The 2023 college football season was one to savor. Namely, it marked the end of the existing Power 5 conferences as we knew them. The Pac-12 has two teams on its books for the 2024 season, while the rest of its former members have scattered across the ACC, Big Ten, and Big 12. With Oregon State and Washington State remaining in a state of limbo for 2024, the ACC (17 teams), Big Ten (18), Big 12 (16), and SEC (16) have grown to the point where all divisions have been eliminated.
Top programs such as Oregon and Washington will compete in the Big Ten next season, while Oklahoma and Texas begin their tenure as SEC members. The restructuring allows some history to remain intact like the Red River Rivalry continuing for its 120th edition in 2024. USC and UCLA will continue their feud in a protected annual matchup within the Big Ten, as will Oregon and Washington in the famed Border War.
Bedlam, the rivalry between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, will be the most significant casualty of the current reshuffle. 118 years of historic hatred will not be renewed in 2024, and the Cowboys will have the last laugh for the indefinite future despite decades of being beaten by their in-state foe.
It remains to be seen how these changes will impact the product on the field, if at all. We've done the work of looking ahead to the 2024 season on the heels of the conclusion to this year's action and present our preview and best bets for the newly expanded edition of the College Football Playoff.
Can the Michigan Wolverines pull off the back-to-back by winning the 2024 college football playoff? It sure looks like a very real possibility. Kirby Smart and the Georgia Bulldogs may have something to say about that.
Curious about what your favorite team's chances are to win the 2024 CFP? Take a look at the latest title odds from the fine folks at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Latest Odds from FanDuel SportsBook
The 2023 CFP selection process brought a controversial end to the four-team format. Florida State, an undefeated conference champion from the Power 5, was left out in favor of one-loss SEC champ Alabama following an injury to the Noles' star QB, Jordan Travis.
This had never happened before in the ten years of the playoff format. The Georgia Bulldogs lost their first game in two years and also missed out on the playoff as a result.
Michigan became the outlier as the season wore on, continuing to assert dominance amid a year where their head coach was suspended for 50% of the regular season. The Wolverines secured a comeback win against Alabama in the Rose Bowl to reach the championship game and proceeded to smother Washington, completing the fourth 15-0 season in the CFP era.
Our best bet on Michigan to win the 2023-24 title came home at +1200 odds, marking a lucrative conclusion to a season that may be Jim Harbaugh's last in Ann Arbor.
Off the field, where many argue battles are won and lost, it's been another entertaining year of recruiting and pseudo-free agency in the college game. We'll go rapid-fire through many of the top teams and what they've accomplished in terms of roster rebuilding ahead of the first season with the 12-team playoff on the horizon.
Let's start with the favorite to win the title in 2024, Georgia. All Kirby Smart did was sign the top-ranked recruiting class for the first time since the 2020 cycle. That group included future first-rounders like Jalen Carter and Broderick Jones, and their three five-stars on the defensive side of the ball could push for similar accolades.
Nick Saban posted his sixth straight season with a recruiting class ranked in the top two. Consensus five-star QB Julian Sayin is their projected future starter and the top-rated signal-caller in 2024, according to On3.
Texas recruited their second consecutive top-three class, which included five-star players at edge rusher, offensive tackle, and wide receiver. Their seven five-star players signed in the last two seasons trails only Alabama.
Oregon brought in the fourth-ranked recruiting class, according to On3, and welcomed transfer QBs Dillon Gabriel and Dante Moore into their program to solidify the position for multiple years after Bo Nix's departure.
The Ohio State Buckeyes inked the fifth-ranked class on On3, one that included four five-star players and the top overall recruit, WR Jeremiah Smith. They'll replace quarterback Kyle McCord, who left for Syracuse, with K-State transfer Will Howard to solidify the position for 2024. Ole Miss RB Quinshon Judkins also announced he'll wear the scarlet and gray in 2024 after posting over 3,000 total yards and 34 touchdowns in two seasons for Lane Kiffin.
LSU, Oklahoma, and Tennessee signed top-15 recruiting classes while elevating their respective heir-apparent at quarterback during bowl season for some experience. All three schools will replace their starters in 2024 with highly-touted recruits from the last few cycles.
Notre Dame and Florida State joined the list of schools who found their 2024 QB via the portal. The Irish signed Duke's Riley Leonard to replace Sam Hartman, while FSU brought former Clemson and Oregon State starter DJ Uiagalelei to take the reins from Travis.
Speaking of teams who dominated the portal, Ole Miss brought in the top-ranked haul, according to 247 Sports. The Rebels offset the loss of Judkins by welcoming players like Texas A&M's Walter Nolan, the top-rated player in the portal, WR Juice Wells from South Carolina, and two four-star edge rushers from other SEC schools.
According to On3, Colorado signed the top class via the portal. Coach Prime needed to shore up the offensive line to protect QB Shedeur Sanders and did so with the signing of six linemen via the portal in addition to top-ranked freshman tackle Jordan Seaton from IMG Academy.
Louisville was another program that took advantage of the transfer market. They lured five-star WR Ja'Corey Brooks from Alabama and multiple four-stars on both sides of the ball to reload and compete in the new-look ACC.
Georgia is the favorite across the market after a one-loss season that the Bulldogs capped off with a 63-3 stomping of Florida State. Alabama is the consensus #2 team, with Ohio State third after their exploits in the portal.
Beyond that trio, Michigan will look to defend its title with odds similar to Oregon, Texas, Ole Miss, and LSU. It will be interesting to see if JJ McCarthy returns following a slew of NFL departures from their program.
LSU, Notre Dame, and FSU will have strong chances of making the playoff if their new starters at quarterback pan out. Similarly, Tennessee and USC have odds that reflect the accompanying uncertainty when a starting QB exits the program.
Schools like Penn State, Texas A&M, and Oklahoma will look to break into the 12-team playoff after being on the outside for a few seasons. The Sooners made four appearances in five years from 2016-20 but never advanced to a title game. The Nittany Lions and Aggies didn't qualify in the ten years of the four-team format.
Missouri is in the +6000 range following the program's most successful season in a decade, and the Miami Hurricanes enter year three of the Mario Cristobal era with a tailwind of back-to-back top-ten recruiting classes, though still with long odds of competing at the highest level.
Fresh off our Michigan future coming home in the 2024 CFP title game, we're excited to build off that success. Our best bets for the upcoming season are:
The Dawgs return a roster loaded with talent and hungry for revenge. While their top two leading rushers will depart for the NFL, Florida transfer Trevor Etienne steps in to take over.
Second-year QB starter Carson Beck will miss All-American tight end Brock Bowers but played well enough during the three games Bowers missed. We trust Smart will have the Georgia defense where it needs to be and like the value of the favorite at this number.
Ryan Day’s squad will feature new starters at QB and RB courtesy of the portal. While Marvin Harrison Jr. will be a pro next year, Emeka Egbuka may return to team up with five-star recruits Carnell Tate and Brandon Inniss in their second seasons.
The Buckeyes have road games in Eugene and Happy Valley on the schedule in 2024, but get the Wolverines at home in what may be a step-back year following their title win.
Coach Drinkwitz returns his starting quarterback, who ranked 4th in the SEC in passing, and top four receivers from a banner season in Columbia with a 12-team playoff looking possible in 2024. The Tigers brought in two running backs in the portal to fill the shoes of Cody Shrader, who led the SEC in rushing and finished 3rd in the FBS with 1,627 yards.
The challenging part of their schedule includes a road trip to Tuscaloosa and a home date with Oklahoma on either side of a bye. We like their chances to get into the postseason tournament if they can win one of those two games.
Have questions about the College Football Playoff? We've got you covered! We've compiled a list of all past college football national champions from 2000 to 2022.
|National Title Winner
For good measure, we've even included some of the most commonly asked questions and answers about college football. Check these out to impress your fellow sports-loving friends!
The college football team that has won the most national titles is the Alabama Crimson Tide, with a total of 18 national championships.
The winningest quarterback in college football history is Kellen Moore, who played for the Boise State Broncos from 2008 to 2011. He recorded a record of 50 wins and just 3 losses during his college career.
Joe Paterno of Penn State has the most wins in college football history. He amassed 409 wins during his tenure as Penn State's head coach from 1966 to 2011.
Nick Saban is the college football coach who has won the most national championships. He has won seven national titles in his career, including 6 at the University of Alabama (2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017, 2020) and one at Louisiana State University (2003). Saban is widely regarded as one of the greatest college football coaches of all time, and his success has solidified his place in the sport's history.
The Southeastern Conference (SEC) has won the most college football national championships of any conference. Since the establishment of the SEC in 1932, teams from the conference have won over a dozen national titles, including several won by legendary programs like Alabama, Florida, and LSU. The SEC is widely regarded as one of the strongest and most competitive conferences in college football, and its teams are consistently among the best in the country. The conference's dominance has made it a major player in the sport and a major source of pride for its fans and members.
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