The college and SEC football season is upcoming, and everyone has their preseason predictions. With so many unknowns entering the 2023 season, it’s more difficult than ever to pick your playoff four. Here are my top four seed predictions:
Will any SEC teams make the 2023 College Football Playoff?
1. Alabama Crimson Tide: This may seem odd seeing as it’s late June and the Crimson Tide still haven’t identified their starting quarterback, but once they do, watch for them to take off. I compare this team to the 2015 team that lost an early season matchup at home to Ole Miss. Things looked bleak early with Alabama’s quarterback position undetermined at that time as well. However, the Tide rounded into form and found their identity. Losses can help a team, and I believe that although they won’t lose a game this season, an early season test against Texas will have Jalen Milroe and the Tide rolling after a close victory that will take them all the way to the one seed for the playoffs.
2. LSU Tigers: Brian Kelly is a top-notch coach who has won wherever he’s been. Historically, at Central Michigan, Cincinnati and Notre Dame his teams have taken off starting in year 3 . However, times have changed and based on Kelly’s first year in Death Valley where the Tigers overperformed many projections, expect Kelly to lead the Tigers to their first college football playoff since 2019 with their only loss coming in the regular season against Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
3. Florida State Seminoles: Since he took over in 2020, the Seminoles have improved each year under Mike Norvell, and 2023 will be no exception. With a very weak ACC conference, the ‘Noles won’t see a loss in conference with their only one coming in week one against LSU.
4. Kansas State Wildcats: One reason: Head Coach, Chris Klieman. Klieman has the Wildcats on the rise since he took over in 2019, capping off the teams first ten-win season under him in 2022. Previous to Kansas State, Klieman led North Dakota State on the FCS level to a 69-6 record during his time as head coach at the school. This included back-to-back national championships in 2017 and 2018 before taking the job at Kansas State. Expect that trend to continue as Klieman takes the ‘Cats to the next level getting them into playoff contention this season.
Now that the four are laid out in order, this would mean that Alabama would rematch Kansas State from last years Sugar Bowl where the Tide rolled the Wildcats 45-20, and LSU rematches Florida State from a highly anticipated week one matchup. Find out in my next article to see who squares off in the national championship.