Clemson Football is one of the favorites to win their conference in 2023 and a contender for the College Football Playoff, but there are plenty of others who aren’t getting as much love from prognosticators right now. Every preseason, one team or another slip through the cracks, and we don’t realize it until everything plays out.
Here are a few teams that are being slept on that might surprise this season.
Sleeper for the College Football Playoff: Washington
It isn’t crazy that most people favor the USC Trojans in the PAC-12. They have Lincoln Riley. He has coached three different quarterbacks to Heisman Trophies. That includes their current quarterback Caleb Williams.
Then again, USC was the favorite to win the PAC-12 last year too before they slipped up in the PAC-12 championship game to Utah.
Washington, meanwhile, does have a wart or two. They have a fair amount of turnover on the interior of their offensive line. Their schedule isn’t particularly favorable.
They do have one of the more experienced and versatile quarterbacks in the country in Michael Penix, Jr. They return all three starting wide receivers. They brought in Dillon Johnson, who wasn’t spectacular at Mississippi State but was capable, consistent, and a threat to catch the ball out of the backfield.
The Huskies return much of their defensive line and their safeties. They used the transfer portal to bring in players to help fill the gaps at linebacker and cornerback. There is optimism that the pass defense will be improved.
Washington is respected nationally, but they aren’t getting a lot of mentions for the playoffs. They are in a good position to take advantage if USC slips up.