A noticeable trend emerges in this prematurely released top 25 for the upcoming 2024 college football season: the dominance of the Super Two.
In this contemporary era where the Big Ten and SEC wield substantial influence, possessing the strongest brands and most relevant teams, it’s unsurprising that they jointly occupy 10 of the top 11 positions in this early preseason college football rankings. Consider this more of a foreshadowing than a mere prediction, as the Super Two alliances appear poised to assert their prominence in the sport.
The majority of the game’s premier rivalries and formidable teams seem destined to be concentrated within these two conferences.
Prepare for this dominance to become a familiar sight. Notably, the Big Ten and SEC have collectively secured 15 out of the last 18 national titles, with the recent 2024 College Football Playoff National Championship witnessing No. 1 Michigan triumph over No. 2 Washington. The landscape is shifting, particularly with a portion of what was once the Pac-12 now residing in the Big Ten. A new era is upon us.
Unsurprisingly, Georgia claims the top spot in the rankings after narrowly falling short of a chance at securing a third consecutive national championship.
In the world of college football, it’s a perennial truth that it’s never too early to assess team rankings, given that the sport never truly comes to a halt. With the commencement of the 2024 season, the action has already kicked off — beginning last month with the early signing period and the opening of the transfer portal.
The Bulldogs have still won 29 out of their last 30 games. If not for a stumble against Alabama, they would have been playing for a third straight national championship. With Carson Beck and most of a rock-solid defense returning, there’s no shame in winning three out of the last four nattys.
Nick Saban has stiff-armed retirement rumors as he turns 73 next Halloween. The defense will take some hits, and there’s a question whether Saban will go after a quarterback in the transfer portal, but expect the Crimson Tide to be a slam dunk for the expanded College Football Playoff.
Disclaimer: This ranking is based on what we know the day after the national title game. Jim Harbaugh is still the coach. He is poised to land the No. 15 recruiting class, per 247Sports. J.J. McCarthy has a decision to make, but with or without Coach Khaki, the Wolverines aren’t going to slide much.
Bo Nix is gone. So is underrated runner Bucky Irving. But Dan Lanning might have the best quarterback room in the country with Dillon Gabriel and Dante Moore transferring in. The Ducks will be some folks’ favorite to win the Large 18 in their first year as part of the league.
5) Ole Miss
What was Quinshon Judkins thinking by entering the portal? The warm embrace of Oxford, Mississippi, and the Lane Train would have made him a Heisman Trophy contender. Now? Well, good luck with NIL riches, kid. Kiffin has plenty of running back depth even after making Judkins a star.
6) Ohio State
One of the strongest quarterback rooms in the country is suddenly in transition. Upset that freshman Avery Johnson was being promoted at Kansas State, Will Howard transferred to Ohio State to replace Kyle McCord, who transferred out because …? Will the Buckeyes be better at the position in 2024? C.J. Stroud seems like a decade ago.
Quinn Ewers has decided to stay at Texas, and he might grow into a Heisman finalist next season. Arch Manning remains on the roster, too. The wide receiver room is being rebuilt, and Steve Sarkisian has plenty to build off following a transformative 2023 season.
Eli Drinkwitz lost defensive coordinator Blake Baker to his former employer, LSU. That’s significant but nothing Drink can’t overcome with two-thirds of the Triplets coming back — Luther Burden and Brady Cook.
9) Notre Dame
Have you seen Notre Dame’s 2024 schedule? It is Charmin soft, which means the Fighting Irish should not have any problem winning nine games. To get into the playoff, Notre Dame better win 11 games as it does not have a conference affiliation to fall back on as an automatic qualifier.
Jedd Fisch for president — and any other public office you’d like to name. The third-year Wildcats coach established himself as a big-timer and Arizona as a playoff contender in 2024 by winning 10 games for only the second time since 1998. Noah Fifita should contend for the Heisman.
Quarterback Jackson Arnold was impressive in his bowl game debut. The Sooners should be OK after the loss of Gabriel. The defense improved significantly in Year 2 under Brent Venables.
The Grant Nussmeier era begins. Brian Kelly has made sure his QB will get plenty of support on the other side of the ball by blowing out the core of the defensive staff. By this metric, the sixth-best team in the SEC should be able to make the CFP.
Quarterback Cam Rising’s return marks his 27th year of eligibility — and it makes the Utes a playoff contender. Just kidding … about the eligibility part. Utah is definitely a contender with its typical physicality across both lines.
Nico Iamaleava, the floor is yours. The much-hyped, NIL-fueled QB will be more hyped after an impressive Citrus Bowl debut. He’ll operate behind an offensive line that returns mostly intact. There is depth at running back, too.
There are too many roster losses to project a top-10 finish even after an inspiring run in 2023. Michael Penix Jr. and WR Rome Odunze are gone. It will be fascinating to watch Mississippi State transfer — and Mike Leach prodigy — Will Rodgers take over. Cal WR Jeremiah Hunter also transfers in.
16) Penn State
There have been six offensive coordinators in the last 10 years for James Franklin. The talented Andy Kotelniki is the latest. One issue? Kotelniki is a master in squeezing most out of dual-threat QBs; Drew Allar is not that.
17) Kansas State
Wildcat Nation can’t wait for Johnson’s first full season. The native of Maize, Kansas, is amaz-ing. His seven rushing touchdowns tied the K-State freshman record. In his starting debut against NC State in the bowl game, Johnson accounted for 249 yards and three total touchdowns.
You’re reading this right. Based on this ranking, the Mustangs are the ACC favorite. The defending AAC champions won 11 games for the first time since pre-death penalty days in 1982. Preston Stone returns at QB. Rhett Lashlee is just getting started.
19) Florida State
Opt outs and injuries that impacted the Orange Bowl appearance gave us a glimpse of how much the Seminoles will lose in 2024. D.J. Uiagalelei is the biggest get, but going on his third school, DJU has a long way to go if he wishes to leave a lasting college legacy and get ready for the NFL.
Here’s how great college football is entering 2024. After winning nine games for the first time since 2007, the Jayhawks can legitimately contend for a playoff spot. Coach Lance Leipold gets back firestarter QB Jalon Daniels after an injury. The defense has made huge strides since Leipold’s first year in 2021.
The Tigers seems to be on their way back up after finishing 9-4, winning the last five games in a row. Will Shipley declared for the NFL Draft. Cade Klubnik made progress, but the Tigers are a borderline playoff team unless they win the ACC.
22) NC State
The Wolfpack are going to be interesting as hell. You might as well pencil in NC State for at least eight wins given Dave Doeren’s consistency. Grayson McCall comes over from Coastal Carolina to give the Pack a difference maker at QB. Kevin Concepcion could have a breakout season catching his passes.
23) Oklahoma State
The Cowboys will get a sniff at the Big 12 title again after losing to Texas in 2023. Heisman-worthy RB Ollie Gordon is back along with QB Alan Bowman. There’s a reason there are four Big 12 teams in this top 25. The league is going to be entertaining as hell in its new configuration.
24) Texas A&M
New coach Mike Elko has plenty to work with in his first season. Connor Weigman should progress if he stays healthy. The offseason’s biggest get was offensive coordinator Collin Klein from Kansas State. Klein is a play calling wizard.
Let’s face it. The Cardinals’ defensive effort against Florida State in the ACC Championship Game kept the ‘Noles out of the CFP. In Year 2, Jeff Brohm has one of the top transfer classes. QB Tyler Shough (Texas Tech), WR Ja’Corey Brooks (Alabama) and RB Don Chaney (Miami) make the Cardinals darkhorse ACC contenders.