The majority of college football spring games will take place over the next three weekends, and multiple storylines from those games could resonate throughout the entire 2023 season. You don't have to look far, either. Back-to-back national champion Georgia replaces quarterback Stetson Bennett IV with a new (old) offensive coordinator, Mike Bobo. Ohio State, seeking another shot at the national title after coming up just short against the Bulldogs in the College Football Playoff semifinals, has yet another bounty of talented players dotting its roster capable of making that kind of run.
Spring games are also a chance to fine-tune major coaching adjustments. Clemson enters its first spring with starting quarterback Cade Klubnik attempting to master the offense of new play-caller Garrett Riley. The Tigers, once annual CFP participants, are moving forward with a different offensive philosophy they hope can place them back among the true title contenders.
Many of the signature moments we will be enjoying in November and December are the destinations of journeys born in the offseason. What should you pay attention to between now and the rest of spring? Let's break down the can't-miss spring games to watch. All times Eastern.
Saturday, April 22 | 2 p.m. on Big Ten Network
Matt Rhule was hired to replace Scott Frost during the offseason, and history suggests he can orchestrate a turnaround in Lincoln just like he did at Baylor. Dual-threat weapon and former Georgia Tech starter Jeff Sims transferred to Nebraska in the first portal window, which shed some light on what kind of offense Rhule will be looking to run. The Huskers offense was mediocre at best during the final games of the Frost era, so it'll be great to get a glimpse of what the future looks like under Rhule. Nebraska is a tradition-rich program that feels like it should be in the Big Ten title race, and that quest will start on April 22.
Saturday, April 22 | 3 p.m. on SEC Network+
The race to replace Bryce Young is already fierce between Jalen Milroe and Ty Simpson, and we'll see how both fit into new offense coordinator Tommy Rees' system on April 22. More importantly, though, will be the system itself. Bill O'Brien seemed to focus on hitting chunk plays on the ground, but Rees' career has been to focus on the run and then take the top off the defense when they stack the box. We'll also get a chance to see what the new defense looks like after Pete Golding left for Ole Miss. New DC Kevin Steele takes over a group that hasn't lived up to the high expectations that exist in Tuscaloosa.
Saturday, April 22 | 3 p.m. ET on ESPN
The biggest story of the offseason has been the arrival of Deion Sanders to Boulder for a fledgeling Colorado program that was once a college football power. "Coach Prime" has hit the transfer portal hard to get several superstars, including former No. 1 overall prospect Travis Hunter, who signed with Sanders at Jackson State and played cornerback and wide receiver. Hiring Sanders was an indication of a significant overhaul by Colorado. The chance to see what Sanders has done in just a few short months will be fascinating.
Saturday, April 22 | 4 p.m. on Pac-12 Networks
Washington is another trendy pick to make the CFP after quarterback Michael Penix Jr. finished the 2022 season as college football's leader in yards passing per game.. He'll need just a little help from his defense if the Huskies are going to follow through with that hype, and coach Kalen DeBoer hit the portal hard to add depth to what was already a talented room. If the Huskies can get the running game figured out and just play adequate defense, this could be the team to beat out west.