The Circuit’s 2023 CFB 1st Quarter Polls
As spooky season nears, let’s see how college football is shaping up! How fun is Colorado? Can Caleb Williams go back-to-back? And what the heck is happening in Tuscaloosa??? Find out here with our 1st Quarter Polls! Circuit Artwork Let’s kick things off with my top 25 poll; I got some things right in the preseason poll (Georgia, Michigan), and some things way wrong (Alabama, Clemson). Here is the 1st quarter top 25 poll! Circuit Top 25 Poll Getty Images 1- Georgia Bulldogs 2- Michigan Wolverines 3- Texas Longhorns 4- Washington Huskies 5- USC Trojans 6- Florida State Seminoles 7- Penn State Nittany Lions 8- Notre Dame Fighting Irish 9- Oregon Ducks 10- Ohio State Buckeyes 11- LSU Tigers 12- Utah Utes 13- Alabama Crimson Tide 14- North Carolina Tar Heels 15- Colorado Buffaloes 16- Ole Miss Rebels 17- Oklahoma Sooners 18- Oregon State Beavers 19- Miami Hurricane 20- Duke Blue Devils 21- Washington State Cougars 22- Iowa Hawkeyes 23- Florida Gators 24- Tennessee Volunteers 25- UCLA Bruins We haven’t seen too many great games between two great teams, so for now Georgia and Michigan get the benefit of the doubt to stay at the top. Other than Florida State rocking LSU in week 1, we’ve only seen two top teams really play anyone of note; Washington beat down a Michigan State team that fired their coach and Texas who went to Tuscaloosa and beat an Alabama team that seems to be mediocre for the first time since the Bush administration (the last Bush, to be clear). But with the schedule turning to conference play (one last year before the entire landscape of the sport becomes a complete joke with California playing in the ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE), we can finally see these top ‘Dawgs play other great teams. Before we dive into the Heisman and conference races, let’s check out what I seem to be right about, and more importantly, what I seem to be wrong about! 3 Things I Got Right… Getty Images Texas is BACK! … Hook ‘em, horns! After years and years of teasing us, Texas is finally back! Even though Alabama is clearly not the Alabama we’ve become accustomed to the past 15 years, winning in Tuscaloosa is no small feat. I picked this team to win the Big 12 in their curtain call season, and so far that prediction is looking pretty good. Colorado Would be Good… Honestly I’ve been confused as to why people didn’t think Colorado would be decent this year? “ BuT thEy OnLY WoN oNE gaMe LaSt yEaR” yeah and there are what, 12 players still there from that team? Deion microwaved his own culture and brought in numerous 4 and 5 star players to the program, of course they would be much better! What am I missing here? Now they aren’t going to compete for the Playoff, but for people to be surprised they’re 3-0 against a pretty weak schedule is insane to me. Ohio State Would Struggle… Sure they looked great last week. But overall, they haven’t looked like the Buckeyes of old. They need McCord to be big in the big moments, and I’m still skeptical of that. Wait until this team gets blasted by Michigan! That’s when I’ll really get to flex here. And now for the fun stuff! 3 Things I Got Wrong… Getty Images Alabama Would be Fine… Jesus this team is in trouble! Barely able to score against South Florida? Losing at home to Texas? This team just doesn’t have the same talent they’ve had the last 15 years, but I just assumed Saban could overcome it and still be a 10 win team. Now I’m not so sure about that. They won’t be 6-6, but they likely won’t be 10-2 either. This isn’t the end of the dynasty, but we’re a lot closer to the fall of the Tuscan Empire than we are to the Rise of it. Clemson Just Needed Klubnik… Wow! I’ve been banging the Klubnik drum for a year now, and blamed last year on poor QB play. Apparently Klubnik was not the savior for the Tigers, and if things don’t turn around quickly Clemson could start to slip into mediocrity sooner rather than later. The days of Watson and Lawrence winning championships seem to be pretty far in the rear-view mirror. Senior (citizens) Can’t Play! … Rant time! Why is Sam Hartman allowed to even play still? And why is he allowed to win awards and break records? This is his SIXTH season!!! And it isn’t a situation where he took a redshirt year for one of them; he played all SIX seasons (granted only 4 in 2019, but he still played)! I’m a former college athlete who transferred and got a fifth year, so I get it. Transfers should be allowed to play. But I still only ran 4 years in college! These records that Hartman is about to break were set by guys who played 4 years, you know, standard traditional college careers. This is not a knock against Hartman; play as long as they’ll let ya! But this is just another example of how the NCAA has botched their cash cow. Circuit Heisman Watch: Getty Images 1- Michael Penix Jr. (Washington QB) 2- Caleb Williams (USC QB) 3- Bo Nix (Oregon QB) 4- Shedeur Sanders (Colorado QB) 5- Jayden Daniels (LSU QB) Penix is lighting it up so far! He’s been excellent (although another SIXTH year quarterback… he should be pretty good at this point) and would win this award today. Shout out to the Pac-12! The top 4 of the Heisman race all out west; whoever emerges as the best of that group this season is a virtual lock to win this award. Now let’s take a look at how the Power 5 conferences are shaping up heading into conference play! SEC Getty Images SEC Championship: Georgia Bulldogs def LSU Tigers Georgia is the clear favorite in the SEC, but their West opponent is a little less certain. I don’t see how this Bama team gets there, and Texas A&M once again is failing to live up to expectations relative to their recruiting. So give me the Tigers to get back to the SEC title game and lose again to the ‘Dawgs. Big Ten Getty Images Big Ten Championship: Michigan Wolverines def Iowa Hawkeyes Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State in the same division is really disappointing. Instead of seeing two of those teams battle it out for the conference, we have to see one of the stupid West teams get throttled by the Wolverines. If whoever wins the sorry West division, which as of now I’m picking Iowa, scores 10 points in that game, that fan base should consider it a win. Also, they should enjoy getting hammered in the Big 10 championship game, because once they get rid of divisions next season, none of those teams will ever come close to that game again. ACC Getty Images ACC Championship: North Carolina Tar Heels def Florida State Seminoles Get outta here, Clemson! I’m done with you. Drake Maye is the best quarterback in the conference, and given how the Noles barely beat Boston College this weekend, I’ll pick the Heels in a close one. Pac 12 Getty Images Pac 12 Championship: USC Trojans def Washington Huskies This is the marquee conference championship game! Caleb Williams vs. Michael Penix Jr will be one of the best games of the year, with the Trojans winning in triple overtime! Big 12 Getty Images Big 12 Championship: Texas Longhorns def Oklahoma Sooners What a way to go out! Before conference realignment ruins the sport we have all come to love BECAUSE of geographical rivalries, it’ll be nice to see Texas-Oklahoma for one last Big 12 title. Hook ‘em, Horns! Let’s turn to the College Football Playoff! Who gets in? Who doesn’t? Who advances to the title game??? Sugar Bowl Getty Images 1 Georgia Bulldogs def 4 Texas Longhorns I’ve been hesitant to put the Longhorns in the Playoff, but if they can go 11-1 and win the Big 12 they should get there. But Georgia is not Alabama; the ‘Dawgs are not going to get punked by Texas on national television. Give me Georgia quite comfortably, and maybe even an Arch Manning sighting! Rose Bowl Getty Images 2 Michigan Wolverines def 3 USC Trojans This was my preseason Rose Bowl prediction, and I’m sticking to it! An old-fashioned Big 10-Pac 12 Rose Bowl will feel great (because traditions matter, despite what this sport based on traditions will try to tell you). This will be a shootout, but Michigan just has more talent. National Championship Getty Images 2 Michigan Wolverines def 1 Georgia Bulldogs No reason to bail yet! Neither of these teams have looked amazing yet, but they don’t need to. Georgia has 2 straight titles and winning the SEC still holds weight. And for Michigan, they’ve done this without their head coach. These are the two best teams in the country, and Harbough will finally win the big one! There you have it! My 1st Quarter Polls for the 2023 college football season! Make sure to check back in towards the middle of October for my 2nd Quarter Polls to see what I got right, and more importantly, what I got wrong!