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Random Thoughts: 2023 College Football Preview Heading Into Week 0

All the College Football news, scores, injuries, gaffes, upsets, derps, and snark that you can handle.

Navy v Notre Dame
Photo by Scott Allen/U.S. Navy via Getty Images

Labor Day is right around the corner and you know what that means: noon to midnight Saturdays of college football. If you wanted to get around to cleaning your gutters or fixing that noise in your car, you better get to it asap. And if you have any friends who fell in love and expect you to show up at their wedding this fall, go ahead and check “NO” on the invite.

It also marks the return of “Random Thoughts” for the umpteenth season. We hope to keep you entertained, insulted, and informed.


  • Boston College DE Shitta Sillah who oddly enough was was born 9-11-01. We have yet to confirm his first name is “Oh”.


FIU just unveiled the team’s new Miami Vice jerseys. They are so bad that they are almost good. These poor guys have gone 5-24 over the last three seasons. They need something to look forward to.


Air Force is honoring Doolittle’s Raid which was the first American retaliation for the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. But some of the triggered out there seem to think it is tasteless to honor an airstrike as part of a football game. 2023, y’all...


A new LSU tradition has been born. It happens when a guy balls out as a freshman for the Bayou Bengals and then mails it in for the next two seasons, living off the uninformed and cloudy memories of lazy journalists who don’t want to do homework. It was kicked off by DB Derek Stingley and then WR Kayshon Boutte picked up the mantle last season. Might LB Harold Perkins be next on that list?


  • Northwestern currently has the longest losing streak in college football at 11 games. They kickoff at mighty Rutgers on Sunday, September 3 - a game CBS picked up for some reason.
  • The Florida Gators have gone 6-7 in each of the last two seasons. UF has not had three consecutive losing campaigns since 1945-47.
  • Alabama has been favored in 104 straight home games going back to the 2007 season. It would be hard to imagine that streak snapping this season but they do host Georgia in 2024...


88 year old (NO EXAGGERATION! 88!) Lee Corso is unbelievably returning for another year of College GameDay. Love him or hate him, he is a big reason people tune into that cadre of idiots and makes for the most entertaining moments.

Across the dial, FOX has made the master stroke of adding the Gumpfather himself, Mark Ingram, to their “Big Noon Kickoff” cast. Unfortunately for college football fans, they still have the douchenozzle to end all douchenozzles Urban Meyer and his condescending voice and smirk.

Desmond Howard is still an imbecile.


We are taking nominations. Tulane might be fun. Let us know in comments.


  • South Alabama (10-3 in 2023) - Head Coach Kane Wommack and offensive coordinator Major Applewhite are back for a third season in Mobile. They start the season in Nawlins against 24th ranked Tulane.
  • Troy (12-2 in 2023) - The Trojans host Stephen F. Austin in Week 1.


  • UAB (7-6 in 2023) - It’s a new era in B’ham with former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer at the reigns. The Dragons are predicted to win 5 games i 2023.


NCAA Football: Navy at Air Force
Air Force won their first Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy since 2016.
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

DraftKings odds to win the 2023 Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy:

  • Air Force -125
  • Navy +200
  • Army +450


Eliminated: Nobody

Endangered: Everybody

Extremely Endangered: Stanford, Colorado, Indiana, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Georgia Tech, Cal, Cincinnati, Houston, Rutgers, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Arizona State, Boston College, Auburn, All non-P5s.

A way WAY WAY too early look at the College Football Playoff (CFP) picture:

DraftKings odds to win the 2023 National Championship:

  1. Georgia +220 (bet $100 to win $220)
  2. Alabama +600
  3. Ohio State +700
  4. Michigan +800
  5. LSU +1100
  6. Southern Cal +1500
  7. Clemson +1800
  8. FSU +2000
  9. Penn State +2200
  10. Texas +2200

Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See for details.

  • ACC - Clemson and Florida State lead the pack. UNC is dark horse.
  • Big 12 - Texas has a big lead over Oklahoma.
  • Big Ten - anOSU and Michigan with PSU as an outside shot.
  • PAC-12 - Southern Cal with Washington and Oregon trailing.
  • SEC - Georgia, Alabama, LSU, Tennessee.
  • Indies - Notre Dame +3500
  • Non-Power 5 - Tulane and Boise are at +30000


The first AP Poll is out. The College Football Playoff rankings will be released Tuesday, Oct. 31 and continue through the sixth and final reveal on Sunday, Dec. 3 (Selection Day). The 13 member committee has only one SEC rep in Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart. Great.

  1. Georgia (60)
  2. Michigan (2)
  3. Ohio State (1)
  4. Alabama
  5. LSU
  6. Southern Cal
  7. Penn State
  8. Florida State
  9. Clemson
  10. Washington
  11. Texas
  12. Tennessee
  13. Notre Dame
  14. Utah
  15. Oregon
  16. Kansas State
  17. TCU
  18. Oregon State
  19. Wisconsin
  20. Oklahoma
  21. North Carolina
  22. Ole Miss
  23. Texas A&M
  24. Tulane
  25. Iowa


  • 133 schools will compete in the FBS in 2023-2024, an increase of two from last season. Sam Houston (C-USA) and Jacksonville State (C-USA) are making the jump from the FCS to the FBS level but are not eligible for bowl games this season.
  • A grand total of 42 FBS bowl games, including the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, will take place at the end of the season.


  • UMass has the lowest win total prediction of 2. Kent State and Charlotte are at 2.5. Stanford and Colorado are the lowest Power-5 teams with 3 predicted victories.

Krazy Kristi’s “SHUT UP!” of the Week goes to Michigan self-imposing a three-game suspension (East Carolina, UNLV and Bowling Green) for head coach Jim Harbaugh. The school and the NCAA had previously come to a tentative agreement for the coach to serve a four-game suspension, but those talks broke down last week after how laughable the penalty would be. So, UM thinks punishing him one LESS game will placate the NCAA??

The punishment stems from alleged violations during the Captain Trips dead period hysteria of 2020 and Harbaugh’s false statements amid the investigation.

It may be too little too late. The NCAA has gotten tough since spineless Mark Emmert got shipped off to a retirement home and hardass Charlie Baker took over as President. The case will likely instead move further through the NCAA’s disciplinary system - likely after the 2023 season.


Caleb Williams will try to become the first two-time winner of the Heisman since NFL mediocrity/Ohio State running back Archie Griffin did in 1974 and 1975. It has been almost 50 years but voters are still a little leery about voting in a repeat winner. In 2022, Alabama QB Bryce Young became the 11th returning winner since Griffin to not get the repeat.

Below are just some of the top Heisman picks in order of the money lines - uncoincidentally all are quarterbacks.

Odds are provided by DraftKings and many more options can be seen at that link including Rice QB JT Daniels at +30000. Yes, he still around and somehow at his fourth college. [Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See for details.]

  1. QB Caleb Williams (JR, Southern Cal) +450
  2. QB Jayden Daniels (RS-JR, LSU) +1100
  3. QB Quinn Evers (Texas) +1300
  4. QB Jordan Travis (FSU), QB Cade Klubnik (Clemson), QB Carson Beck (UGA) all +1400.
  5. Drake Maye (UNC), QB Michael Penix (Washington), QB Sam Hartman (Notre Dame), and QB Bo Nix (Oregon) +1600 each.


  • Starting Utah quarterback Cameron Rising remains limited during fall camp due to his surgically-repaired left knee and availability remains unknown for the opener against Florida on Aug. 31.
  • Kansas breakout star quarterback Jalon Daniels has missed a good portion of fall camp with a back injury, but says he’s “pretty confident” he’ll play in the season opener.
  • LSU/Ohio State transfer JK Johnson suffered a lower leg fracture early on during camp. Defensive lineman Maason Smith is continuing to progress during his first full month back on the field since tearing his ACL in last season’s opener against Florida State.
  • Georgia starting tailback Kendall Milton did not play in Saturday’s scrimmage while dealing with a lingering hamstring injury.


  • Former Arkansas Razorback running back Alex Collins, 28, was killed in South Florida on August 13. He was driving a motorcycle that crashed into a sport-utility vehicle. The SUV was making a left turn when Collins’ motorcycle hit its rear passenger side. The impact caused Collins to go through a window of the SUV and come to rest inside the vehicle. He rushed for over 1,000 yards in all three of his seasons with Arky and was drafted in the fifth round by the Seahawks. He would play parts of five seasons between Seattle and Baltimore. Collins will best be remembered for the famous 4th & 25 play that cleared the path for Alabama to win the 2015 National Championship. On a humorous note, as a recruit Collins’s mother did not want her son to go to Arky. So, she did the logical thing of grabbing the LOI to be signed and ran away with it. Didn’t work.


Some stories to watch this fall:

  • Iowa and Iowa State have pretty big gambling scandals going on right now. At the center is running back Jirehl Brock, who was charged in the state investigation into illegal sports wagering. The Cyclones’ leading rusher left the ISU program this week.
  • The game clock will no longer be stopped for first downs on offense except inside of the final two minutes of each half.
  • The 2023 season is expected to be the last for ten FBS teams in their current conferences. It is the last season of Oklahoma and Texas in the Big 12 as they head to the SEC. Eight Pac-12 teams end their time in the dying conference with four joining the Big 12, while four others join the Big Ten in 2024.
  • Northwestern fired Pat Fitzgerald in July after hazing allegations. DraftKings have their win total at 3. Will they implode or rally around interim coach David Braun?


  • Tom Allen (Indiana) and Neal Brown (West Virginia) are at the top of the Hot Seat list.
  • It’s Year 2 for Brent Venables at Oklahoma after a disastrous 6-7 campaign in 2022. Another year like that and Okie might be looking for another head coach.
  • Everyone has been gushing over Deion Sanders and his move to Colorado. It’s shut up/put up time.
  • Urban Meyer drinks Bud Light.
  • As Fat F*** Phil Fulmer approaches his 73rd birthday, he has come to terms with his mortality. He and his wife have been shopping locations for his final resting spot. Unfortunately, officials of the Grand Canyon National Park have turned him down.
Black and White TV



Saturday, Aug. 26

Point spreads supplied by DraftKings.

Navy at Notre Dame (-20.5) 1:30/2:30 NBC from Dublin, Ireland - It might surprise you to know that the team the Irish have played the most in their history is the Naval Academy. This will be their 96th meeting. They have played every year since 1927 except 2020. ND holds a 81-13-1 advantage. GO NAVY!
UTEP (-1) at Jacksonville State 4:30/5:30 CBSSN - JSU’s first game as an FBS team.
UMass at New Mexico State (-7.5) 6pm/7pm ESPN - The worst team in FBS vs Jerry Kill.
Ohio at San Diego State (-2.5) 6pm/7pm FS1 - A lot of folks are high on Ohio QB Kurtis Rourke.
Hawaii at Vanderbilt (-17.5) 6:30/7:30 SECN - Timmy Chang brings his Rainbow Warriors to Nashville.
San Jose State at Southern Cal (-30.5) 7pm/8pm PAC12 - LOL that the sixth ranked Trojans will only be seen on the PAC12 Network.
FIU at Louisiana Tech (-11) 8pm/9pm CBSSN - Former Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre takes over in south Florida.

Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See for details.


The longevity and high level of performance of Nick Saban during his time at Alabama has been remarkable. When Random Thoughts started the career FBS/Division I-A win totals for coaches a few years ago, it seemed that it would take Herculean efforts to catch and pass some of the coaches ahead of him. He has done just that and keeps on rolling.

For those of you new to RBR Random Thoughts, we count all on-field wins achieved as a head coach of an FBS/Division I-A level team. In addition, we don’t recognize NCAA sanctioned forfeits. If you won on the field, it counts in our books.

This feature was inspired mainly due to repeated graphics on ESPN touting then-Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly as one of the winningest college football coaches of all time - and ahead of Saban. The problem was that Kelly won 118 games with something called Grand Valley State of the Division II over 13 seasons. You don’t count minor league stats in baseball when considering someone for the Baseball Hall of Fame. So, why are we counting D-II wins in FBS?

Among others who drop in our rankings are Frank Beamer - of whom 42 of his wins came at Murray State - and Mack Brown who had six victories in one season with Appalachian State when they were still in what was known at I-AA (FCS today).

Rank Name Years Wins Losses Ahead/Behind
1 Joe Paterno 46 409 136 124
2 Bobby Bowden 40 346 123 61
3 Bear Bryant 38 323 85 38
4 Pop Warner 44 319 106 34
5 Nick Saban 27 285 69 -
6 Mack Brown 33 268 139 -17
7 LaVell Edwards 29 257 101 -28
8 Tom Osborne 25 255 49 -30
9 Frank Beamer 33 238 121 -47
10 Lou Holtz 30 236 115 -49

Just a few seasons ago, Brown was a few games ahead of Saban. The next closest active coach is Iowa’s 68-year old Kirk Ferentz who might be on the hot seat this fall. He is at 186–115.


  • CB Kool-Aid McKinstry (first team), edge rusher Dallas Turner (second team) and offensive tackle JC Latham (second team) were all named to the AP Preseason All-American team. [NOTE: There is no third team.]
  • Alabama freshman running back Justice Haynes missed Saturday’s scrimmage with a quad contusion. Many onlookers expect the 5-star recruit to battle for playing time this fall.
  • The Crimson Tide has still not found a starting quarterback. The competition will continue into Game 1.

GAME 1: Saturday, September 2, 2023

Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (8-5 in 2022) at Alabama Crimson Tide (11-2)

Tuscaloosa, AL ~ 6:30/7:30 SECN

  • 65 year old Rick Stockstill has been head coach at Middle Tennessee since 2006. He is 109–103. The Blue Raiders are a member of Conference USA. They are riding a four-game winning streak including a Hawaii Bowl win over San Diego State.
  • Alabama is 3-0 all-time against MTSU with home wins in 2002, 2005, and 2015.
  • The T-town weather forecast calls for a high of 85° with a chance of morning showers. The temperature should drop to mid 70s by kickoff. Be sure to hydrate.
  • TV Announcers have not been announced but it appears they will get the No. 1 SECN crew of Tom Hart and Jordan Rodgers with Cole Cubelic on the sidelines.
  • Eli Gold is back with Alabama Radio this fall. He is 69 and a cancer survivor. God bless the man, his golden voice, and his love of everything crimson and white. But... he has been slipping the last few seasons. I’m almost afraid to listen. John Parker Wilson has been kicked to the curb as color man in favor of fellow former Tide QB Tyler Watts who frankly is meh. I miss Snake.
  • Darren Mustin and Eryk Anders will be honorary team captains.
  • The point spread according to DraftKings has Bama as a -39.5 favorite as of post. The Over/Under is around 54.5.

Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See for details.


Week 0 Football is ___

This poll is closed

  • 27%
    (96 votes)
  • 46%
    a nice warm-up.
    (165 votes)
  • 26%
    (94 votes)
355 votes total Vote Now