2023 College Football Season Conference Preview, Predictions & Picks
In each of the last two college football seasons, the Georgia Bulldogs have been the team to get the confetti, the trophy, and all of the attention and accolades that come with being a national champion.
Will we see the Dawgs on top for a third straight year, or will a new team reign supreme in college football before it undergoes major changes in 2024?
Next season, Texas and Oklahoma will be in the SEC, USC will be in the Big Ten, the Pac-whatever may well not exist as a conference, and the College Football Playoff will expand from four to 12 teams.
Before then, we have one more season with an intact Pac-12, a four-team playoff, and Caleb Williams, who will look to become the second two-time winner in Heisman Trophy history.
How will things pan out in the Pac-12 and the other nine FBS conferences this season?
College Football Conference Predictions
All odds listed are via BetUS.
ACC Title Prediction: Clemson (+140)
Drake Maye and North Carolina (+1000 to win the ACC) are ranked 21st in the AP preseason poll, but the winner of the ACC title will most likely come from the Atlantic Division.
That will be either Florida State (+160) or Clemson, both of whom have College Football Playoff aspirations.
The Seminoles will visit the Tigers on September 23 in one of the most important games of the season. For now, the home team in that matchup gets the edge.
Big 12 Title Prediction: Oklahoma (+350)
Texas has the talent, but once again, the hype surrounding them will likely prove to be unfulfilled.
The Sooners had a forgettable first year under Brent Venables, but QB Dillon Gabriel is back and should have a huge season. OU also has a very favorable schedule–they avoid Kansas State and get to host TCU–that should help them land in the Big 12 title game even if they lose to Texas.
Big Ten Title Prediction: Michigan (+180)
The Big Ten’s East Division features three College Football Playoff hopefuls in Ohio State (+160 to win the Big Ten), Michigan, and Penn State (+550). Will we see two make the CFP like the Buckeyes and Wolverines did last season?
OSU is favored even with having to break in a new starting QB, but Michigan has won their rivalry matchup each of the last two years and hosts it this year.
With an experienced QB and perhaps the best running back in the country, the Wolverines will be the class of the Big Ten yet again.
Pac-12 Title Prediction: USC (+200)
USC is the favorite, but with Oregon (+300), Washington (+320), and Utah (+600) also all returning elite quarterbacks and high hopes for Oregon State (+1000) after a surprising 10-3 season last year, the final college football season of the Pac-12 as we know it is poised to be a classic.
The Trojans haven’t won the Pac-12 title since 2017, but led by the best player in college football, they should depart for the Big Ten with one final Pac-12 title.
SEC Title Prediction: Georgia (-110)
Georgia has joined the small group of college football programs that is expected to win and win big no matter who is starting at quarterback, along with Alabama (+300) and Ohio State.
Will new starter Carson Beck and the Bulldogs back up those expectations? A visit to Tennessee (+1400) to close out SEC play could decide the division title and whether or not they lock up a College Football Playoff spot regardless of what happens in the SEC title game.
How will the West shake out?
The Tide have to replace Bryce Young, who will be trying to lead the Carolina Panthers to an NFC South title in his rookie season. Alabama has a very tough schedule, but they host both Tennessee and LSU (+450).
The Tigers get Texas A&M (+1200) at home, but they have to visit Ole Miss and Mississippi State in addition to their trip to Tuscaloosa.
Group of Five
American Athletic Conference Title Prediction: Tulane (+200)
What will Tulane do after being one of the biggest surrprises in college football last season?
After stunning USC in the Cotton Bowl and going 12-2 in 2022, Tulane returns QB Michael Pratt but has to replace RB Tyjae Spears.
The Green Wave should still be the best team in the new-look American. But watch out for UTSA (+450).
After winning back-to-back Conference USA titles and winning 23 games in two seasons, the Roadrunners should immediately contend in their new conference with seventh-year QB Frank Harris. Harris threw for over 4,000 yards and 32 touchdowns and ran for over 600 yards and nine touchdowns last season.
Conference USA: Western Kentucky (+130)
While the Pac-12 has been decimated, Conference USA has also been hit hard by the college football-centered realignment chaos.
This season, the conference will have only seven championship-eligible members this season after being decimated by departures. Charlotte, FAU, North Texas, Rice, UAB, and UTSA joining a host of other former C-USA members in the American.
But there should still be an entertaining title race between Western Kentucky and new member Liberty (+250), who hired Jamey Chadwell away from Coastal Carolina after Hugh Freeze left for a return to the SEC with Auburn.
For the Hilltoppers, QB Austin Reed, who threw for 4,744 yards and 40 touchdowns last season, is back after flirting with leaving.
Liberty will be tough in their first year in the conference, but with no UTSA around to trip them up, Tyson Helton and WKU–who hosts Liberty on October 24 in a matchup that may determine who hosts the C-USA title game–will take the title this year.
Mountain West: Boise State (+180)
The Broncos haven’t won the Mountain West since 2019, but will they be back on top this season? Boise State will be outstanding defensively, but don’t sleep on their offense.
They will chew up a lot of yards on the ground with RBs George Holani and Ashton Jeanty and QB Taylen Green, who combined for 2,564 yards and 27 touchdowns on the ground last season.
Mid-American Conference: Toledo (+170)
Toledo won the MAC title last season, and with QB Dequan Finn back after accounting for almost 2,900 total yards and 32 touchdowns last season, won’t be going anywhere.
Expect a MAC championship rematch with Ohio and QB Kurtis Rourke. Rourke (3,256 yards, 25 TD, 4 INT in 2022) didn’t play in last year’s 17-7 loss after suffering a season-ending knee injury in the next-to-last game of the regular season.
Sun Belt: Troy (+310)
South Alabama (+290), who went 10-3, 7-1 last season, is the favorite, and Coastal Carolina (+500) might remain in the mix with QB Grayson McCall choosing not to join Chadwell in finding a new home.
But Troy (+310) won the conference last season, returns QB Gunnar Watson and 1,000-yard rusher Kimani Vidal, and could have the best defense in the Group of Five and one of the best in all of college football.
Where to Bet on College Football
Most top online sportsbooks offer a wide variety of college football odds throughout the season. In addition to being able to make weekly college football picks all the way from Week Zero to the College Football Playoff National Championship, you can also bet on Heisman Trophy odds, conference championship odds, win totals, and much more.
Along with BetUS, where the odds in this article are from, there are plenty of sports betting sites you can choose from that are good for college football betting. The above books are some of the others that we highly recommend.
If you don’t have an account at a book on this list, check out our reviews to help you determine if it is worth your interest and your betting funds.
Eddie Griffin has been writing about and betting on sports for over a decade and has been with Betting News since 2021. For more of his thoughts on sports and sports betting, you can follow him on X, formerly known as Twitter.
This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Betting News makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.
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