College football teams we're excited to watch in 2024

These college football teams have put themselves in position to make some noise in the 2024 season.
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College football teams are made during the offseason, out of view from fans, as coaches and assistants do the long work of recruiting and transfer portal work and answering depth chart questions, and some schools have done a better job of that than others in 2024.

Read more: ESPN reveals preseason Top 25 college football rankings

Now, as we move into the summer months and get our first glimpse of the preseason top 25 college football rankings from experts around the country, and as we look ahead to fall camp, let's take a look at the teams that put in the work and will be the most exciting to watch this coming season.

College Football Teams We're Excited to Watch in 2024

10. Colorado

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As long as Deion Sanders is around, Colorado will be must-see TV for college football fans, and that's true after another eventful offseason that saw an exodus of outgoing transfers, and plenty of incoming pieces, as well. Prime made notable upgrades at positions of need, especially offensive line, to help his dynamic skill players take another step forward.

9. Nebraska

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Matt Rhule returns most of his starting defensive core from a year ago and some notable experience on the offensive line is important for the development of quarterback Dylan Raiola, the five-star prospect the Cornhuskers flipped from Georgia, and who should be an immediate upgrade at the most important position. One player may not save or doom a program, but Raiola's skill set can take this offense places.

8. Oklahoma

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There's no such thing as an easy schedule in the SEC, but the conference seemed more than tough on Oklahoma ahead of its debut in the league this fall, with a projected half-dozen ranked opponents. A ferocious test for a new-look offensive line protecting a young quarterback, and for a defense that has made key improvements and returns notable starting experience.

7. Texas A&M

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While the Aggies expected to lose notable pieces after Jimbo Fisher's exit, Mike Elko's return to A&M, now as head coach, ensures that several remained, in addition to the Aggies making key additions, especially on defense: linebacker Scooby Williams and ex-Big Ten sack leader Nic Scourton add to an already-impressive front seven, while Conner Weigman is back under center surrounded by dynamic skill players.

6. USC

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Miller Moss' superb play in the bowl game bodes well for his succeeding Caleb Williams at quarterback in what should be another productive Lincoln Riley offense. But the Trojans' downfall these two seasons has been very subpar defensive play, and the addition of ex-UCLA coordinator D'Anton Lynn promises to be one of college football's more consequential hires this cycle. His defense was 10th nationally a year ago.

5. Oregon

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Along with USC, Oregon will be joining the Big Ten this fall, and at just the right time, coming in as defending Pac-12 champions. Dan Lanning was active in the portal again, adding Dillon Gabriel and his likely successor Dante Moore at quarterback and Evan Stewart at receiver, among other gains, and the Ducks figure to be intense on both lines of scrimmage, already emerging as a contender for the conference championship.

4. Ohio State

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Losing three straight games to Michigan forced Ryan Day to get aggressive, and he responded with a monster transfer class that includes ex-Alabama safety Caleb Downs, veteran quarterback Will Howard, and two-time SEC rushing champ Quinshon Judkins, among other additions. That's on top of key returning skill, especially on the defensive line and with tailback TreVeyon Henderson and wideout Emeka Egbuka.

3. Ole Miss

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What a position the Rebels find themselves in, as Portal King Lane Kiffin has been building and fine-tuning his rosters via the transfer portal. Those gains plus an expanded playoff makes Ole Miss one of the SEC's more intriguing teams. Jaxson Dart returns at quarterback, as does Tre Harris at receiver, while defenders Princely Umanmielen and Walter Nolen seriously beef up the Rebs' pass rush.

2. Miami

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Mario Cristobal is facing some pressure to right the ship, going just 12-13 overall in the two years since coming over from Oregon to his alma mater. The additions of quarterback Cameron Ward, back Damien Martinez, and wide receiver Sam Brown figure to be huge upgrades at all those positions and will make the Hurricanes' offense a force in the ACC. That's in addition to defensive gains like lineman Simeon Barrow, linebacker Jaylin Alderman, and Dyoni Hill, a gifted G5 corner who got interest from major schools.

1. Texas

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After several years of joking that Texas was "back," last year's performance left little doubt it belongs in the SEC, where the school debuts this fall. It beat Alabama on the road, won the Big 12, and made the College Football Playoff. Now, it returns key experience, especially at quarterback and brought on top-flight transfers at receiver that makes this arguably the nation's top skill group.


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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.