In all, there were 30 head coaching changes this offseason. From Nick Saban at Alabama to Chip Kelly at UCLA, the sport saw turnover from coast to coast and conference to conference.

Factor in all the player movement via the transfer portal, and you have a sport that already looks very different from where it was when Michigan won the national championship just over a month ago.

With all the big changes, ESPN updated its ‘Way-Too-Early’ Top 25 rankings for the 2024 season. Plenty of teams rose and fell in Mark Schlabach’s rankings but Georgia still kept its spot atop the rankings.

“The Bulldogs came within one victory over Alabama of reaching the playoffs and having a chance to win a third straight national championship,” Schlabach wrote. “They’ll be right back in the mix this season after coach Kirby Smart reloaded with another No. 1-ranked recruiting class and a few key additions from the transfer portal. Running back Trevor Etienne (Florida), receivers London Humphreys (Vanderbilt), Colbie Young (Miami) and Michael Jackson III (USC) and tight end Benjamin Yurosek (Stanford) could help fill holes on offense.”

Georgia had two coaching changes this offseason, as the Bulldogs replaced Fran Brown and Will Muschamp with Donte Williams and Travaris Robinson. The entire offensive staff will remain intact from a season ago.

Georgia made it a point to beef up on the offensive side of the ball, in large part because the Bulldogs brought back quarterback Carson Beck. The Bulldogs lose several key pieces around Beck, meaning the quarterback will have to do even more for Georgia in 2024.

“He’s a kid that wins with his mind, protections, throws at an elite level,” Smart said. “Then, when you have all that figured out and you beat an offensive lineman and you’ve got one on one chance to tackle him and he takes off, it just demoralizes a defense. I thought his growth within terms of making those decisions - if you’re No. 1 in the country on third down, you’ve got somebody that knows what he’s doing at quarterback. It doesn’t just happen.

“If you look across the nation and across the history of guys that have been good on third downs, they usually are high quarterback functioning people. That’s what he is.”

Behind Georgia there was plenty of movement. Ohio State jumped from No. 5 to No. 2, with the addition of Alabama safety Caleb Downs providing a significant boost. Texas fell from No. 2 to No. 4, while Alabama plummeted from No. 4 to No. 9. Alabama had to replace Saban, following his retirement.

Georgia will have to work hard during the upcoming season if it is to retain its No. 1 ranking at the end of the season, with the Bulldogs facing a difficult schedule that sees the Bulldogs take on the No. 4 (Texas), No. 6 (Ole Miss), No. 9 (Alabama), No. 16 (Tennessee), No. 19 (Clemson) and No. 23 (Kentucky) ranked teams. Of those six contests, only the Tennessee game is at home.

The Bulldogs are expected to hit the practice field in March for spring practice, with the G-Day game likely to take place on the second Saturday in April. Official dates have not yet been announced.

Georgia opens the 2024 season against Clemson on Aug. 31.

Below you can see ESPN’s full ‘Way-Too-Early’ Top 25 rankings for the 2024 season.

ESPN Top 25 rankings for 2024 season

  1. Georgia
  2. Ohio State
  3. Oregon
  4. Texas
  5. Notre Dame
  6. Ole Miss
  7. Missouri
  8. Penn State
  9. Alabama
  10. Utah
  11. Arizona
  12. LSU
  13. Michigan
  14. Oklahoma
  15. Florida State
  16. Tennessee
  17. Oklahoma State
  18. NC State
  19. Clemson
  20. Kansas State
  21. Louisville
  22. Kansas
  23. Kentucky
  24. Miami
  25. Texas A&M