Home » College football 2024: Sizing up new-look SEC, Big Ten, Big 12 and ACC

College football 2024: Sizing up new-look SEC, Big Ten, Big 12 and ACC

by admin

The 2024 faculty soccer season can be stuffed with adjustments, together with new coaches, big-name transfers who’ve switched colleges and the expanded, 12-team playoff.

Maybe probably the most sweeping adjustments of all can be within the make-up of the remaining energy conferences: the SEC, Massive Ten, Massive 12 and ACC. To assessment, Texas and Oklahoma can be within the SEC; USC, UCLA, Oregon and Washington can be within the Massive Ten; Colorado, Utah, Arizona and Arizona State can be within the Massive 12, and Stanford, Cal and SMU can be within the ACC.

We requested our faculty soccer reporters to share their ideas on the new-look conferences: what new matchups they’re most excited to see, which of them they’re struggling to return to grips with, and which groups can be most impacted by the realignments.

Different roundtables:
Most excited to see | 12-team playoff

What new convention matchup are you most wanting to see?


After falling in need of a 3rd consecutive nationwide title, Georgia will go into the season favored to say a 3rd championship in 4 seasons. However the group’s schedule away from Athens is not simple, and options Clemson (impartial), Alabama (highway) and Ole Miss (highway), along with its first go to to Texas since 1958. Texas appears as ready for entry into the SEC as a group may probably be, after reaching its first CFP, beating Alabama on the highway final 12 months and taking the Tide to the brink in 2022 at DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium. The Carson Beck-Quinn Ewers quarterback matchup may carry Heisman Trophy implications. — Adam Rittenberg

Ohio State-Oregon

Each Ohio State and Oregon may very well be within the preseason prime 10 and each will come into the season very motivated after falling in need of the School Soccer Playoff in 2023. A pair of latest quarterbacks — Will Howard from Kansas State to the Buckeyes and Dillon Gabriel from Oklahoma to the Geese — ought to have the offenses buzzing after they meet for the primary time as Massive Ten foes Oct. 12 in Eugene. Because the playoff expands to 12 groups, recall these packages met for the primary CFP crown in 2014 and certain aren’t leaving the nationwide stage anytime quickly. — Blake Baumgartner


Oklahoma makes its SEC debut at house Sept. 21 towards Tennessee, and far of the storyline will revolve round Josh Heupel, who brings the Vols again to his previous stomping grounds. Heupel quarterbacked the Sooners to a nationwide championship in 2000 and was runner-up for the Heisman Trophy. He was later the offensive coordinator at OU, however was fired by Bob Stoops following the 2014 season. So there aren’t plenty of heat and fuzzy emotions surrounding Heupel’s exit from his alma mater. Quite a lot of eyes can even be on each quarterbacks. This can be Nico Iamaleava’s first true highway recreation as Tennessee’s starter and the primary marquee recreation for Oklahoma’s Jackson Arnold as he takes over for Dillon Gabriel. And in plenty of methods, this may very well be a playoff elimination recreation. The loser would have an enormous mountain to climb to claw its approach again into the playoff image with a loss so early within the season and so many troublesome video games forward. — Chris Low


I will avoid old-turned-new rivalries for this — Texas-Texas A&M, Texas-Arkansas, Oklahoma-Missouri — and level out that it is noteworthy that Oklahoma’s first SEC marketing campaign ends in Baton Rouge. Enjoying in Dying Valley is the final word “You are within the SEC now!” second, and the stakes may very well be fairly excessive as effectively. Whereas neither OU nor LSU would be the SEC favourite in 2024, each may very well be inside attain of a CFP at-large bid heading into the season’s house stretch. In actual fact, there is a nonzero likelihood this one’s an elimination recreation of kinds. Enjoying in Dying Valley in a must-win scenario? Welcome to the SEC, certainly. — Invoice Connelly

Texas-Texas A&M

OK, this is not precisely a “new” matchup, however when you’re college-aged or youthful, it is most likely new to you. The overarching criticism about realignment for the higher a part of the previous 20 years is that it has destroyed previous rivalries, and this newest spherical seems to have at the very least quickly upended some good ones (RIP Bedlam). Nevertheless it additionally reunites Texas and A&M in the identical league, giving them a head-to-head matchup for the primary time for the reason that Aggies left for the SEC after the 2011 season. There have been a number of makes an attempt over the previous 12 years to get the sport going once more, however none got here to fruition, leaving the state — and the faculty soccer world — with out certainly one of its most intense rivalry video games. Properly, due to realignment, Aggies-Longhorns is again for 2024, and we could not be extra excited. That the sport may additionally have real playoff and SEC championship implications solely provides to the attraction. And with this 12 months’s recreation performed in School Station, that enthusiasm ought to result in large ticket gross sales, which is able to assist A&M pay some small portion of all the cash it owes Jimbo Fisher. Win-win. — David Hale

Which new matchup would be the hardest so that you can wrap your mind round?

Ohio State-USC

With the 4 Pac-12 colleges coming into the Massive Ten, I may have gone a couple of instructions with this. However the pull of getting Ohio State and USC — two conventional faculty soccer powerhouses — competing inside the identical convention is just too intriguing to cross up. The Buckeyes journey to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in 2026 earlier than the Trojans go to Columbus in 2027. Two packages with a mixed 14 Heisman Trophy winners and 19 nationwide championships locking horns for the primary time as Massive Ten compatriots will take a minute or two to digest. — Baumgartner

Stanford-Syracuse and Cal-Wake Forest

The latest realignment will make plenty of matchups really feel odd, however it’s going to actually hit house when Cal and Stanford journey throughout the nation to play Friday night time video games throughout the league. Stanford makes its ACC debut Sept. 20, because it goes all the way in which to Syracuse for its first-ever recreation with the Orange. Seven weeks later, Cal makes its cross-country voyage to face Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The brand new-look ACC has a ton of weird video games — Florida State at SMU, Miami at Cal, Stanford at Clemson — given its new coast-to-coast footprint. — Rittenberg


Colorado and Coach Prime journey to UCF on Sept. 28 within the Buffaloes’ first highway recreation within the new-look Massive 12. It is just below 1,900 miles to get from Boulder, Colorado, to Orlando, Florida, and the concept of Colorado and UCF enjoying in a Massive 12 recreation (within the shadow of Disney World, no much less) goes to take some getting used to. However for Buffs coach Deion Sanders, it may have the texture of a house recreation. He performed at Florida State and grew up in Fort Myers, Florida. — Low


UCLA is 2,800 miles away from Rutgers. The Bruins are solely 2,700 miles away from Guatemala! I am undecided I’ll ever get used to this. — Connelly

The entire regionally challenged matchups

Let’s be actual. Lots of them have been listed above, whether or not it is one of many former Pac-12 colleges competing within the ACC, or one thing as stark as UCLA-Rutgers. The rivalries and custom of school soccer, an enormous a part of the game’s attraction, had been constructed largely on regionality. We’ll all the time take our faculty soccer nevertheless it’s served to us, however that does not imply these matchups aren’t bizarre. — Harry Lyles Jr.

Which group’s fortunes will change probably the most beneath the brand new alignment?


UCLA final received a convention championship in 1998, when Bob Toledo guided the Bruins to the Pac-12 title, they usually have not come near a School Soccer Playoff look since its inception in 2014. Now toss them into the Massive Ten with a few of their previous rivals in Oregon, USC and Washington (the Bruins went a mixed 12-18 towards these groups over the previous 10 years) together with the likes of Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State, and it isn’t far-fetched to suppose UCLA will turn into even much less related over the following decade. — Low


The varsity employed coach Luke Fickell primarily to make the 12-team CFP, which the Badgers would have already reached a couple of occasions had it existed earlier. Fickell had an uneven first season, particularly on offense, as Wisconsin adjusted to the Air Raid-style scheme run by coordinator Phil Longo. However Fickell is taking steps to organize Wisconsin for a Massive Ten with larger depth, particularly on offense, partly by being aggressive within the switch portal. If Longo’s offense can click on behind quarterback switch Tyler Van Dyke, Wisconsin ought to take a step ahead. Whereas different groups within the former Massive Ten West have maintained the established order of their construction, Wisconsin is modernizing to contend within the new league. — Rittenberg

Penn State

Beneath James Franklin’s stewardship, Penn State has had 5 10-win seasons, 4 11-win seasons and a Massive Ten title in 2016 since his arrival from Vanderbilt in 2014. However given the steadiness Franklin has supplied, this system has but to take the following step. The Nittany Lions’ convention fortunes may not get dramatically higher as a result of they have not been capable of constantly beat Ohio State or Michigan, however the alternative to lastly attain the CFP for the primary time is there with the enlargement to 12 groups. — Baumgartner


Again to the Sooners. OU followers needed larger house video games, and they’ll get them, beginning with a house finale towards Alabama in 2024. However additionally they drew a ridiculously stiff set of convention opponents this time round. Even with no marquee nonconference opponent, they’ve the third-hardest schedule within the nation in 2024, in response to my SP+ strength-of-schedule rankings. You ask for it, you get it. — Connelly


One of the best reply might be Oklahoma, however what is the enjoyable in agreeing with Connelly? As an alternative, let’s go along with SMU, which is transferring to the ACC and forgoing all convention income distribution for the foreseeable future, all so it might probably have a seat on the big-boy desk (at the very least for so long as the ACC retains its invite to the get together). SMU is 43-19 since 2019, and the Mustangs received the American championship final 12 months. Their reward? A bowl recreation towards 6-6 Boston School, which they misplaced. So what occurs when SMU transitions full time to the ACC? This 12 months’s schedule contains Florida State and Louisville (the groups that performed in final 12 months’s ACC championship recreation) in addition to highway journeys to Duke and a house recreation towards the aforementioned Eagles, plus nonconference video games towards BYU and TCU. It is fully potential SMU follows within the footsteps of packages resembling TCU and Utah, who transitioned to the Energy 5 and blossomed, however even these colleges took a 12 months or two to regulate. Constructing depth to deal with the trials of a 12-game energy convention slate takes time and assets, and the Mustangs may be in for a couple of rising pains alongside the way in which. — Hale

The Massive 12 convention

Sorry for being broad once more, however in a convention that’s shedding two groups in Texas and Oklahoma that received a mixed 12 of the previous 14 convention championship video games (sure, I do know the Longhorns had solely three of these), now is a good time to determine your self as the brand new chief of the pack. The incumbent groups of years previous haven’t got to fret in regards to the two greatest roadblocks alongside their path to greatness. And for final season’s newcomers — BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF — and the Pac-12 additions in Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah, this league feels extra large open than it has in a very long time. — Lyles

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Comment