ESPN Analyst Ranks Georgia vs Clemson the top Non-Conference Game of 2024

Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley (3), left, and defensive tackle Grady Jarrett (50) stop Georgia tailback Todd Gurley (3) during the 1st quarter at Georgia's Sanford Stadium Saturday, August 30, 2014.Clemson Georgia Football
Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley (3), left, and defensive tackle Grady Jarrett (50) stop Georgia tailback Todd Gurley (3) during the 1st quarter at Georgia's Sanford Stadium Saturday, August 30, 2014.Clemson Georgia Football / Bart Boatwright / Staff
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Georgia's 2024 schedule features a number of marquee games, including, according to one ESPN analyst, the top non-conference game of the year.

College football is known for its traditional matchups. Conference foes, rivals that meet every year. Games that have been played every year without missing a beat. But non-conference games carry a lot of excitement as well. Big time games between teams that have never met, schools heading to stadiums they've never entered, and home fans getting to see teams from thousands of miles away.

2024, like every year, has a number of big non-conference games. Alabama (at Wisconsin) and Texas (at Michigan) will head up north to take on some Big Ten foes. LSU has a huge game at USC. Heck, watch out for North Dakota State at Colorado in week one. But it's a matchup of former champions that ESPN college football expert Greg McElroy has circled as his top non-conference game of the season.

"I think Georgia-Clemson is a battle between two teams that will find themselves very much in the [College Football Playoff] conversation at the end of the season," said McElroy in a recent episode of Always College Football. "Georgia because they're, I think, a shoo-in, and Clemson because even if they don't win the ACC - which I think they have a real chance of being able to do - even if they don't win the ACC, as far as an at-large [bid] is concerned, because of this game against Georgia, I think they're gonna have a really good argument that can be made on their behalf."

As McElroy mentioned, it's hard to find another non-conference game outside of Texas at Michigan that features two teams with such solid odds of making the inaugural 12-team College Football Playoff. Georgia will likely be preseason No. 1 and hasn't lost a regular season game since 2020 and Clemson, after a rocky start to 2023, won its final five games including a bowl win over Kentucky. The August 31st matchup between the two schools in the Chic-Fil-A Kickoff Game will be must-see tv.

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Christian Goeckel

CHRISTIAN GOECKEL

Christian Goeckel is a Staff Writer for Dawgs Daily on SI.com. Christian has covered College Football for nearly a decade, writing for multiple sites and hosting radio shows across Southern Georgia and South Carolina.