July 22, 2024

​College football 2024: Preseason top 25 rankings, bowl projections, All-Americans and more

Welcome to the next chapter of college football, one that comes with an all-encompassing question heading into the 2024-25 season. 

How is this going to work? We have unprecedented realignment. Texas and Oklahoma are in the SEC now. The Big Ten welcomes Oregon, UCLA, USC and Washington.

We have a 12-team College Football Playoff that begins on Dec. 20. The semifinals will be played at the Capital One Orange Bowl and Cotton Bowl Classic on Jan. 9. The College Football Playoff championship game is on Jan. 20 at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta. 

We have a video game, too. “EA Sports College Football 25” is back this summer, which should help generate more interest in the game. 

On the field, there is more than enough intrigue. Georgia and Ohio State are the preseason favorites despite losing to Alabama and Michigan, respectively, in those pivotal games in 2023. Texas and Oregon also are in the mix despite moving conferences. That 12-team field creates a different kind of regular season. Will we like it as much as the BCS and four-team CFP versions? We are going to find out how this works, and that will be fun. 

With that, Sporting News will have preseason top 25 rankings, bowl projections, All-Americans and more to get you ready for the start of the 2024 season: 

When does ‘EA Sports College Football 25’ come out? 

That is the first need-to-know question before the actual football starts. On July 19, a new generation of gamers will get their first try at the college football video game that will be back for the first time since 2013. Sporting News details everything you need to know about the release of the upcoming game, including the available consoles and game-play features that users will be able to experience. 

Realignment reshapes college football in 2024 

Wait, that team is in that conference? This is a year of transformational realignment within college football. Sporting News has a conference-by-conference look at the new membership and a peek at what 2025 will look like in a continuously-changing sport. Will a Super League be next

College football rankings: SN’s preseason top 25

Sporting News’ post-spring Top 25 is out, and there is a legitimate debate at the top. Should Georgia or Ohio State be No. 1? 

  • 1. Georgia
  • 2. Ohio State
  • 3. Texas
  • 4. Oregon 
  • 5. Notre Dame 
  • 6. Ole Miss 
  • 7. Florida State 
  • 8. Michigan  
  • 9. Alabama 
  • 10. LSU 

Who made the rest of SN’s preseason top 25? What does a composite of eight preseason publications’ top-25 rankings look like? 

Tough schedules and boom-or-bust teams 

After looking at those preseason rankings, who are the boom-or-bust teams for 2024? LSU and Arizona – teams that are looking to crack that 12-team College Football Playoff – are among the teams on that list. We also broke down the schedules for the 18-team Big Ten and 16-team SEC. Michigan and Florida are among the teams in those super-conferences with super-tough schedules in 2024. 

Ranking top college quarterbacks for 2024

The top six quarterbacks in our 2023 QB rankings were first-round picks in the 2024 NFL Draft. What does our top 25 list for 2024 look like ahead of the season? Georgia’s Carson Beck and Quinn Ewers are at the top of the list. Oregon’s Dillon Gabriel, Miami’s Cameron Ward and Ohio State’s Will Howard are among the top first-year transfer quarterbacks. Who made the list? 

College football coach rankings (1-134)

For the first time since 2015, Nick Saban is not No. 1 in Sporting News’ 1-134 coach rankings. Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh is gone, too. What does that mean for our rankings? Who follows Georgia coach Kirby Smart – who inherits that top spot? Who are the top 25 best coaches in the game? Seven coaches in our top 10 made at least one College Football Playoff appearance in the four-team era. 

2025 NFL Draft Big Board

Which players are the best available right now for the 2025 NFL Draft in April? Sporting News 2025 NFL Big Board has some interesting rankings ahead of the season – with Colorado quarterback Shedeur Sanders at No. 1 heading into the regular season. Will Sanders and two-way talent Travis Hunter be top-five picks at the next level? 

Who will make the 12-team college football playoff? 

There are a total of 41 bowl games involving FBS teams in 2024-25, and that does not include the first-round, on-campus games for the College Football Playoff. Sporting News will have its complete bowl projections for all of those bowls, the 12-team College Football Playoff and CFP national championship game later this month. 

Conference predictions for 2024

The Pac-12 is gone, but we still have the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12 and SEC. Sporting News also will release its predictions for the Power 4 conferences, including champions, breakout performers and the best games you just can’t miss in 2024. Look for those ahead of Week 0. 

SN Preseason All-American team 

Oklahoma State running back Ollie Gordon, Notre Dame safety Xavier Watts and Old Dominion linebacker Jason Henderson are among the returning first-team Sporting News All-Americans from 2023. Who will be on the 2024 Preseason All-American team in August? Remember, Sporting News is one of five outlets used to determine consensus All-Americans.