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2023 Blog Poll Finale: Looking back, looking forward

So, Michigan was pretty good, huh?

NCAA Football: Rose Bowl-Alabama at Michigan Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Time to put a bow on the 2023 football season. We intended to have this for you earlier this week, but then something came up. I can’t recall what it was right now.

A few notes follow the final rankings.

  • It was a very down year for the usually-stout ACC. By season’s end, only Memphis and SMU really looked decent.
  • The SBC also took it on the chin, as teams like Coastal slid back, UTSA struggled with turnovers, App State was not its dominant self, and James Madison lost its two biggest games. Troy ended up being very good, but just didn’t have enough in the tank to take down a defensively-led Duke team.
  • Alabama and Georgia are tied for second. If that game is played ten times, I don’t know that Alabama wins five of them. They won the one that counted though, and played Michigan better than literally anyone else in the season did. But that’s little consolation when you let a title slip through your fingers then lose the GOAT. Georgia, when motivated, is absolutely terrifying.
  • I did not rank FSU for reasons of principle: when you decide to piss and moan and then quit on the entire sport en masse, don’t expect me to give you the courtesy of a ranking. Let’s not kid ourselves either: that’s a 4-loss team in the Big 10 or SEC. They had a chance to prove otherwise, and then pouted their way out of the Orange Bowl, even as their conference drew a massive payday. That’s going to have to be corrected in future contract negotiations. Capital One and Pizza Hut weren’t paying a premium to watch some 3-star walk-ons from Pahokee lose by 60 points.
  • It’s a testament to the weakness of the ACC that Louisville and Clemson were 10-win teams, and the one that was playing the best, NC State, got left at home because they had the Alabama issue: took a long time to gel with a lot of new starters back.
  • I’m not even sure that Penn State is a Top 25 team. Top 10 talent for sure; bottom 10 coaching wasting more resources than anyone in the country.
  • The very tippy-top of the P12 proved pretty decent: Oregon and Washington. Lanning now has gone 0-3 against Washington, and held a lead in every game. I suspect Alabama got the better gameday coach here.
  • Mizzou and Ole Miss. They don’t have the firepower to compete against with the best of the SEC, but they’re not very far behind either. Both of these teams are set up for future success too.
  • Speaking of set up well, Oklahoma is at an inflection point. They could spin off into a dangerous yearly opponent...or be the sort of clownshow that gets smoked by a team that lost to Mississippi State.
  • LSU wasted a Heisman trophy and the nation’s most dangerous offense with the country’s most laughable defensive disparity. At least the recruiting class sucked too! But they hired a man with blood on his hands, so they deserve this misery.
  • Notre Dame came up short in as many big games as they did win them. I’m still not sure that Marcus Freeman is the dude, but he’s continuing that Kelly Tradition of not getting over the hump.
  • Take Oklahoma State and Kansas State at their best, and watch them work wonders. Take them at their worst, and watch them lose to Iowa State and South Alabama. Just baffling.
  • Liberty drew perhaps the worst possible matchup in their introduction to the big stage, and were duly thumped. They’re still a great CUSA team though, even if a remarkably unsympathetic-to-unlikable one.
  • Steve Sarkisian, you choking MFer. You got flat outcoached and outplayed by a team where barely half a dozen guys could crack the Longhorns two-deep. I look forward to beating down this most insufferable of programs on a yearly basis.

That’s it for this year. We’ll be back in a few months with the preseason poll. Feel free to hate on me below. I don’t read your comments anyway.

Poll

Who should be No. 2?

This poll is closed

  • 16%
    Washington
    (122 votes)
  • 40%
    Alabama
    (289 votes)
  • 14%
    Georgia
    (108 votes)
  • 0%
    Ohio State
    (2 votes)
  • 19%
    Trick question: It’s Michigan. The better team didn’t win the Rose Bowl
    (137 votes)
  • 8%
    If you ain’t first, yer last!
    (59 votes)
  • 0%
    Other, below
    (4 votes)
721 votes total Vote Now