The 2023-2024 college football season is still over three months away, but it’s never too early to see who might be playing for a conference title in the upcoming season. As every college football fan knows, getting into that top four for the playoffs at the end of the year can be a very competitive and difficult thing to do. One of the biggest helps to getting in is winning your conference championship.
ACC: Florida State vs Clemson
These two teams used to be in the same division, but with the ACC abolishing divisions in their conference, they can now face off in the championship. The Florida State recruiting class this year is one to look at for sure. They will have a very talented roster going into this season, and they are returning some of the most important pieces of their team, like Jordan Travis and many others. Clemson is bringing back star quarterback Cade Klubnik, and they partnered him with the new offensive coordinator in Garrett Riley.
Big Ten: Ohio State vs Wisconsin
Unfortunately, the Big Ten still does divisions, but luckily 2023-24 will be the last year for that! The winner of the East could honestly be a three-way tie between Ohio State, Michigan, and Penn State next year. I could see them all beating each other once, which will propose a really confusing equation to find a Big Ten East champion. This one might raise some problems with people, but I could really see Ohio State being 12-0 with Penn State and Michigan being 11-1 each falling in second and third place. On the West side, there’s nowhere near the same level of competition as the East. Wisconsin will be coached by Luke Fickell for the first time, and he could have a chance to go up against his former team in the Buckeyes. Wisconsin has a lot of good recruits/transfers coming in, and the only team they really have to deal with will be the Iowa Hawkeyes.
Big12: Texas vs Kansas State
Texas seems to be the overall favorite to gain that one seed within the Big 12, but that second place spot seems to be up for grabs for a couple of teams. The main two of them being Kansas State and Oklahoma. This conference is adding four new teams this year, before getting rid of two of them in the year to follow, though. A full season with a healthy Quinn Ewers and Arch Manning will be huge for the Longhorns and could easily lead them to the Big 12 championship. Kansas State made it to the conference championship game last year and actually beat the three-seeded TCU Horned Frogs that ended up making it to the National Championship game but fell short to the Georgia Bulldogs. Kansas State will keep that momentum from last year and use it to make it to the championship for back-to-back years for the first time.
Pac-12: USC vs Washington
Like the ACC, the Pac-12 is getting rid of divisions, which means we could see a USC vs Washington championship game in the 2023-24 college football season. USC will be returning the Heisman winner in Caleb Williams, with weapons all around him. The Trojans were a win over the Utah Utes away from going to the College Football Playoff last year and will be looking to get revenge this year and finally make it to the playoffs. The Huskies looked great last year in coach Kalen DeBoer’s first year in Washington as they improved from a 4-8 team to an 11-2 team in just one year. Washington’s offense was averaging almost 40 points per game last year, and they return their starting quarterback and two big receivers for the 2023 season.
SEC: Georgia vs Alabama
Shocker right? There is not much of a challenge in the SEC West for Alabama other than LSU, maybe. LSU and Tennessee did get the best of the Crimson Tide last year, but this year the Tigers and the Volunteers have to travel to Tuscaloosa to face Alabama and that will have a big effect on this year’s game. Alabama had a scare against Texas last year, and Quinn Ewers didn’t even play the full game. A fully healthy Ewers could be trouble for the Crimson Tide. Not a lot of people are predicting anyone besides Georgia to win the East, and there’s nothing different here. Both teams will be throwing a new quarterback in the mix this season, so this game could be a very interesting one.
For more College Football content, check out the links below!
–All-Star College Football Coaching Staff Part 1
–Ohio State Football 2023 Spring Game Standouts