What better time to try and predict the final College Football Playoff bracket than ahead of Week 5? Very few conference games have been played, and surely everything we know about every team across the country through four weeks (or five for your Week 0 teams) is definitive, and nothing can possibly happen moving forward in terms of adjustments or improvements to alter future outcomes.
Without further ado, here are your College Football Playoff teams for the 2023 season. Write it in pen, because this is without a doubt correct and indisputable...
No. 1: Georgia
Of all the CFP contenders this season, Georgia has maybe looked the least impressive. That’s not to say the Bulldogs have been bad by any means, but they did struggle in their lone conference game to this point against South Carolina, and a sleepy performance against UAB last time out featured some less than stellar play before UGA eventually pulled away. They’re still loaded with talent, headed by tight end Brock Bowers and another stacked defense, but the main reason the two-time defending champs remain at No. 1 is because there is nobody on their schedule that provides any real threat, even if this Georgia team isn’t as dominant top to bottom as the past two seasons.
No. 2: Washington
If I had to pick a national title favorite based on how teams have looked thus far, Washington would be my choice. Quarterback Michael Penix Jr. has been sensational, throwing for over 1,600 yards and 16 touchdowns to only two picks. Rome Odunze leads a stellar receiver core perhaps only second in the nation to Ohio State’s, and at 49.8 points per game the Huskies’ offense is statistically off to a start that rivals the 2019 LSU team. Washington will have one of college football’s best resume’s if they win the Pac-12 — which I think they will — with games to come against Oregon, USC, Utah, Oregon State and Washington State. I think the Huskies could lose a game and still make the CFP.
No. 3: Ohio State
At this point it seems impossible that at least one of Ohio State or Michigan will make the CFP, if not both. I’m going to ride with the Buckeyes here, unsurprisingly, after passing their first big test of the season on the road against Notre Dame. Going up to Ann Arbor and getting a win will be no easy feat, but I have confidence in Kyle McCord continuing to get better as the year goes on. We know these receivers and the running back room are filled to the brim with talent, and the defense in year two under Jim Knowles looks legit. Full disclosure: I would have Ohio State at No. 4 here, but I think the committee would look to avoid a first-round rematch between OSU and Georgia.
No. 4: Florida State
Maybe this is too trendy a pick right now, but I absolutely love what I’ve seen from the ‘Noles to start the season. They’ve put together one of the most impressive resumes early on, dominating LSU in a 45-24 win and beating Clemson on the road in overtime. There isn’t much on the schedule the rest of the way to test them, as Duke and Miami are probably the toughest two opponents left — both at home. Travis Hunter has been great, Keon Coleman, Jaheim Bell and Johnny Wilson have been an excellent receiving trio, and outside of a lackluster performance against Boston College the defense has been solid.
If they do somehow slip up, it would open the door for a second Big Ten team — likely the loser of the Ohio State-Michigan game — or a second Pac-12 team, be it USC (whose defense I don’t believe in) or Oregon. Call me crazy, but I don’t think Texas will be able to parlay its hot start into a CFP berth, with losable games ahead against Kansas, Oklahoma and Kansas State.
Do you have a hunch at which teams will make the College Football Playoff? Let us know in the comments!