Projecting the biggest CFB games of 2023: Week 1

Which games will be the best each week in College Football this year?

For the first few weeks of the season, this is a fairly easy question to answer. For example:

Colorado at TCU: How will Deion’s Colorado look? Will TCU continue to outperform expectations after being CFP runner-up?

Texas at Alabama: 2 playoff hopeful teams squaring off in week 2.

FSU vs LSU: A top 10 showdown in week 1. The loser starts the season in survival mode (no 2-loss team has made the playoff… yet).

But the deeper one looks into the season, the harder it becomes to predict. Will Notre Dame be undefeated when they play Clemson, or will they have 2+ losses at that point? Will Clemson have any blemishes on their record by then? Louisville isn’t on anyone’s marquee radar right now, but their schedule is so marshmallow soft that they could easily be 9-1 and must-see TV by week 12. Is the B1G West pure chaos like last year? Would that make it more or less watchable?

Week by week, I will give my predictions for what the 3 must-watch games of that week will be. For games deeper into the season there will be a degree of predicting who will be having a better season, and who I think may have crashed and burned (late-season Colorado will not be featured). There is obviously a lot of bias going into this list, but it’s my list. I will explain my choices despite some being fairly obvious. Let’s get started!

3rd – Florida at Utah

Florida finally plays a Power 5 opponent on the road outside of the state of Florida. It’s the first time since 1991, when they lost at Syracuse. Some fans would like to believe Florida can’t be any worse than last year. But on the flip side, Florida was 5-7 with Anthony Richardson, and now they have Graham Mertz. This is clearly a downgrade at QB. It’s always flashy to pick USC or Oregon to win the Pac-12. Or maybe even Washington this year with Heisman hopeful Penix Jr. But Utah just does their own thing and won the conference the last 2 years.

2nd – Colorado at TCU

The excitement surrounding Colorado is palpable. Any and every article that mentions Deion gets clicks (You did click on this article; so it works right?). An unreasonable number of non-CFB fans are betting on Colorado to win the Pac-12, make the playoff, and even win the Natty. The Deion effect is in full force.

Colorado is a must-see game for as long as Deion can hold a pile of transfers together as a team. If he crashes and burns, it will still be must-see TV. Colorado is sucking all of the air out of the room to the point where you may have forgotten that TCU was the runner-up last year. 71% returning production on Defense is solid. 33% on offense is worrisome. But Max Duggan, who is off to the NFL, wasn’t even the week 1 starter last year. Chandler Morris earned the job and was injured in week 1… against Colorado. Morris is back this season and will be facing a very different Colorado team.

1st – LSU vs Florida State in Orlando

Top 10 matchup – ✅

2 Blue Blood programs with huge fan bases – ✅

Playoff implications in week 1 – ✅

Heisman candidates on each team – ✅

Night game under the lights – ✅

Classic college home game atmosphere – 🚫

Almost a perfect score for the best game of week 1. If only we got this as an FSU home game. 

Honorable Mention – North Carolina vs South Carolina in Charlotte

Good rivalry. Competitive matchup. Interesting non-con game. Too bad it’s another neutral site game.

This article was written by Cole Tollison and edited by Hayden Breene

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