2023 Super 16 Preseason Poll: Defending Champ Georgia Starts 2023 at No. 1

August 15, 2023 by FWAA, NFF, CollegeFootballPoll.com

Defending national champion Georgia dominate the preseason poll with 51 first place votes from a panel of 59 member sportswriters of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), and college football hall-of-famers.

The panel includes CollegeFootballPoll.com's Dave Congrove whose ballot agreed with the consensus on the top two teams as he put Georgia in the top spot, followed by Michigan. He has the two combatants in the upcoming Labor Day weekend showdown - Florida State and LSU - ranked 3rd and 4th, respectively. The 'Noles and Bayou Bengals square off on Sunday, September 3 in Orlando. USC closes out his top 5, while the rest of his top 10 was Texas, Ohio State, Tennessee, Alabama and Washington. Those schools were followed by Clemson at No. 11 with Utah, Notre Dame, Texas, Penn State and Oregon completing the ballot.

The over-all vote marks the 42nd consecutive week an SEC team has held the No. 1 ranking. It is Georgia's 21st appearance as the No. 1 team in the poll and the first ever No. 1 preseason ranking for the Bulldogs. Georgia's 21 appearances in the top spot rank second most all-time, behind only Alabama's 61 appearances at No. 1.

Defending Big Ten Champion Michigan finished second in the poll voting with six first place votes and 72 points behind Georgia. Then, it's Ohio State at No. 3 with 2 first place votes.

No. 4 Alabama maintains its streak as the only team to appear in the poll each week dating back to 2014, a span of 120 weeks. LSU's No. 5 ranking is the highest for the Tigers since holding the No. 1 ranking on December 8, 2019.

Defending ACC Champion Clemson is No. 8. Florida State's No. 9 ranking marked the Seminoles' highest position in the poll since being ranked No. 8 on September 5, 2017.

Defending Pac-12 champion Utah is ranked No. 14 and national runner-up TCU is ranked No. 16. Seven of the top 10 teams appeared in New Year's Six bowl games last season.

The SEC and Pac-12 led all conferences with four teams each, followed by the Big Ten with three, the ACC and Big 12 with two each and FBS Independents with one.

The eventual national champion has been ranked in the top six of the preseason poll seven times since 2015. Alabama in 2017 is the only national champion to start the season ranked No. 1 in the preseason poll.

FWAA-NFF Super 16 Poll

The "LW" column in the ranking of each team for the previous poll published which, in this case, was the season-ending, pre-bowl poll in 2022.

  Team Points 1st LW
1. Georgia 927 51 1
2. Michigan 855 6 2
3. Ohio State 776 2 3
4. Alabama 748   5
5. LSU 673   15
6. USC 617   11
7. Penn State 540   8
8. Clemson 486   10
9. Florida State 478   13
10. Washington 338   12
11. Tennessee 316   6
12. Texas 291   --
13. Notre Dame 240   --
14. Utah 236   7
15. Oregon 207   16
16. TCU 58   4

Others receiving votes:

Kansas State (57), Texas A&M (29), Wisconsin (29), Ole Miss (27), North Carolina (18), Oklahoma (15), Oklahoma State (13), Iowa (9), Florida International (9), UCLA (8), Oregon State (7), Texas Tech (5), Illinois (5), Louisville (3), South Carolina (2), Miami-FL (1) and Tulane (1).

ABOUT THE FWAA-NFF SUPER 16 POLL: The poll was established at the conclusion of the 2013 season by two long-time partners, the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and the National Football Foundation (NFF). Voters rank the top 16 teams in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, and the results will be released every Sunday of the 2023 season. The individual votes of all members will also be made public. The first regular season poll will be released on Tuesday, September 5 to account for Labor Day weekend games which run through Monday, September 4. The final poll will be released on Sunday, December 3. The poll utilizes a computer program designed by Sports Systems to compile the rankings and the Cody Kellner Points Index to publish the individual votes.

ABOUT THE FWAA: Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America consists of journalists, broadcasters, publicists, photographers and key executives in all areas of college football. The FWAA works to govern media access and gameday operations while presenting awards and honors, including an annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA, visit www.footballwriters.com.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL FOUNDATION & COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME: Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl "Red" Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. Learn more at www.footballfoundation.org and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @NFFNetwork.