The first college football poll of the 2023 season has been released. The AFCA announced this morning the official preseason coaches poll, and there were very few surprises at the top.
Georgia snags the top spot in the 2023 USA TODAY Sports AFCA preseason poll.— USA TODAY Sports (@usatodaysports) August 7, 2023
The back-to-back reigning national champions lead our first top 25 of the 2023 season.
See who else made the list ⤵ https://t.co/PQIy5jgAqP pic.twitter.com/YfW90yLjlO
The two time defending champion Georgia Bulldogs hold their spot at number 1, as most expected to happen. Georgia is followed by Michigan (who lost to TCU in the playoffs last year) at number 2, with Alabama, Ohio State, and LSU rounding out the top 5.
The SEC, unsurprisingly, led the way in the initial poll with 6 teams (Georgia, Alabama, LSU, 10 Tennessee, 22 Ole Miss, and 25 Texas A&M). The Big 12 (12 Texas, 16 TCU, 17 Kansas State, 19 Oklahoma, 24 Texas Tech) is tied with the Pac 12 (6 USC, 11 Washington, 14 Utah, 15 Oregon, 18 Oregon State) for the second most ranked teams, with 5 each. The Big 10, who landed 2 top ten teams, was only able to manage 4 total ranked teams (Michigan, Ohio State, 7 Penn State, 21 Wisconsin) while the ACC only snagged 3 of the top 25 spots (8 Florida State, 9 Clemson, 20 North Carolina). Notre Dame, as an independent, came in at 13, while the AAC held on to one spot, with Tulane riding their wave from last season to come in at 23.
While the top spots are taken by the major powers in the sport, there is a good spread across the power conferences within the initial top 25. Baylor, while not in the rankings, did still receive some love from coaches across the country, as the Bears received votes that would essentially place them at number 33. Not a bad start for a team that is coming off a disappointing season and an even more disappointing bowl game to close out the year.
The Coaches Poll is out. The Big 12 has five teams ranked inside the top 25.— Grayson Grundhoefer (@GrayGrundhoefer) August 7, 2023
17. Kansas State
24. Texas Tech#Baylor is 33rd with 28 votes.
Others receiving votes: Oklahoma State, Houston, BYU, and Kansas
The Bears finished behind Iowa, South Carolina, Florida, UTSA, Pitt, UCLA, and Kentucky in the received votes category, more than any other Big 12 team that wasn’t listed in the top 25. Baylor has a golden opportunity to rise in the rankings early on in the season, as they welcome in a top 15 team to McLane Stadium in week 2, when the Bears will face off against Utah.
As always, these rankings will be fluid throughout the year as teams under and overperform, and what we see in January will likely look much different than what we see today. What are your thoughts? Who’s ranked too highly and who’s not getting enough attention? Let us know! Real life football is just around the corner.