The B1G’s Biggest 2024 Out-Of-Conference Games

Jon Joseph Editorials

As Mr. FishDuck would say, “Good-gosh!” He was not just referring to his study of predictions and odds at, but the Dandy-Games of this next season in the B1G, on the non-conference side of the schedules. In 2024, the 18 B1G teams will play 15 out-of-conference (OOC) games versus Power 4 (P4) opponents. Two B1G teams play no P4 team OOC: Indiana, and Ohio State.

Oregon, Washington, and Purdue play JCC (John Canzano Conference) members. It is bizarre (In the top photo) to consider Oregon vs. Oregon State on 9/14 as a non-conference game in what is sure to be a welcoming Reser Stadium in Corvallis. Purdue plays in Corvallis the following weekend giving the Beavers back-to-back home games against B1G opponents. (Don’t ask why this is happening)

Interestingly, in 2024 Purdue plays only one of the Pac-12 B1G newbies, Oregon in West Lafayette, Indiana on 10/19, the week after the Ducks play the Buckeyes in Autzen Stadium. The Oregon State game will be the Boilermakers’ only 2024 trip to the West Coast. The Beavers have one other P4 team on the schedule playing Cal in Berkeley.

Washington plays Washington State on 9/14 in Seahawks (Lumen) Stadium. I doubt that the Playoff Committee will treat OSU and WSU as P4 programs and the two are not eligible to qualify for the Playoff as a member of a G5 conference. Cutting off your nose to spite your face?

Setting JCC members aside, as it should be, the B1G will play 15 games versus the P4. The B1G plays 5 ACC teams and 2 games against Notre Dame, 5 games vs. B12 teams, and 4 games vs. the SEC. The following is the College Football News Ranking of the 2024 B1G out-of-conference games. I believe the rankings if you consider eyeballs on the games, but for Colorado at Nebraska, to be accurate.

There is a history with these two opponents… (Screenshot from ABC-ESPN Video)

1. 9/7/24 – Texas versus Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan – Sometimes scheduling years out in the future hands CFB fans a serendipitous surprise. How about the 2023 Playoff team No. 3 versus the 2023 No.1 Playoff team in the Big House in Ann Arbor? Sark, no pressure taking SEC Texas into hostile B1G territory, right? New Wolverines head coach Sherrone Moore, no pressure, right? This 2nd Week’s game could have 12M+ eyes on the prize.

Series Record – The teams have met once. The 2025 Rose Bowl where the Horns defeated the Wolverines 38-37. It is somewhat surprising that these 2 CFB Blue Bloods have met on only one occasion. Cal fans are still upset over Mack Brown lobbying to take Cal’s place in the Rose Bowl.

2. 8/31/24 – USC vs. LSU in Las Vegas. Both teams underperformed in 2023. SC with the returning Heisman-winning QB, Caleb Williams, and LSU with Heisman-winning JT Daniels. A B1G early test vs. the SEC. Both teams come into this game without their Heisman-winning QBs and with massive changes on the defense side of the ball. USC poached UCLA’s DC and LSU did the same with Mizzou’s DC.

The key to the 2024 Playoff for both teams is improvement on the D side of the ball. Series Record – 1 – 1 – This will be the first meeting since 1984, a game won by LSU in Baton Rouge. USC won the matchup in LA in 1979.

3. 9/14/24 – Alabama vs. Wisconsin – Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, Wisconsin. It will be a guy from South Dakota, Kalen DeBoer, and not Saint Nick carrying the SEC flag into hostile Yankee territory. Wisconsin coach Luke Fickell‘s team in his first season finished 7-6 with a very competitive bowl loss against LSU in Dixie. Bama brings a 2023 Playoff team North and a team with one of the bluest Blue Chip rosters in CFB. Bama returning QB, Jalen Milroe, is among the 2024 Heisman Trophy favorites.

Tyler Van Dyke has a great opportunity to flourish again… (Screenshot from ACC Digital Network Video)

For the Badgers to have a chance in this game, QB transfer from Miami, Tyler Van Dyke will have to play like he did for Manny Diaz during his true freshman season and not how he declined under our buddy and QB-Killer, Mario.

Series Record – 1 – 1. Wisconsin won on 11/3/1928 in Madison. (Charles had to pay the exorbitant price of $1 for his scalped ticket.) Bama won in the opening game of the 2015 season, 35-17. The game was played in the Dallas Cowboys stadium. Bama defeated Clemson in the 2015/16 Playoff Championship game. Against Wisconsin, 2015 Heisman winner (BOO!) Derrick Henry gained 147 yards.

4. 11/30/24 – USC vs. Notre Dame in LA. SC’s 2nd 2024 out-of-conference game vs. a P4 opponent. Will these two teams be battling for a spot in the 12-team 2024 Playoff? USC’s schedule in 2024 is ranked by ESPN’s SP+ as the 2nd most difficult. Notre Dame in 2024 has a relatively easy schedule, no Clemson, FSU, and Louisville games in South Bend and of course, will conclude its regular season in LA versus USC and not in a conference champ game.

(B1G/SEC Alliance, please fix this! If ND wants to be independent play 13 games with 10 vs. P4 competition. And BTW Tony, how about encouraging Greg to play 9 conference games?)

Series Record – Notre Dame 49 / USC 37 / 5 ties. The 91st meeting in this terrific inter-sectional series (if there is such a thing anymore) may have one or two Playoff berths on the line. SC is hoping to rebound under a new D staff of coaches and both schools would like nothing more than to knock each other out of the Playoff. This is B1G prove-it season not only for Lincoln Riley but also for ND’s Marcus Freeman.

This was one of Chip’s better victories… (Screenshot from Fox Sports Video)

5. 9/21/24 – UCLA vs LSU in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Who Knew that the Bayou Bengals would be taking on two LA B1G schools? OREGON has this weekend off before playing its first game as a B1G member in the Rose Bowl vs. the Bruins. A nice scheduling quirk for OBD. Caesars Sportsbook has an early line of LSU -2.5 and an Over/Under of 64 points. (Disclosure. My Vegas betting buddies and I have a bet down on LSU to cover the -2.5.)

Series Record – UCLA 1 / LSU 0. UCLA defeated LSU in the Rose Bowl on 9/4/21 38-17. The game was played in the Rose Bowl the year after the Tigers won the Playoff Championship, Heisman Winner Joe Burrow left for the NFL, and Ed Orgeron began his final season as a CFB Head Coach.

6. 9/7/24 – Iowa State vs Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa. This will be the 78th playing of the CyHawk Trophy game. The Hawkeyes lead in the series 48 to 29.

7. 9/7/24 – Kansas vs Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. These two teams first teed it up on 10/27/1892! But only six games have been played with each team winning 3 apiece. (The rumor that I was the waterboy for the 1st game is simply rude! But the 1929 game?)

8. 8/31/24 – Penn State vs West Virginia in Morgantown, W. VA. – West Virginia lost to Penn State last season but had a better season than expected. Penn State, again, went 10-0 but 0-2 vs Michigan and Ohio State and no-showed against Ole Miss in the Peach Bowl. Going back to the first BCS title game in 1983, Penn State in a 12-team Playoff format would have been tied for the most appearances.

Series Record – Penn State 38 / West Virginia 15.

Nebraska vs Colorado should be a dandy. (Screenshot from Fox Sports Video)

9. 9/7/24 – Duke vs Northwestern in Evansville, Illinois. A battle of ACC and B1G smarties. A matchup between new Duke head coach Manny Diaz and new NW, former interim, head coach David Braun. Duke leads in the series 12 games to 10 and has won the last four contests.

10. 9/7/24 – Colorado vs Nebraska in Lincoln, Nebraska. I would have had this rematch of Neon Deion vs a coach trying to bring Nebraska back to Rhule the B1G the way it once did the B12, no lower than No. 6 on this list. CU’s win in Boulder last season helped set the table for ‘They’re playing for clicks, we’re playing for wins!’ Shedeur Sanders vs 5* QB recruit Dylan Raiola. A matchup of two coaches in the 2nd season of a rebuild. Lots of eyeballs on this prize. Series Record – Cornhuskers 49 with 18 straight wins from 1968 to 1985 / Buffs – 20 with back-to-back victories / 2 ties.

11 .8/29/24 – North Carolina vs Minnesota. A Thursday night creature feather to whet the appetite. Series Record – UNC – 1 / Minnesota 0. Row the Boat or a Mack?

12. 9/21/24 – Michigan State vs Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. New coach J. Smith against a BC coach TBD. Series Record – Boston College 4, first game played October 19. 1935 / Michigan State 1. This is a series record that surprised me. Would be very nice for the B1G and Sparty to defeat these Eagles.

13. 9/21/24 – Rutgers at Virginia – Another B1G vs ACC game on the same Saturday. I think Coach Schiano as evidenced by the bowl win over Miami has the U of New Jersey headed in a positive direction. But Va Tech last season finished the season after four early losses 7-6 with a beat down of Old Dominion in its bowl game and is a sneaky candidate to win the ACC in 2024. The first game between these two was played on October 16, 1920. Va Tech has won 20 games, Rutgers 4.

Notre Dame vs. Purdue almost seems like a conference games? (Screenshot from NBC Sports Video)

14. 9/14/24 – Notre Dame vs Purdue in West Lafayette, Indiana. Lots of great QBs, Bob Griese, Drew Brees, Joe Montana, and QB/TB Heisman winner Paul Hornung, among others, have battled in this long-running series of Indiana foes. This series began in 1896. The Domers lead Purdue 58/ 26/ 2. Lots of boilermakers in W. Lafayette to drown the sorrows. Oregon plays at Purdue on 10/19/24 the Saturday after the Ohio State game in Eugene. Trap?

15. 9/14/24 – Maryland vs Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. Maryland in Autzen is another Ducks opponent in 2024, Maryland again plays against old-time ACC foe, UVA. This series started in 1919. Maryland leads the series 45/32/2. Since 1991, UVA is 15-8. This is a bitter series especially after Maryland left the ACC for the B1G.

I look at the histories of these games and I think Tradition. Tradition molded into a new form but still lots of tremendous history yet, not so much between the B1G and the SEC. I think we will see more B1G vs SEC battles in the future.

It’s going to be lots of B1G fun; what do you think of these B1G non-conference games? Discuss in the OBD forum-with-decorum!

Jon Joseph
Aiken, South Carolina
Top Photo by Craig Strobeck

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