2. Ohio State (11-2)
Before all of the roster changes and the coaching carousel really revved up, I actually had Alabama in this spot. But, you know, when you lose the greatest head coach of all time, you have to lower your expectations ever-so-slightly for the following season. Alabama will still be very good under Kalen DeBoer in 2024, but I don't believe the Tide will be ranked No. 2.
All of that means that I'm moving Ohio State up to this spot becuase, well, the Buckeyes actually benefitted from Saban retiring in a big way. The Buckeyes landed the top safety in the transfer portal who was just a freshman in 2023, Caleb Downs.
Not only did Ohio State land Downs, but it returns plenty from the 2023 team that went 11-2 and it brings in Will Howard at quarterback to compete with five-star quarterback Julian Sayin and four-star Air Noland. This quarterback room just got way better.
Ohio State also had the No. 2 recruiting class in the country and landed Quinshon Judkins and Seth McLauglin in the transfer portal. I'm not sure any top-10 team in the country got better as much as Ohio State did in the first month of the offseason.