USA Today Sports predicts 2023 college football top 25 as spring ball ends
The new era of Wisconsin football has officially been unleashed. Wisconsin’s launch event gave fans a look at the new-look Badgers, and spring practice has now finally come to an end.
USA TODAY Sports released its post-spring college football top 25 earlier this week, and Wisconsin barely made the cut. Many publications are predicting a much-improved year for Luke Fickell and the Badgers after 2022 saw them fail to live up to expectations. Everything is new: a new quarterback, a new head coach, a new defensive and offensive coordinator, and new expectations.
Here is where USA TODAY Sports has Wisconsin in their latest top 25:
Wisconsin head football coach Luke Fickell is shown during practice Tuesday, April 11, 2023 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis.
It’s Fickell time in Madison, and with it comes heightened expectations. Wisconsin just barely cracks USA TODAY’s top 25 list.
Nov 12, 2022; Troy, Alabama, USA; Troy Trojans head coach Jon Sumrall celebrates with his team after a 10-9 victory against the Army Black Knights at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports
Heading into 2023, Troy boasts the second-longest winning streak in college football.
Texas Tech Red Raiders
Jul 14, 2022; Arlington, TX, USA; A view of the Texas Tech Red Raiders helmet logo during the Big 12 Media Day at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
The Red Raiders feel like a feast-or-famine team in 2023 after a successful 2022 campaign that saw them finish 8-5 and win a bowl game.
TCU wide receiver Taye Barber (4) runs for a touchdown against Michigan during the first half at the Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022.
It will be hard to follow up a national championship game appearance, and TCU lost many of their top contributors from a year ago.
Dec 16, 2022; Orlando, Florida, USA; UTSA Roadrunners running back Kevorian Barnes (31) runs the ball against the Troy Trojans during the second half at Exploria Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports
UTSA has been a consistent force in the top 25 over the past few seasons.
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
Kansas State will be hard-pressed to follow up their Big 12 championship run a year ago.
Oregon State Beavers
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
Football Asu Osu Fb Oregon State At Arizona State
Despite a few hiccups late, it was a tremendous overall campaign for Oregon State in 2022. Can they repeat their success?
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.
Well, 2022 was a disaster for Oklahoma. There is no other way to put it. Can they bounce back under Brent Venables?
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
Utah has been the class of the Pac-12 over the past few reasons, and Cam Rising is back for the Utes.
Oct 16, 2021; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Sam Howell (7) with offensive coordinator Phil Longo after running for a touchdown in the third quarter at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Well, they lost their offensive coordinator (to Wisconsin) but quarterback Drake Maye returns to lead the Tar Heels.
LSU football coach Brian Kelly speaks to media following the first spring practice under him on March 24.
Brian Kelly and the Tigers got hot late in the season, and eve had an outside chance at the playoff as the year was winding down.
Dec 31, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback Cade McNamara (12) looks to throw against the Georgia Bulldogs in the third quarter during the Orange Bowl college football CFP national semifinal game at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
We all know where Iowa has had problems in recent years: quarterback. Now it’s Michigan transfer Cade McNamara’s turn.
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
The Ducks had an up-and-down season. Mario Cristobal is gone as Dan Lanning looks to lead Oregon back to a top ten ranking.
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
It was a magic season until it wasn’t for the Volunteers. With no Hendon Hooker and Jalin Hyatt, the offense will have to regroup.
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.
Michael Penix Jr. is back and Washington is deservedly a top preseason team because of it.
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
The Heisman Trophy winner returns and this feels like the year it has to all come together with Caleb Williams bound for the draft after this campaign.
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.
No more Bijan Robinson is only the start of what will be a new-look offense for Texas.
Clemson linebacker Trenton Simpson (22) tackles Florida State running back Jashaun Corbin (0) during the first quarter Oct 30, 2021 in Clemson, South Carolina.
The Tigers now turn to Cade Klubnik at quarterback to lead them back to the playoff.
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
Talk about a wild ride, Notre Dame had all the ups and downs in 2022. Can they find consistency in 2023?
Sep 24, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes tight end Cade Stover (8) celebrates the touchdown catch during the first quarter against the Wisconsin Badgers at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
The Buckeyes are once again the class of the Big Ten, and the east will run through them and Michigan.
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
This is everybody’s favorite upstart playoff pick in 2023, and for good reason. Mike Norvell has things going in the right direction.
Penn State Nittany Lions
Penn State head football coach James Franklin looks up at the big screen after a play in the third quarter against Iowa.
James Franklin and crew turn towards highly-recruited quarterback Drew Allar with the departure of Sean Clifford.
Nov 13, 2021; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama head coach Nick Saban watches the Crimson Tide warm up before playing New Mexico State at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports
Last year was a travesty for Alabama, which means not making the playoff. Can they right the ship this year?
Apr 2, 2022; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh listens in as quarterback Alan Bowman (15) huddles up the offense during the Spring game at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
They’ve been to the pinnacle twice, now can they get a playoff win?
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
Surprise, surprise. The two-time reigning national champions are back in action as the top preseason squad.