We can't help being a little sarcastic in the headline. After all, the 2023 preseason Coaches' Poll was released on Monday and offered almost nothing in terms of a surprise.
The usual suspects are at the top with Georgia taking 61 of the possible 66 first-place votes. The defending champions are coming off a 65-7 dismantling of TCU in the 2022 title match, after concluding the 2021 campaign with a 33-18 championship game victory over conference rival Alabama. It is not surprising that the Bulldogs are among the top college football picks of 2023.
The poll of American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) members is conducted by USA Today.
The AP (Sportswriters) Top 25 Poll, and the Football Writers Association of America's Super 16 Poll are expected to be released on August 14. CollegeFootballPoll.com's Dave Congrove is a voter of the FWAA Super 16 Poll which includes football writers and college football Hall of Fame members.
Alabama (4) and Ohio State (1) were the only other teams to be placed at the top of any voter's ballot. But the Tide and Buckeyes are ranked 3rd and 4th, behind Michigan which outpointed Alabama by 21 and Ohio State by 25.
Alabama missed the Final Four playoff last year for the first time since 2019 and just the second time since the format began in 2014.
Ohio State was the 4-seed last year and was ousted in the first round by top-seed Georgia, 42-41, after holding a 14-point lead to begin the final stanza in the Peach Bowl. Adonai Mitchell's 10-yard catch of a Stetson Bennett pass with 54 seconds remaining but Georgia ahead and, 46 seconds later, Ohio State badly hooked a 50-yard game-winning field goal attempt to seal the game for the 'Dawgs.
Michigan was the two-seed and lost to No. 3 TCU 51-45 in the Fiesta Bowl.
TCU begins the year at No. 16 which is four spots behind conference favorite Texas and three spots ahead of Oklahoma. The Longhorns and Sooners are in their final season in the Big 12 as both become official members of the SEC next summer.
Of all the teams leaving the PAC-12 next year, USC is ranked the highest at No. 6. The Trojans are consensus favorites to win the conference in Lincoln Riley's second season as head coach. Three other defectors are also ranked as Washington checks in at No. 11, followed by Utah (14), and Oregon (15). The Bruins are in the "Others Receiving Votes" (ORV) category, along with Arizona. Neither Arizona State or Colorado drew any mentions on a top 25 ballot.
Washington State, Oregon State, Cal and Stanford were all left out of the PAC-12 exodus. Of those four schools, the Beavers are ranked 18th while the Cougars are in the ORV category.
LSU garnered enough support from the Coaches to rank 5th while their Labor Day weekend (Sunday) opponent, Florida State, is 8th. Clemson is right behind the 'Noles while Tennessee rounds out the top 10.
The only ranked school from a "Group of Five" conference is Tulane at No. 23. The Green Wave were No. 9 in the final 2022 poll, climbing 8 spots after defeating USC in dramatic fashion, 46-45, in the Cotton Bowl.
Others receiving votes: Iowa 169; South Carolina 89; Florida 63; Texas-San Antonio 59; Pittsburgh 52; UCLA 42; Kentucky 34; Baylor 28; Troy 25; Arkansas 20; NC State 19; Fresno State 19; Boise State 18; Auburn 18; Minnesota 16; Miami 16; Mississippi State 13; Oklahoma State 12; Missouri 11; Maryland 10; Southern Methodist 8; South Alabama 8; Illinois 7; Wake Forest 6; Air Force 6; Toledo 5; Washington State 4; Houston 3; Duke 2; Brigham Young 2; Arizona 2; Memphis 1; Kansas 1; James Madison 1.