl win would be a successful year for most programs.
Ohio State: 10.9 wins
Mar 9, 2023; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Kyle McCord (6) throws during spring football practice at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-The Columbus Dispatch
The Buckeyes had a chance late against Georgia, but came up just short. It’s all about beating Michigan this year though.
Georgia: 11.1 wins
Jan 10, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; The Georgia Bulldogs mascot Uga on the sideline during the first half in the 2022 CFP college football national championship game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Georgia Bulldogs at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
The class of college football currently is none other than the Georgia Bulldogs. Will they three-peat?