The Circuit’s 2023 CFB 3rd Quarter Polls
One last Bedlam! USC crumbles! Michigan in… Purgatory? Check out our 3rd Quarter Polls for the 2023 season, and who makes the Playoff with just 3 weeks left in the regular season!?!? Circuit Artwork Let’s kick things off with my top 25 poll; How will the Washington-Florida State-Oregon-Alabama-Texas conglomerate settle itself out? Find out! Circuit Top 25 Poll Getty Images 1- Michigan Wolverines 2- Ohio State Buckeyes 3- Georgia Bulldogs 4- Washington Huskies 5- Florida State Seminoles 6- Oregon Ducks 7- Texas Longhorns 8- Alabama Crimson Tide 9- Ole Miss Rebels 10- Penn State Nittany Lions 11- Louisville Cardinals 12- Oklahoma Sooners 13- Oregon State Beavers 14- Utah Utes 15- Tennessee Volunteers 16- Tulane Green Wave 17- Missouri Tigers 18- Oklahoma State Cowboys 19- UCLA Bruins 20- Kansas Jayhawks 21- LSU Tigers 22- Notre Dame Fighting Irish 23- Kansas State Wildcats 24- North Carolina Tar Heels 25- Air Force Falcons Ohio State has the best resume to this point, but watching them play I just don’t believe they’re better than Michigan. I didn’t think they were better than Georgia either, but once Bowers went down for the year the ‘Dawgs took a bit of a step back in the national picture. After the top 3 it gets very interesting; Washington, Florida State, Oregon, Texas and Alabama all feel like they’re fighting for 1 playoff spot (maaaaaybe 2 depending on how the B1G plays out). But Georgia and the B1G champ are getting in, along with the winner of Oregon-Washington in the PAC-12 title game. Can FSU finish undefeated and force the hand of the committee? Or can Alabama and Texas BOTH win out and make the committee choose between a win over Georgia or a head-to-head win for Texas? Things are about to get very interesting! 3 Things I Got Right… Getty Images Texas is BACK… I picked the Longhorns to win the Big 12 before the season, and now that Oklahoma has nose-dived I feel even better about that. Texas has a lot of talent, and they aren’t even playing their best quarterback! And going into Alabama, a graveyard for promising teams, takes a lot of bull testicles to win. Hook ‘em Horns! Iowa Would NOT meet their arbitrary 25 PPG threshold… Did anyone think they would? I mean what are we talking about here? This is the definition of career-suicide; this guy put this threshold on HIMSELF! Was he looking at Michigan’s roster when he did that? Was he a spy in the Wolverines criminal organization trying to bring down B1G teams from within? There needs to be an investigation launched into this, NCAA. Tez Walker Deserved to Play!… For those of you who don’t know the story of Tez Walker, it’s an interesting one. He started his career at North Carolina Central, but then the program was SHUT DOWN for the year due to COVID, so he had to transfer if he wanted to continue playing college football. So he went to Kent State, where he played two seasons before transferring to North Carolina to be closer to his grandmother, who was very ill. This was quite offensive to the NCAA, as Walker playing for the Tar Heels would have been an affront to their very existence. Another reason the NCAA is the WORST organization on the planet. Thankfully, they received enough angry backlash to reverse their stupid-ass decision, but the fact that Walker had to sit out any games for those assholes is an abomination. SHAME ON YOU NCAA. SHAME ON YOU. And now for the fun stuff! What I got really, really wrong… 3 Things I Got Wrong… Getty Images Ohio State was Overrated… I still don’t think this team can beat Michigan, but I have to admit they have impressed me. I didn’t think they would beat Penn State and they completely shut them down on offense. I didn’t think they would beat Notre Dame (and still don’t 11v11), but they did. At some point, the Buckeyes are just better than I thought. But that will make it all the sweeter when the Wolverines rip their hearts out in Ann Arbor in a couple weeks! LSU was the Real Deal… I was so wrong on them I had to note it in back-to-back polls! I picked the Tigers to win the SEC West before the season, but all of a sudden they’ve already lost thrice! With a supposed great coach and supposed Heisman contender at quarterback and all the resources in the world, this team should be a lot better than they are. Clemson was BACK… Sure they beat Notre Dame but is Notre Dame really that good? We’ve seen when they put their 10-man defensive formation on the field that they aren’t. I thought Klubnik would be a great quarterback, and I believed in Dabo. Maybe this is the harsh reality for teams not located in Tuscaloosa or Columbus; you get a short window to win titles before you’re relegated back to mediocrity. Circuit Heisman Watch: Getty Images 1- Michael Penix Jr. (Washington QB) 2- Bo Nix (Oregon QB) 3- Marvin Harrison Jr. (Ohio State WR) 4- JJ McCarthy (Michigan QB) 5- Caleb Williams (USC QB) You have to pay respect to the reigning Heisman winner and put him 5th, but man, Williams and the Trojans have disappointed this year. Harrison and McCarthy feel like one will knock out the other in the last game of the season, but this race really comes down to Penix vs. Nix. It very well could come down to who wins the rematch in the PAC-12 championship game. But as of right now, Penix has put up some pretty crooked stats and has the win head-to-head. Now let’s take a look at how the Power 5 conferences are shaping up heading into conference play! SEC Getty Images SEC Championship: Alabama Crimson Tide def Georgia Bulldogs I DO NOT want this to happen. But I’m just starting to get this feeling that Michael Myers has escaped and is starting to do his thing again… No Bowers for Georgia, everyone is saying Alabama has been passed by, and their quarterback is starting to play well. This smells like the recipe for ‘Bama to stampede their way back into the Playoff. Big Ten Getty Images Big Ten Championship: Michigan Wolverines def Iowa Hawkeyes “Scandal” (witch hunt is more accurate) be damned, the Wolverines are going to beat the brakes off whoever they face in the B1G title game. For now, I’ll go with Iowa as the lucky victim. ACC Getty Images ACC Championship: Louisville Cardinals def Florida State Seminoles First and foremost, I am biased towards Louisville; it was my dream school, I was accepted there (didn’t end up going), I like the Cards. But this pick is more about my gut feeling that the Seminoles just aren’t going to run the table and get in the Playoff. I just don’t see it happening, so give me Louisville to end Florida State’s dream season. Pac 12 Getty Images Pac 12 Championship: Oregon Ducks def Washington Huskies It’s hard for 20 year-olds to beat other really good 20 year-olds twice in the same season. I love this Oregon team, their combination of physicality and finesse will be too much for the Huskies to overcome a second time. Quack Quack! Big 12 Getty Images Big 12 Championship: Texas Longhorns def Oklahoma State Cowboys Goodbye, Sooners! You had a cute run there for a few weeks but it’s time for the real teams to step forward. I’m so happy that the Cowboys beat the Sooners in the last Bedlam (since Oklahoma is a big part of the reason college football is ruined moving forward and it’s completely their fault it was the last Bedlam), and I’ll be rooting for the ‘Boys like crazy in this one… but I just can’t pull the trigger. Texas is too good to lose this game. But will the win be enough to get into the Playoff??? 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 Michigan Wolverines def 4 Georgia Bulldogs With Georgia losing to Alabama, they fall off the 2-line, but not far enough to miss the Playoff. They’re still the 2-time defending national champions, and deserve the chance to three-peat with just one close loss to a top-10 team in the SEC Championship game. With that said, Michigan will get their revenge from two years ago and beat them down. The Wolverines are fast, physical, and motivated to stick it to the entire world. Rose Bowl Getty Images 2 Oregon Ducks def 3 Alabama Crimson Tide Can the committee really put the Tide in over the Horns when they lost head-to-head at home??? If Alabama beats Georgia, they sure can. Milroe is starting to play a lot better than at the beginning of the season, and Saban has his Tide looking more and more like the Tide of yesteryear. But Nix is on a mission, and the Ducks are every bit as good as Bama, so give me Oregon! National Championship Getty Images 1 Michigan Wolverines def 2 Oregon Ducks Michigan essentially had 9 practice weeks before their real season began. After a 9-0 start, they will have beaten Penn State, Maryland, Ohio State, Wisconsin and Georgia. That’s a pretty tough 5-game stretch, but it will prepare them for the high-flying Ducks. McCarthy will soar, the run game will wear down Oregon, and Harbough will lift the National Championship in his final college game ever. A storybook ending and a big F YOU to the NCAA (which they deserve a lot of)! There you have it! My 3rd Quarter Polls for the 2023 college football season! Make sure to check back in towards the beginning of December for my College Football Playoff predictions and final awards!