We are now less than two weeks from the start of the 2023 college football season and the last piece of off-field business was resolved today: The Associated Press preseason Top 25 is out. We are here to tell you that powerhouse schools such as Penn State, Clemson, Texas and Notre Dame will not win the College Football Playoff national title if history is any indication.
Georgia has to replace starting QB Stetson Bennett, the only player to win Offensive MVP honors in two CFP national title games in leading the Dawgs to back-to-back titles, but UGA is absolutely loaded again and is the No. 1 team in the poll – just like it was in the Coaches’ Poll – as well as the +215 favorite to threepeat.
The last college football team to win three titles in a row was Minnesota from 1934-36 -- 1936 was the first year of the AP poll. The NBA, NHL, NHL, Major League Baseball and men’s college basketball have all had threepeat winners since then.
One trend staring #GoDawgs in the face is that since the AP started the preseason poll in 1950, only 11 teams that started No. 1 also ended the season there and only three schools ranked No. 1 in the preseason AP poll have won it all in the past 25 years. Alabama in 2017 was the last.
Michigan is No. 2, Ohio State third, Alabama fourth, LSU fifth and #FightOn sixth with Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams back and favored to repeat. Why did we stop at No. 6? Because no school ranked lower than sixth in the preseason AP Top 25 has won it all in the College Football Playoff era. And only one team ranked sixth did: LSU in 2019. The others were all Top 5.
Thus, that leaves out the likes of Penn State (No. 7), Clemson (9), Texas (11) and Notre Dame (13) to name four blue-blood programs. Obviously no team unranked in the preseason Top 25 has won it all in the CFP era, either, but each of the past two years one school (TCU in 2022, Michigan in 2021) unranked did get to the playoff.
There is just one non-Power 5 conference school in the Top 25, although this will be the last year of a Power 5 with the Pac-12 collapsing: No. 24 Tulane. The Green Wave bring a lot back from last year’s shocking club that won the AAC title and upset No. 10 USC in the Cotton Bowl.
AP preseason Top 25
3 Ohio St
7 Penn St
8 Florida St
16 Kansas St
18 Oregon St
22 Ole Miss
23 Texas A&M