Penn State Football now has its best opportunity to reach the College Football Playoff since 2017.
Kalen King and Abdul Carter will anchor the defense that once again will feature a strong secondary. The one missing accolade that Franklin has been missing since his first season in 2014 was a playoff appearance and or National Championship.
The success of this team will come down to how quickly sophomore Drew Allar can progress as the new starting quarterback. If Allar is as good as his 5-star rating, he could be the missing piece to the shortcomings of the Franklin era.
Allar will have to progress quickly in the offseason, as Penn State opens with West Virginia at Beaver Stadium September 2nd.
Here’s a look at our Way Too Early 2023 College Football Top-15
No. 15 TCU
The Horned Frogs are coming off of a difficult blowout loss in the Championship to Georgia. Sonny Dykes has done an excellent job in the transfer portal and the 2023 recruiting class was the highest in school history.
No. 14 Utah
The return of Cam Rising immediately sets up the Utes for a chance of a PAC 12 championship 3 peat. Utah is always a physical top 25 team and expect 2023 to be no different.
No. 13 Washington
The return of Michael Penix Jr. not only makes Washington a contender for the PAC 12, but also a Darkhorse to reach the College Football Playoff. Don’t be surprised if Penix Jr. is also on a few Heisman ballots come next December.
No. 12 Texas
The Longhorns showed flashes of potential in 2022 with quarterback Quinn Ewers demonstrating why he was such a highly rated recruit. The 2023 season will be a big measuring stick for Steve Sarkisian as Texas will certainly have a top 10 talented roster once again.
No. 11 Notre Dame
The introduction of transfer portal quarterback Sam Hartman from Wake Forest instantly makes Notre Dame a playoff contender. The Irish finished strong after a rocky start to the Marcus Freeman coaching era and are bringing in a top 10 recruiting class to the 2023 season.
No. 10 Oregon
The Ducks get another year of quarterback Bo Nix who played possibly the best season of his career in 2022. With another Top 10 recruiting class, we will see whether Oregon can finally break through and win the PAC 12.
No. 9 Florida State
The Seminoles had a sort of resurgent season in 2022 capping it off with a Cheez-it bowl victory over Oklahoma to reach 10-3. Florida State returns quarterback Jordan Travis and don’t be surprised if they are picked to win the ACC next season.
No. 8 Tennessee
The Volunteers finally returned to national prominence in 2022 and while Hendon Hooker and others will be graduating and moving onto the NFL, the team will still have plenty of talent to compete in 2023. This team will only go as far as QB Joe Milton and have the ability to finish in playoff contention once again, as well as out of the Top 25 if Milton doesn’t work out and they need to turn to freshmen Nico Lamaleava.
No. 7 Penn State Football
The Nittany Lions return plenty of key contributors on both the offensive and defensive side of the football including star players Nick Singleton, Abdul Carter, and Kalen King and are poised to contend for a conference title and playoff in 2023. This team will go as far as former 5-star quarterback Drew Allar can take them.
No. 6 Clemson
A similar theme in the top 10 and that is how far can a young 5-star quarterback take you. The Tigers will need Cade Klubnik to be a special talent if they hope to return to the College Football Playoff.
No. 5 USC
Getting the Heisman trophy winner to return for another season is always a positive when evaluating playoff contention. This team will only go as far as their defense can tackle and if they run it back again with the same defense it doesn’t matter how good Caleb Williams is.
No. 4 Michigan
The Wolverines have a lot of question marks entering 2023 including whether Jim Harbaugh is the head coach after continuous flirting with the NFL. This ranking is assuming he is the head coach and the addition of some solid transfers and the return of Blake Corrum should have Michigan in contention to win their 3rd straight Big 10 title.
No. 3 Ohio State
The Buckeyes will need a new quarterback with CJ Stroud going to the NFL. It will help that the new QB will have Heisman contender Marvin Harrison Jr. to throw to and a litany of other weapons that create a talent gap over everyone in the Big 10.
No. 2 Alabama
While the quarterback position is a question mark with Bryce Young entering the NFL Draft, the Crimson Tide are poised for a return to the playoffs. Nick Saban signed the #2 recruiting class in rankings history and looks to keep pace with former assistant Kirby Smart.
No. 1 Georgia
It is impossible to repeat and even harder to three-peat, but it is hard to put the two-time defending champions anywhere else. The Bulldogs are the new kings of college football and until knocked off will start the year #1.