Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

Early 2024 Bowl Projections

Early 2024 Bowl Projections

Welcome back to our first bowl projections of 2024. When we last left you Michigan won their first national title since 1997 over Washington. As the headline suggests it’s a new day in college football. Gone is the four-team playoff in favor of 12 this year and soon to be 16. In addition, expansion is one of the talking points as the ACC, Big 10, Big 12, and SEC all have new members. How does that affect the bowls? Let’s find out with our Early 2024 Bowl Projections.

How This Works

As mentioned above the playoff is expanding to 12 teams. If we are being honest with the way 2023 ended it’s probably overdue. Even then there are still going to be teams that feel left out.

The process goes as follows; the winners of the four major conferences will be seeded 1-4 by the committee. The top Group Of Five squad gets a berth, leaving seven teams fighting for the other spots. The top four teams get a first-round bye while the other eight meet in matchups at the higher seed. Many of the New Year’s Six games are now playoff games.

With all the backstory out of the way let’s get to our picks.

College Football Playoff First Round

Friday, December 20th- (12) Boise State at (5) Texas- The Broncos were one of the hottest teams and the end of 2023. Bringing in Malachi Nelson at quarterback should give them the upper hand in the Group Of Five. We project Texas to lose the SEC title game but still be the five seed.

Saturday, December 21st- (9) Michigan at (8) Ole Miss- The defending champs make the playoff again but head to Oxford. In an attempt to compete with Georgia Lane Kiffin’s squad made huge waves in the transfer portal. However, they fall just short of a top-four seed.

Saturday, December 21st- (11) Penn State at (6) Oregon- Having teams from the same conference meet in the playoff isn’t ideal but it is what it is. At least they don’t play in the regular season.

Saturday, December 21st- (10) Alabama vs. (7) Notre Dame– It’s an interesting situation with the Fighting Irish as they can’t be a conference champion and get a top-four seed. On the other side of the ball, we have the Crimson Tide making the playoff in Kalen DeBoer’s first year.

College Football Playoff Quarterfinals

VRBO Fiesta Bowl- Tuesday, December 31st- (5) Texas at (4) Utah- There are at least five teams who could win the Big 12. At the end of the day we settled on the Utes making a big splash in their first season.

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl- Wednesday, January 1st- (6) Oregon vs. (3) Florida State- We project the Seminoles as the ACC Champion again. The Ducks get past Penn State and move on.

Rose Bowl- Wednesday, January 1st- (7) Notre Dame vs. (2) Ohio State- We could have easily sent the Buckeyes to Atlanta. However, we wanted to keep some tradition and have the Big 10 champ go to Pasadena.

Allstate Sugar Bowl- Wednesday, January 1st- (8) Ole Miss vs. (1) Georgia- Carson Beck is back and trying to lead the Bulldogs to another title. The Rebels get to face the SEC champs and top seed in New Orleans.

College Football Semi-Finals And Final

Capital One Orange Bowl- Thursday, January 9th- (5) Texas vs. (1) Georgia– The Longhorns get past Utah setting up a battle versus the Bulldogs.

Goodyear Cotton Bowl- Friday, January 10th- (3) Florida State vs. (2) Ohio State- Both favorites advance setting up an epic battle at Jerry World.

College Football National Championship- Atlanta, Georgia- Monday, January 20th- (2) Ohio State vs. (1) Georgia- The two best teams all year in college football meet in the title game.

Well, that’s a lot to digest but we’ve still got a lot more to come. Let’s move on with our Early 2024 Bowl Projections.

Filling The Void

A few things to consider as we continue with our Early 2024 Bowl Projections. With the end of the Pac-12, many of the old teams from the league are eligible to fill those bowl slots. Those are the Alamo, Holiday Independence, LA, Las Vegas, and Tony The Tiger Sun Bowl. While Oregon State and Washington State are of course eligible don’t be surprised to see former Pac-12 schools as well.

In addition, bowls try to avoid teams playing in the same game in back-to-back years. However, with all the conference swapping madness duplicates are a definite possibility.

Games Around The New Year

TransPerfect Music City Bowl- December 30th Big Ten vs. SEC- Iowa vs. Oklahoma– It looks weird seeing the Sooners representing the SEC but here we are.

Reliaquest Bowl- December 31st- SEC vs. Big Ten- Tennessee vs. Wisconsin- The Volunteers just miss the playoff go where they haven’t played since 2016. With the top of the Big Ten in the playoff and many of the new schools still representing the Pac-12, the Badgers go to Tampa.

Tony The Tiger Sun Bowl- December 31st- ACC/Notre Dame vs. Pac-12- North Carolina vs. Oregon State

Cheez-It Citrus Bowl- December 31st- Big Ten vs. SEC- Missouri vs. Nebraska– The Tigers are a team many think could challenge for the SEC title. Much like Wisconsin, the Cornhuskers take full advantage of the top of the league already being spoken for.

Texas Bowl- December 31st- Big 12 vs. SEC- Kansas State vs. South Carolina– In the entire time the SEC was split into divisions a team from the SEC East never played in this game. Now there are no more divisions and we are sending the Gamecocks to Houston.

TaxSlayer Gator Bowl- January 2nd- ACC/Notre Dame vs. SEC- LSU vs. North Carolina State

ServPro First Responder Bowl- January 3rd- American/ACC/Big 12- Jacksonville State vs. Sam Houston State

Duke’s Mayo Bowl- January 3rd- ACC/Notre Dame vs. Big Ten- Miami (Florida) vs. Michigan State- The SEC and Big Ten alternate every other year in this contest and in 2024 it’s the Big Ten’s turn.

Bahamas Bowl- January 4th- Conference USA vs. MAC- New Mexico State vs. Bowling Green– The game is back in its normal home this year. In addition, it’s moving from the first weekend to the last non-playoff bowl.

Continuing on with our Early 2024 Bowl Projections let’s move to the contests held just after Christmas.

After Christmas Bowl Games

Detroit Bowl- December 26th- Big Ten vs. MAC- Illinois vs. Northern Illinois

Guaranteed Rate Bowl- December 26th- Big 12 vs. Big Ten-  Minnesota vs. West Virginia

68 Ventures Bowl- December 26th- Conference USA/MAC/Sun Belt- Ohio vs. Texas State

76 Birmingham Bowl- December 27th- ACC/SEC/American- Pittsburgh vs. Florida

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl- December 27th- American vs. Conference USA- Air Force vs. Iowa State

AutoZone Liberty Bowl- December 27th- Big 12 vs. SEC- Kentucky vs. Texas Tech- Georgia transfer Brock Vandagriff is the new quarterback for Mark Stoops but a brutal SEC schedule could keep them from a bigger bowl. These two schools have never played.

SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl- December 27th- SEC vs. Pac-12- Texas A&M vs. Arizona- With the Big Ten playing in the Mayo Bowl it’s the SEC’s turn to head to Las Vegas.

The biggest game as far as the number of games is December 28th with eight bowls total. Let’s go through each of them with our Early 2024 Bowl Projections.

A Huge Day Of Games

Wasabi Fenway Bowl- December 28th- ACC/Notre Dame vs. American- Virginia Tech vs. Memphis- The Tigers are another team many think could get the Group Of Five bid.

Bad Boy Mowers Pinstripe Bowl- December 28th- ACC/Notre Dame vs. Big Ten- Duke vs. Maryland

Isleta New Mexico Bowl- December 28th- Mountain West vs. American/Conference USA/MAC/Sun Belt- Marshall vs. San Jose State

Pop-Tarts Bowl- December 28th- ACC/Notre Dame vs. Big 12- Kansas vs. Louisville– The Jayhawks really wanted this game a season ago. However, Kansas State ended up in Orlando. They face a Cardinal squad hoping for a better end to the 2024 season.

Snoop Dogg Arizona Bowl- December 28th- MAC vs. Mountain West- Utah State vs. Western Michigan- Not to be outdone by Rob Gronkowski, entertainment icon Snoop Dogg is now the sponsor of the game taking over for Barstool.

Go Bowling Military Bowl- December 28th- ACC/Notre Dame vs. American- SMU vs. South Florida- The Mustangs represent their new conference (ACC) vs. their old one (American)

Valero Alamo Bowl- December 28th- Big 12 vs. Pac-12- Oklahoma State vs. USC

Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl- December 28th- Army/ American vs. Pac-12- Army vs. UCLA- An interesting note here is the Army-Navy game is on December 14th. That means bowl selections will have already occurred by the time this game happens if Army only has five wins.

Early Season Bowl Games

Cricket Celebration Bowl- December 14th- MEAC vs. SWAC- Jackson State vs. North Carolina Central

Camellia Bowl- December 14th- MAC vs. Sun Belt- South Alabama vs. Texas San-Antonio

Boca Raton Bowl- December 17th- American/Conference USA/MAC/Mountain West/Sun Belt- James Madison vs. Central Florida

Scooter’s Coffee Frisco Bowl- December 17th- American/Conference USA/MAC/Mountain West/Sun Belt- Rutgers vs. South Alabama

LA Bowl Presented By Gronk- December 18th- Pac-12 vs. Mountain West- UNLV vs. Washington State

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl- December 19th- Conference USA vs. Sun Belt- Troy vs. Liberty- This game features two teams vying for the Group Of Five bid. For now, we have them meeting in New Orleans.

Staff DNA Cure Bowl- December 20th American/Conference USA/MAC/Mountain West/Sun Belt- Coastal Carolina vs. Eastern Michigan

Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl- December 20th- American vs. ACC/SECAuburn vs. Tulane- Under new coach Jon Sumrall the Green Wave could make another run at the Group Of Five berth. The Tigers are hoping for bigger things in Hugh Freeze’s second year.

Pre-Christmas Games

Myrtle Beach Bowl- December 23rd- American/MAC/Sun Belt- Appalachian State vs. Toledo

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl- December 23rd- MAC vs. Mountain West- Fresno State vs. Miami (Ohio)

Hawai’i Bowl- December 24th- Conference USA vs. Mountain West- Colorado State vs. Western Kentucky

DirecTV Holiday Bowl- ACC vs. Pac-12- Clemson vs. Washington- This game doesn’t have a date yet but we have what should be a great matchup.

That does it for our Early 2024 Bowl Projections here at Last Word On College Football. Don’t see your favorite team? Don’t worry, that’s why it’s called the early picks. If you are scoring at home (or if you are by yourself) here’s the rundown by power conferences. The Big Ten has 14 teams, SEC 13, ACC 12 counting Notre Dame, and 10 for the Big 12. Of course, some of those teams especially in the Big Ten are representing their previous leagues.

Thanks for checking out our Early 2024 Bowl Projections here at Last Word On College Football. We’ll be back after Week Zero and every week during the year until the official projections are announced.


Early 2024 Bowl Projections
Photo courtesy: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


More Posts

Send Us A Message