Ranking 12 college football games in 2024 we're looking forward to

These are the 12 games on the 2024 college football schedule we're looking forward to watching the most.
Getting an early look at the most exciting games on the 2024 college football schedule.
Getting an early look at the most exciting games on the 2024 college football schedule. / Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

College football will look plenty different in 2024, loaded with history before the ball even goes in the air with a major round of conference realignment forever shifting the league map and an expansion of the College Football Playoff from four teams to 12 in search of the national championship.

Related: College Football Strength of Schedule Rankings in 2024

And... College football's 10 best non-conference games in 2024

Now, as we look forward to fall camp in the next few weeks, let's take a crack at previewing what we expect will be the 12 most interesting games on the 2024 college football schedule.

Ranking 12 Most Exciting College Football Games in 2024

12. Miami at Florida

Florida Gators quarterback Graham Mertz attempts a pass during a college football game in the SEC.
Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

An early August test for in-state rivals from the Swamp. For Miami, a first look at some major transfer additions like quarterback Cameron Ward and tailback Damien Martinez to help save Mario Cristobal, who is 12-13 in two seasons. For Florida, a chance to take some of that enormous pressure off Billy Napier, who is 11-14 in that time and facing arguably college football's most difficult schedule.

11. Utah at Oklahoma State

Utah Utes quarterback Cameron Rising attempts a pass during a college football game in the Big 12.
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

One of the must-watch games in the new-look Big 12, and one loaded with potential conference title, and by extension playoff, implications. The Cowboys get Ollie Gordon in the backfield again after leading college football in yards a year ago, while Utah gets Cam Rising back under center with key skill threats around him and another strong defense.

10. Oregon at Michigan

Oregon Ducks wide receiver Gary Bryant, Jr. catches a pass during a college football game in the Big Ten.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

One of several new intriguing Big Ten matchups, the Ducks travel across the country late in the year to take on college football's defending champs. Michigan leads this series, 3-2, all-time, and gets home-field advantage hoping it's still in the B1G title race by this time. Oregon's elite receivers, arguably the nation's best, will be challenged by the Wolverines' good secondary coverage.

9. Ole Miss at LSU

Ole Miss Rebels quarterback Jaxson Dart on a rushing attempt during a college football game in the SEC.
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Last year's matchup included 14 touchdowns and 1,300 yards of offense, and this year both the Rebels and Tigers should be in the SEC title race. The Rebs more so after another strong transfer haul that includes wideout Juice Wells, back Henry Parrish, and defenders like Princely Umanmielen and Walter Nolen. LSU's defense is still a big question, and while uber-talented Garrett Nussmeier steps in at quarterback, the Tigers need to re-stock at wide receiver.

8. Texas vs. Oklahoma

Texas Longhorns quarterback Quinn Ewers looks to pass against the Oklahoma Sooners in a college football game in the SEC.
Ricardo B. Brazziell-USA TODAY Sports

The first Red River Shootout with an SEC logo on the field features a Sooners team facing a tough schedule and a Texas side that will have already played at Michigan and will host Georgia the week following. This time, Oklahoma is making replacements on the OL and brings in a young quarterback, while the Longhorns return Quinn Ewers and some elite skill talent to test OU's defensive improvements.

7. Clemson at Florida State

Clemson Tigers quarterback Cade Klubnik runs against the Florida State Seminoles in a college football game in the ACC.
David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports

The Seminoles ended a 7-game losing skid to Clemson a year ago en route to an undefeated ACC title season. Now they replace a ton of talent on both sides of the ball and will have to contend with the Tigers' superb defensive front seven, but the jury's still out on whether Clemson can take the great leap forward on offense with Cade Klubnik under center. This matchup is loaded with title implications in a more open ACC.

6. Georgia at Ole Miss

Georgia Bulldogs wide receiver RaRa Thomas catches a pass during a college football game in the SEC.
Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia has lost just two games the last three seasons, but it'll be a miracle to get through this slate undefeated. Going to Ole Miss will be a third brutal road game after trips to Alabama and Texas, and that's after taking on Clemson in Atlanta in the opener. The Rebels have the firepower to test the Bulldogs at home and this game is a massive litmus test to see if they really belong in the SEC title chase.

5. Texas at Michigan

Michigan Wolverines quarterback Alex Orji runs with the ball during a college football game in the Big Ten.
Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

College football's longest win streak is on the line and in grave danger as the Longhorns visit the Big House. Maybe the biggest non-conference game on the calendar in 2024, both these blue-blood programs need this early quality win to earn points with the selection committee, and the loser will have less margin for error going forward in the season.

4. Ohio State at Oregon

Ohio State Buckeyes running back TreVeyon Henderson celebrates a touchdown during a college football game in the Big Ten.
Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA

This has the potential to be the most consequential game in the Big Ten this year, as the Ducks and Buckeyes project as the favorites in the league title hunt. Oregon boasts dynamite receiver talent, two physical lines that can beat you up, and a veteran quarterback who brings mobility to the table. Ohio State matches up beautifully, with returning skill rushing the pass and a rotation of blue-chip transfers all over the field.

3. Georgia at Texas

Texas Longhorns quarterback Quinn Ewers attempts a pass during a college football game in the SEC.
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Another major testing ground for the SEC during its debut expansion year, the Longhorns proved they can hang with the league's best after beating Alabama on the road a year ago. Now they tangle with college football's budding dynasty. It means slightly more for Georgia given its schedule, but Texas needs to make a statement to its new conference peers against the class of football in his home tilt featuring two playoff contenders.

2. Michigan at Ohio State

Michigan Wolverines back Donovan Edwards runs against the Ohio State Buckeyes in this college football game in the Big Ten.

Always appointment viewing late in the season, The Game has turned decisively in Michigan's favor the last three years, helping the school to a national title last season. Now, the Wolverines undergo major structural change on the sideline and on the field, while the Buckeyes return to the Horseshoe loaded with a dynamic roster of returning experience and top-flight transfers. Ryan Day needs this one, badly.

1. Georgia at Alabama

Alabama Crimson Tide running back Jam Miller runs against the Georgia Bulldogs in a college football game in the SEC.
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

We could see Alabama as a home underdog for the first time in a long time. Kalen DeBoer faces his first epic test replacing the GOAT with this home stand against two-time champion Kirby Smart, who brings in a loaded roster featuring several returners on both sides of the ball. Alabama gets Jalen Milroe back at QB and he should have better protection, but the Bulldogs bring more continuity into this matchup.


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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.