World’s Earliest Week 1 College Football Preview

Hooray, I say, hooray! It's once again time to look ahead over seven months to the first full week of college football in 2024. As always, this is only possible thanks to and its proprietor, Matt Sarzyniak, who has been curating college football and basketball TV schedules for many years now. I believe this is the earliest he has ever put out his following-season schedule.

I've been doing this annual column for many years now, too. For most of that time, it seemed that there were not too many marquee matchups on Week 1, then around 2019 that changed a bit for a couple years, and starting last year, we seem to have reverted to saving the biggest games for Week 2 and beyond, as teams seemingly want to tune up on week 1. Let's dive in.

Thursday, August 29th

North Carolina at Minnesota

This is the only game so far slated for Thursday, August 29th, that features two FBS teams. Expect more games to move from Saturday to Thursday, as well as to Week 0 (which is currently just Montana State at New Mexico and Georgia Tech vs. Florida State in Dublin).

At the time of his hiring, I thought that P.J. Fleck could've held out for a more prestigious job, but he seems to have hit a ceiling at Minnesota and I wonder how long before he is on the hot seat. A win here sure would help his cause.

Friday, August 30th

TCU at Stanford

This is a battle between the team that giveth the world Deion Sanders hype (TCU's loss to Colorado in Week 1) and the team that taketh away the hype (Stanford's comeback from 29 down to beat the Buffaloes).

Saturday, August 31

Miami at Florida

I sort of feel like Florida State has it rough with two in-state rivals that they play every year (these two schools), so when they play each other, it's nice, like evening out the triangular rivalry. They should do it every year, like Army, Navy, and Air Force.

Notre Dame at Texas A&M

I'm calling it now: the winner of this game is going to get overhyped and then not even sniff the playoffs.

Clemson vs. Georgia in Atlanta

These teams have played five times since 1997. Why does it feel like three times that many?

Virginia Tech at Vanderbilt, Penn State at West Virginia

... And with these two matches, I have highlighted all of the P5 vs. P5 games on Saturday. That's right, there's just five, and one of them is Virginia Tech against Vanderbilt. Pretty grim.

South Dakota State at Oklahoma State, North Dakota State at Colorado, Idaho at Oregon

The FCS has been getting more pub lately, which is great. The above three games are the matches that feature a P5 school against an FCS that made the FCS semifinals, entered the FCS playoffs as a top-four seed, or both in this past year. While Oregon is probably too good for Idaho, if 2023 South Dakota State played 2023 Oklahoma State, and 2023 North Dakota State played 2023 Colorado, the FCS schools would probably be favored. These should be fun.

Sunday, September 1st

USC vs. LSU in Las Vegas

This one already somehow has a start time (7:30 Eastern) and a network (ABC)! I'm tempted to make the same prediction here as I did for Notre Dame/Texas A&M.

Monday, September 2nd

Boston College at Florida State

I said above I feel sorry for Florida State, but between this game and the one in Week 0, they figure to have no games on opposite them as they play competition inferior to them for two straight weeks, so maybe I shouldn't.

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