Recently, I came out with the worst schedules for CFF purposes, so how about today we look at the best? It’s really quite amazing to see how some teams can avoid their elite league mates some years, and below, we see that’s the case for a few of them! 

Rutgers 

How in the world does a Big Ten team miss Ohio State, Oregon, Michigan, Penn State, AND Iowa in the same season? It’s so shocking that I had to triple-check my work here, but this is the case for Rutgers in 2024. This schedule is about as good as it gets for CFF purposes.

They start with Howard (FCS) and Akron before an early bye week. Their toughest game of the season comes after the bye week when they play at Virginia Tech before a string of average Big Ten opponents. You could argue that UCLA is their toughest opponent, and that’s fine, but they get to play them at home, which is a nice little advantage.

Courtesy of ESPN

Finally, the Scarlet Knights’ playoff schedule includes Illinois and Michigan State. I just love this schedule, specifically for Kyle Monangai. Rutgers will want to control the ball with a strong run game, and this schedule sets up perfectly for him. 

SMU 

SMU enters its first ACC season and immediately benefits from a conference that is down in quality compared to years past. This schedule features only two ranked teams: FSU at home and Louisville.

They do have three bye weeks, which is a bummer, but their playoff schedule is elite. They play at UVA (119th in scoring defense last season) and Cal (114th) when it matters most in redraft. A few minor things that are good to see are bye weeks before TCU and before a trip to Stanford. That will surely help them in those two matchups that shouldn’t give them trouble but do have some quirkiness to them (a West Coast trip and a Big 12 opponent). 

Oklahoma State 

The Cowboys head into 2024 with quite the schedule for us CFF players. Their non-conference matchups consist of South Dakota State and Arkansas at home and Tulsa on the road. Green checkmark for those three! They only have two ranked opponents on the schedule, which coincidentally comes right after those first three non-con matchups (Utah and at Kansas State).

The reason why I love this schedule the most, though, is the second half of it. Playoff matchups of Texas Tech and at Colorado are as good as it gets. In their final six games, four of them are against teams ranked 99th in scoring in 2023 or worse. Wheels up for Oklahoma State players in CFF!

South Alabama 

This is a really great schedule to target this season, as it has just about everything. The non-con is pretty soft with an FCS team (Northwestern State), a MAC team (Ohio), and a soft AAC opponent (North Texas). It also has two incredible matchups in the playoffs, with games at Southern Miss and home against Texas State.

Their lone ranked opponent is LSU, which has not been known for its defense in quite some time. Sprinkle in soft matchups with ULM, Georgia Southern, and Arkansas State throughout the regular season, and there’s no reason to be worried about what’s on the docket for South Alabama in 2024. 

Kansas 

When looking at schedules to target, it was beneficial to start with Colorado and see what fell from there. Kansas has the benefit of a home matchup against Colorado in the playoffs and at Baylor in the championship weekend, which has us all loving Devin Neal at his current ADP. This schedule also has soft matchups in BYU, Houston, Arizona State, UNLV, and Illinois.

Courtesy of Kansas Athletics

One fun fact about the Jayhawks’ schedule is that they open the season against a team called Lindenwood at an MLS stadium. I might draft Neal strictly to avoid the automatic losses in Week 1 and the playoffs. In total, Kansas faces just one ranked opponent in 2024: their rival, Kansas State.

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