When does college football start 2024: What you need to know

What you need to know about the start of the 2024 college football season, tracking the biggest games on the early schedule.
Everything you need to know about the start of the 2024 college football season, including the big early games on the schedule.
Everything you need to know about the start of the 2024 college football season, including the big early games on the schedule. / USA Today Sports | IMAGN

When does college football start? What you need to know

Week 0 kicks off with three Power Four teams in the early action, including two ACC rivals set to play their opener against each other on Sat., Aug. 24 from Dublin, Ireland.

All times Eastern

Florida State vs. Georgia Tech

While the Seminoles have a ton of roster turnover, they also return head football coach Mike Norvell after keeping him after rumors around the then-Alabama coaching vacancy. Brent Key returns to Tech after a 7-6 season and with new defensive coordinator Tyler Santucci on the sideline. 12 p.m. on ESPN

Montana St. at New Mexico
Sat., Aug. 24 | 4 p.m. | FS1

SMU at Nevada
Sat., Aug. 24 | 8 p.m. | CBSSN

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Week 1 college football schedule

The traditional regular season opening weekend begins on Thurs., Aug. 29 with 21 games taking place, followed by another six matchups on Fri. Aug. 30.

SI presents the full 2024 college football schedule

Sat., Aug. 31 finds the first full slate of weekly Saturday matchups, including some early statement games...

Clemson vs. Georgia

Two defenses expected to be among college football's best meet in this SEC vs. ACC matchup in Atlanta, but how far along is Clemson's offense with Cade Klubnik at quarterback, and how well has Georgia replaced its outgoing stars? 12 p.m. on ABC

Penn State at West Virginia

Drew Allar is still QB1 for the Nittany Lions with star backs Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen and another strong defense returning, while the Mountaineers pulled coach Neal Brown off the hot seat by winning 9 games a year ago, and they get this rematch at home. 12 p.m. on Fox

Miami (FL) at Florida

Billy Napier needs to stabilize his Gators program right away as the coach is already under considerable pressure, and this early in-state rivalry game is a great opportunity, but the Hurricanes bring on transfer quarterback Cameron Ward and other contributors in a major boost for the offense. 3:30 p.m. on ABC

Fresno State at Michigan

College football's defending national champion returns with new faces at head coach and all over the roster against a Mountain West squad that won nine games last season, including a road win against Big Ten team Purdue to start. A test for the Wolverines before hosting Texas in Week 2. 7:30 p.m. on NBC

Notre Dame at Texas A&M

An early test for the Irish to make a statement on the road against an SEC team in transition, boasting a credible defense but an attack undergoing big changes, while the Aggies debut head coach Mike Elko and offensive play-caller Collin Klein. 7:30 p.m. on ABC

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Week 1 also brings us a notable non-conference matchup from Las Vegas on Sun., Sept. 1.

LSU vs. USC

Two marquee programs both in dire need of improvements on defense meet in this now-Big Ten vs. SEC matchup. USC brings on D'Anton Lynn to call plays and the Tigers got Blake Baker in from Missouri to the same position. Both sides can throw the ball, but LSU might have the edge protecting its quarterback. 7:30 p.m. on ABC

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Florida State plays its home opener against ACC rival Boston College on Mon., Sept. 2 at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN.

College Football Playoff schedule 2024

After a decade of putting four teams in the national semifinal, the College Football Playoff expanded the format to 12 teams in a 5+7 model that features the five highest-ranked conference champions and the seven other highest-ranked at-large teams chosen by the selection committee.

More details on the CFP schedule in 2024

Dec. 20, 2024 First-Round Game
Dec. 21, 2024 First-Round Game
Dec. 21, 2024 First-Round Game
Dec. 21, 2024 First-Round Game

Quarterfinals

Dec. 31, 2024 Fiesta Bowl
Jan. 1, 2025 Peach Bowl
Jan. 1, 2025 Rose Bowl
Jan. 1, 2025 Sugar Bowl

Semifinals

Jan. 9, 2025 Orange Bowl
Jan. 10, 2025 Cotton Bowl

Jan. 20, 2025 National Championship Game

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Published
James Parks

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.