Top 10 Must-See Games on the 2024 College Football Schedule: Michigan-Washington Rematch, Backyard Brawl, and More

    Thanks to conference realignment, the 2024 college football schedule is brimming with thrilling matchups, both new and old. Here are the top 10 must-see games.

    Do you hear that? That’s the sound of pads hitting, fans cheering, and announcers losing their minds. We are just three months away from the official return of the best sport to ever exist.

    While some fans believe conference realignment, NIL, and the transfer portal have destroyed tradition and pageantry, they’ll still be glued to the screen when their favorite team runs onto the field.

    Every college football contest is precious, but every year, there are several matchups that stand out. Which games are must-see TV on the 2024 college football schedule?

    Top Games To Watch on the 2024 College Football Schedule

    North Dakota State at Colorado, Week 1

    Deion Sanders is anything but quiet, and his team has made noise in the transfer portal —  and on social media. Will their brash nature lead to a better record than their 4-8 finish last season? Sanders’ job security and pride sure hope so.

    The Buffaloes host an FCS squad in Week 1, but they shouldn’t take North Dakota State lightly. The Bison have won nine FCS championships since 2011, and with Cam Miller back under center, they could upset Colorado to open the season.

    LSU at USC, Week 1 (in Las Vegas)

    A neutral-site Big Ten vs. SEC game to kick off the year? Sign us up! USC’s Lincoln Riley and LSU’s Brian Kelly will have new QBs under center after their 2022-2023 starters — Jayden Daniels and Caleb Williams, respectively — were chosen No. 1 and 2 in the 2024 NFL Draft.

    The Trojans also enter their first season in the Big Ten, and how they perform in Week 1 will paint a better picture of their 2024 trajectory.

    Texas at Michigan, Week 2

    Texas-Michigan occurring so early in the season is a wasted opportunity. These are two blueblood programs vying for national championship contention once again after competing in the College Football Playoff last season.

    Regardless, a win for Texas would prove they really are back, while a Michigan victory would show that the Wolverines are here to stay, even without Jim Harbaugh and a whole host of key starters that were drafted.

    West Virginia at Pittsburgh, Week 3

    After an 11-year hiatus, the Backyard Brawl returned in 2022, with Pittsburgh taking the first game and West Virginia bouncing back last year. With Garrett Greene at the helm of the offense, the Mountaineers will put up points in the Big 12, and Nate Yarnell aims to do the same for a Panthers team that struggled with QB play in 2023.

    Arizona at Kansas State, Week 3

    Welcome to the Big 12, Arizona! The Wildcats are undergoing a coaching staff change, but QB Noah Fifita, WR Tetairoa McMillan, CB Tacario Davis, and several other talented playmakers return. The other Wildcats also have key returners in QB Avery Johnson, RB DJ Giddens, CB Jacob Parrish, and DB Marques Sigle.

    Georgia at Alabama, Week 5

    The Bulldogs are still bitter that Alabama took their spot in the CFP last year, and they can get their revenge in Week 5. The Crimson Tide will look different with Kalen DeBeor running the show, but his offensive expertise should result in even more fireworks. This could be the nail in the coffin for either team once seeding takes place for the expanded 12-team playoff.

    Another Georgia matchup of note is their introduction to Texas on Oct. 19, which Kirby Smart and Steve Sarkisian certainly have circled on their calendars.

    Michigan at Washington, Week 6

    The rematch of the season takes place on October 5. Now, these teams will look very different from their 2023 title match, and new coaching staffs are in place, as are new QBs. Yet, Jedd Fisch will keep the gas on the pedal for the Huskies while the Wolverines return multiple future NFL Draft prospects on defense in CB Will Johnson and DTs Mason Graham and Kenneth Grant.

    Florida State at Miami (FL), Week 9

    One of the fiercest rivalries in the Sunshine State continues, with Florida State entering off three straight victories. Miami still holds the series lead at 35-33, but what adds further intrigue in 2024 is the arrival of former Pac-12 passers. Washington State’s Cameron Ward takes over for the Hurricanes, and Oregon State’s DJ Uiagalelei receives the baton from Jordan Travis.

    Will the Seminoles remain “unconquered?” — 63-3 Orange Bowl loss to Georgia notwithstanding, of course.

    Texas A&M at Texas, Week 14

    The Aggies and Longhorns haven’t faced off since 2011, as Texas A&M left the Big 12 for the SEC. However, with Texas following 13 years later, the battle for the Lone Star State resumes.

    Fans and analysts have hyped up Quinn Ewers and Co. this offseason, but don’t sleep on what HC Mike Elko is brewing in College Station with QB Connor Weigman ready for a full season as the starter.

    Michigan at Ohio State, Week 14

    Known as “The Game,” the Michigan-Ohio State matchup is a perennial member of must-see games lists. With the Wolverines enduring massive turnover and the Buckeyes retooling through the transfer portal (and adding OC Chip Kelly), Ohio State could notch its first win over its heated rival since 2016.

    Also of note is OSU’s clash with Oregon, a new Big Ten member, on October 12. Can Dillon Gabriel and the Ducks defeat Ryan Day and Co. and take the conference by storm?

    Bonus Must-See Games on the 2024 College Football Schedule

    Boise State at Oregon, Week 2

    Boise State has quietly defeated Oregon in all three of their matchups. And with QB Malachi Nelson, RB Ashton Jeanty, DT Braxton Fely, EDGE Ahmad Hassanein, LB Andrew Simpson, CB A’Marion McCoy, and a trio of solid safeties back in 2024, they’ll do their best to upset the Ducks once again.

    Texas vs. Oklahoma, Week 7 (in Dallas)

    The Red River Rivalry will mean more in 2024 and beyond, with both Texas and Oklahoma joining the SEC. Their upcoming 120th matchup will take place at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, with the Longhorns holding a 63-51-5 all-time advantage.

    Jacksonville State at Liberty, Week 10

    These two programs clashed last season, with Jamey Chadwell’s Flames defeating Rich Rodriguez’s Gamecocks in convincing fashion (31-13). Any game featuring QB Kaidon Salter deserves to be on your television, but this battle of CUSA heavyweights will be crucial. Don’t miss Liberty’s duel with Appalachian State in Week 5, either, as both teams should light up the scoreboard.

    Oklahoma at Missouri, Week 11

    Another rekindled rivalry, thanks to conference realignment, is Oklahoma-Missouri. Although, calling this one a “rivalry” is generous to the Tigers, as they only have 24 wins to the Sooners’ 67.

    But that was your dad and granddad’s Missouri. Eli Drinkwitz and Co. are fresh off an 11-2 campaign and return much of their offensive talent, including quarterback Brady Cook and all-world wide receiver Luther Burden III.

    BYU at Utah, Week 11

    The Holy War returns! BYU and Utah last locked swords in 2021, with the Cougars taking home a 26-17 victory. However, the Utes rattled off nine consecutive victories before that. With Cam Rising back for what feels like his 10th season (seventh), Kyle Whittingham’s squad should be the favorite in the 2024 iteration of the game.

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