Early on in CFF’s best ball draft season, it’s hard to keep up with schedules. I personally was in on the first team listed here before those in the industry called out them as having a horrible schedule. What an impact it can make, though! Soon, we will have Fantrax byes in the draft database, but what about the tough matchups on top of those bye weeks should we know about? Today, I look at the toughest and worst matchups of the 2024 CFF season. 

Georgia Tech 

Georgia Tech easily (in my eyes) has the worst schedule in CFF. Not only do they have three bye weeks due to a Week 0 matchup against FSU, but they finish the season facing off against NC State at home and at UGA. So, you survive all those bye weeks to get to two really tough matchups in your biggest weeks of the year. 

Haynes King Courtesy of From the Rumble Seat

Is it also worth mentioning that in the final three weeks of the CFF regular season, they are OFF, vs. Miami, and OFF? To take it even a step further, the two weeks before that are against Notre Dame, a perennial good defensive team, and at Virginia Tech who returns a ton of starters on defense with multiple standouts transferring in. If you’re a Haynes King, Jamal Haynes, or Eric Singleton Jr. owner, you have to be not thrilled about this schedule.

Washington 

The Huskies have essentially a brand new team and staff, which is not great considering the schedule they face in 2024. We see a few friendly matchups with Weber State and EMU to start the season before facing off against Washington State in Week 3 (weird). It’s not the first half of the season I care about here. Instead, it’s the dreadful second half of the season that almost makes these dart throw type options at Washington just not worth it. 

To start, they have a bye week on November 23rd, the first/second round of your playoffs, pending your playoff format. Before that poorly placed bye week, they play against Penn State (on the road) and home vs UCLA. Both of these teams ranked in the top 14 in scoring defense in 2024. They also play Michigan and (at) Iowa in October, making Washington players essentially zeros (due to bye week) or playing in extremely tough matchups in six of the final nine weeks of the season. 

South Carolina 

This one is certainly tough! South Carolina is perennially known for its extremely tough schedules, but how could anyone think a start of ODU, (at) Kentucky, LSU, and Akron is a tough start to the season for CFF purposes? They’re listed here because of what’s left of this schedule. 

Courtesy of The State

In the final ten weeks of the season, they face off against six ranked teams (three on the road) and have two bye weeks. The most important call out here is Clemson on the road in your championship round if you make it that far (which is funny because the week before is a great matchup against Wofford). South Carolina’s final eight games feature six top 50 defenses when it comes to scoring defense. 

Notre Dame

The Fighting Irish start the season off with a road game at TAMU, which will be a tough one for them (top 40 scoring defense in 2023). They then go off on a string of appealing matchups, but the reason why Notre Dame is listed here is for the final games of the season. It’s sneaky and potentially a bit of a stretch, but Notre Dame wraps up October with a matchup against an option team in Navy.

The Irish start November with a bye week, then against FSU, a team that is being propped up to have a great defense and one that finished in the top 15 in scoring defense last season. They then face UVA (OK, that’s a sweet matchup) before playing another run-focused team in Army, and then finally battle against rival USC on the road. I’m not saying this schedule is the worst, but I try to avoid super run-heavy teams like Navy and Army and will certainly give props to FSU’s likely top 25-scoring defense. If there was doubt in drafting Riley Leonard as he’s recovering from surgery is the late unappealing scheduling it?

Nebraska 

I know we want Dylan Raiola to be the true freshman that brings the blue-blood Huskers back to national prominence, but it’ll be super tough to do in 2024. Yes, the start of UTEP, Colorado, Northern Iowa, and Illinois are ideal, but the back half of the season is really tough. Keep in mind that it’s not hard to find an easy first half of the schedule, thanks to non-conference scheduling. 

The end of the Huskers gamut sees them at Ohio State, UCLA, a bye, at USC, Wisconsin, and at Iowa. So, what you’re looking at is five of six weeks where Nebraska is facing a tough opponent or has a bye. I’m not loving that for an offense that likely has a true freshman under center. In their final six weeks, they face four top-25 scoring defenses, have a bye week, and play at USC (which is obviously pretty nice). I’m just not loving it for anyone buying the hype of a new Nebraska offense with Raiola at QB. 

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