With the college football season complete, we take a look back at how our preseason predictions fared for the 2023 season. We made 15 16 predictions across all conferences and there was a mix of a few excellent predictions, a lot of incorrect predictions, and some really terrible ones. We’ve made predictions in previous seasons and we’ll provide a comparison of 2023 versus those seasons in the final portion of the article.

Predictions 15 Through 11

15. (C-USA) Jacksonville State Will Have a Winning Record – JSU didn’t just have a winning season, they went 9-4 and won a thrilling bowl game against Louisiana (34-31). It was an excellent start for the Gamecocks in year one at the FBS level.

14. (MAC) Toledo Will Win the MAC and Have 11+ Wins – This was half-correct. Toledo reached 11 wins including a 2-point loss in the season opener against Illinois (30-28). Unfortunately, the Rockets lost the final two games which were the MAC Championships and Arizona Bowl to finish 11-3.

13. (Sun Belt) Southern Miss Will Win the Sun Belt – This turned out to be an awful prediction. Southern Miss started 1-7 and finished 3-9 overall. The Golden Eagles finished 6th in the Sun Belt West.

12. (Mountain West) New Mexico Will Score at Least 25 Points Per Game and Make a Bowl Game – The Lobos weren’t terrible in 2023 despite the 4-8 overall record and the offense was much improved although the defense wasn’t great. New Mexico finished with an average of 27.25 points per game but missed out on a bowl (obviously). We’ll award half credit for this prediction.

11. (AAC) SMU Will Reach the AAC Championship Game – SMU had an excellent season going 10-2 in the regular season. The Mustangs defeated Tulane in the AAC Championship game to win their first conference title since 1984.

Result: 3 out of 5 predictions were correct.

Predictions 10 Through 6

10. (Pac-12) The Pac-12 Will Not Make the College Football Playoff… Again – If there was ever a season in which the Pac-12 would make the College Football Playoff, it was this one. The current iteration of the Pac-12 had its swan song with Washington selected as the second seed in the CFP.

9. (Pac-12) At Least 4 Teams Will Average 40 Points Per Game – Only two teams were able to reach the 40 points per game average. Oregon averaged 44.2 points while USC had 41.8 points. Washington was next at 36 points per game and Arizona had 34.6 points. Overall, the Pac-12 was very entertaining in its final season for the time being. We’ll award half credit for this one.

8. (Big 12) Any 2 of BYU, Central Florida, Cincinnati, or Houston Will Finish in the Bottom 2 – Cincinnati finished last in the Big 12 but there was a three-way tie right above them at 2-7 between Houston, BYU, and Baylor. Houston defeated Baylor head-to-head while BYU and Baylor didn’t play. This prediction was technically correct based on the three-way tie (and we need the help based on the other predictions).

7. (Big 12) Texas Tech Will Reach 8 Wins – This one was frustratingly close but TTU only won 7 games. They had a double-overtime loss against Wyoming in the season opener and then played a close game against Oregon the following week. They started 1-3 following a 20-13 loss to West Virginia on the road. The Red Raiders went 6-3 the rest of the way but the three losses weren’t close in the end.

6. (ACC) Virginia’s Defense Will Hold Opponents to 20 Points Per Game or Fewer – Yet another one that wasn’t even close. Virginia only held one team below 20 points all season and that was William & Mary from the FCS when the Cavaliers won 27-13.

Result: 1.5 out of 5 predictions were correct.

Predictions 5 Through 1 (Plus a Bonus Prediction)

5. (ACC) Syracuse Will Reach a Bowl Game – Syracuse did everything they could to miss a bowl game including firing their head coach before the end of the season but they managed to reach 6 wins and a bowl game. They started 4-0, then reeled off five straight losses and finished 2-3 to end the regular season. Then came the bowl game where they were blown out 45-0 against South Florida.

4. (Big Ten) Iowa Will Average at Least 25 Points per Game – Yikes. No need for further details on this prediction.

3. (Big Ten) Wisconsin Will Win the Big Ten – The Badgers never looked great in 2023 but losing Tanner Mordecai didn’t help (went 1-3 without him as the starter). Despite the issues, Wisconsin could have made the Big Ten title game had they defeated Iowa… but they didn’t and they would have been crushed by Michigan. Maybe next year?

2. (SEC) Missouri Will Finish With a Winning Record – Missouri had a fantastic year going 11-2, finishing 2nd in the SEC East, and winning the Cotton Bowl against Ohio State.

1. (SEC) Two SEC Teams Will Make the CFB Playoff – This one was way off and the SEC almost didn’t even get a single team as Alabama defeated Georgia in the SEC Championship.

Bonus (FCS): At Least 4 FCS Teams Will Defeat an FBS Opponent by 10 or More Points – It’s only fitting that the bonus prediction was also way off. The FCS only won 4 games against FBS opponents. Idaho was the lone FCS team that won by double digits when they crushed Nevada 33-6.

Result: 2 out of 6 predictions were correct.


Of the 16 predictions made, an incredible 6.5 were correct out of 16. That gives a new record low of 40.6%, which is still somehow better than our realignment predictions. We hope everyone enjoyed the 2023 college football season whether you liked or disliked our predictions and we’ll see ya for the 2024 season!

2023: 6.5 correct out of 16 predictions (40.6%)

2021: 14 correct out of 26 predictions (53.8%)

2017: 11.5 correct out of 26 predictions (44.3%)

2016: 30.5 correct out of 55 predictions (55.5%)

Photo courtesy of Missouri Athletics