College football early 2024 predictions for newly scheduled games

Locking in our early predictions for those 2024 college football games that have been officially scheduled.
Clemson Tigers quarterback Cade Klubnik (2) looks to pass during a college football game.
Clemson Tigers quarterback Cade Klubnik (2) looks to pass during a college football game. / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Several of the most interesting games on the 2024 college football schedule will take place early in the season, including notable non-conference matchups that could have an impact on the playoff race. Now, as we learn the official kickoff times and TV channels for some of the games, the 2024 season is coming into sharper focus. A perfect time for some early predictions.

Week 1 promises to give us some important matchups that will cause some havoc the top 25 rankings right out of the gate to set the mood for an already-historic season that includes radical conference realignment and an expanded playoff to look forward to.

College Football HQ makes some early predictions on how the newly-scheduled games could play out on the field early this season. All times Eastern

Predicting College Football's Early 2024 Games

1. ND State at Colorado

Aug. 29, 8 p.m., ESPN. All eyes are on Deion Sanders in his second season with the Buffaloes in a home tilt against the team that has been stacking FCS national title trophies in the last decade. Colorado's offense should be in order with Shedeur Sanders under center, accompanied by some quality transfer portal acquisitions. Pick: Colorado 34-23

2. Georgia vs. Clemson

Aug. 31, 12 p.m., ABC. Cade Klubnik could be Clemson's next star quarterback if Garrett Riley's offense can find that go-to receiver. Incoming freshman Bryant Wesco might fit the bill, but he'll be tested by another stout Georgia defense playing with virtual home-field advantage in Atlanta. Clemson's front seven has the pieces to contest a Georgia offense that returns quarterback Carson Beck, but lacks his Bowers/McConkey connections. Pick: Georgia 34-24

3. Miami at Florida

Aug. 31, 3:30 p.m., ABC. Florida might play college football's hardest schedule this season and needs every non-conference win it can get. Already under pressure, Billy Napier can ill-afford a loss in a rivalry game of this stature at home. Miami brings in key transfers like quarterback Cam Ward, wideout Sam Brown, and tailback Damien Martinez in what looks like an improved offense. Pick: Florida 31-27

4. Notre Dame at Texas A&M

Aug. 31, 7:30 p.m., ABC. Mike Elko and Riley Leonard reunite, on different sides, as the former Duke coach and quarterback meet in Week 1. Leonard is a potential dual threat star, but he's coming off two injuries and loses ND's two best blockers and tailback, while the Aggies project to be strong in the front seven. But the Irish secondary has the pieces to challenge A&M's deep game, too. Pick: Texas A&M 28-24

5. LSU vs. USC

Sept. 1, 7:30 p.m., ABC. Now an SEC vs. Big Ten game after realignment, both these teams need a reformation on defense, and brought in talented coordinators to bring those projects to fruition. Both will be tested against quality passing attacks: LSU's led by Garrett Nussmeier and USC's by Miller Moss, both replacing mega-productive quarterbacks. Pick: LSU 38-30

6. Texas at Michigan

Sept. 7, 12 p.m., Fox. Marquee programs face off in one of college football's premier venues, as the defending national champs debut a very new-look team and coaching staff against an SEC-bound Longhorns squad that returns key personnel and notable transfer add-ons. Pick: Texas 34-23

7. NC State vs. Tennessee

Sept. 7, 7:30 p.m., ABC. The addition of veteran quarterback Grayson McCall instantly upgrades the Wolfpack offense, as do tailback Jordan Waters and receiver Noah Rogers. They'll test the Vols' new-look secondary, while Nico Iamaleava gets to work with Tennessee's capable receivers. Pick: Tennessee 31-26

8. Alabama at Wisconsin

Sept. 14, 12 p.m., Fox. Wisconsin always plays strong on the lines of scrimmage, especially on offense, but Luke Fickell wants to open things up more. That didn't go quite as planned a year ago, but QB injuries played a role. Adding transfer Tyler Van Dyke is important, but the Badgers still don't quite measure up to SEC speed, even with a strong home-field edge. Pick: Alabama 35-20


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James Parks


James Parks is the founder and publisher of College Football HQ. He previously covered football for 247Sports and CBS Interactive. College Football HQ joined the Sports Illustrated Fannation Network in 2022.