With NCAA 2025 coming out here in a couple of months, I wanted to divert my attention away from strictly CFF and try my hand at digging into this game that we’ve been waiting years for. I think we can all agree that Dynasty mode was the best part of the previous versions, taking over poorly rated teams and raising them up the ranks until they’re national powerhouses. But which teams should I be looking at for each conference I may be interested in? Don’t look any further… I have your back!

ACC – Syracuse

I personally will be rocking Virginia Tech from day one here, but I’m a man of the people. While Lane Stadium is as sick as it gets, what about the JMA Wireless Dome, aka the former “Carrier Dome”?! Syracuse has a great tradition of running production, great looking uniforms, and has struggled in recent years. What else do you need?

Courtesy of galkanepi.com.br

If you play with Syracuse, I think you have to play a balanced offense and really lean into the RB tradition. Current RB LeQuint Allen has shown the ability to carry a full load, rushing 28, 27, and 32 times in back-to-back games last season. Who cares about the health of these video game players? He’s averaging 25+ for me and will be breaking every record along the way.

Other reasons to love Syracuse: Decent rivalries (WVU, Pitt, and Boston College) and a brand new coaching staff this season, which makes taking over as Head Coach realistic.

AAC – USF

Let’s quickly divert from the idea that every dynasty has to be about taking poorly rated G5 teams and look at a really quality USF team. They won seven games last season but have the talent to win the conference in 2024.

The best part about this schedule is the potential to beat Alabama on the road and Miami (FL) at home. This team has the offensive talent to do it, with maybe the best dual-threat quarterback in college football in Byrum Brown. He led the Bulls in rushing with 809 yards on 203 carries and threw for 3,292 yards and 26 TDs. The guy is electric and has an extremely reliable WR1 in Sean Atkins.

Besides the talent and appealing schedule, you have a recruiting hotbed to recruit from and a rivalry with UCF (War on 1-4) that has a sweet name and has to get back on the schedule, and you’re the man to do it.

Other reasons to love USF: Games with Florida, Alabama, Miami (FL), Notre Dame, and Boise State on the schedule. 

Big 12 – Kansas

Courtesy of KHSB.com

Take a basketball school and make it a football school. Does it get better than that? This is a team that has an extremely dynamic QB in Jalon Daniels and an elite RB in Devin Neal. The rest of the team is good enough to compete in the Big 12 but isn’t a favorite to win the conference. I’m loving the potential to make the Jayhawks a football powerhouse.

Kansas has a few fun rivals in Missouri and Kansas State, making for some tough matchups yearly that have extra juice. Overall, this one is fun for me because it’s an opportunity to turn a rarely elite team into one with some dynamic players on offense in your first year.

Other reasons to love Kansas: A Week 1 game against Lindenwood (FCS Midwest?). 

Big Ten – Michigan State

This one pains me to say, but I think Michigan State fits the mold of a great option here. This school has a great tradition (wait for it, here comes the Michigan jab) but has been awful in recent years. They have a brand new staff and a true sophomore quarterback in Aidan Chiles, who is extremely dynamic and could be a cheat code in this game.

The Big Ten has the best rivalries in all sports, not because of the quality of play but because of the trophies. MSU plays for the Paul Bunyan-Governor Trophy (Michigan), the Megaphone Trophy (Notre Dame), the Land Grant Trophy (Penn State), and my personal favorite, the Old Brass Spittoon (Indiana). Filling up the trophy case with those trophies every year is going to be rewarding.

Other reasons to love MSU: I’m curious if they include their alternative uniform, which is a clash of green colors, because as much as those look awful in real life, they may look different in this game. 

CUSA – Kennesaw State

This one feels as easy as it gets, even with the options in Conference USA. The Owls are entering just their tenth season of football in 2024 (!!!) and hail from the state of Georgia. Imagine building up this team and taking on UGA as an SEC member in 2034. That’s the type of stuff Dynasty Mode was built for.

Did I mention this team runs the triple option? The Owls struggled in 2023 and still ran for 1,760 yards in nine games as an FCS Independent. This would have ranked them in the top 20 of FBS last season. Everyone loves trying their hand at the triple option, and while the Navy/Army/Air Force all present fun ways to do so, the startup feel of Kennesaw State is the one I want to do it with.

Courtesy of Seattle Times

Other reasons to love KSU: Scrappy the Owl  

FBS Independent – UMass

There are only three FBS Independents to choose from, and I’m not picking Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish have it too easy, and the only other option is UConn. You might be able to sell me on the Huskies, but I’m going full-on rags to riches.

There comes a time when a man has to grind it out, and that time is UMass in 2024. The Minutemen have struggled for quite a while now and are one season from joining the MAC. Playing as UMass is truly meant for “started from the bottom now we’re here,” otherwise, they’re a tough sell. 

MAC – Bowling Green

Ok, so there’s really not a great answer here. They’re all in the same realm of random and bad and in the same area of the United States. There are not a few differentiators to work with, but I will say, has any MAC TE ever been in contention for the Heisman? With you as the head ball coach, Harold Fannin could be that guy. I also have oddly loved their ugly but great orange, brown, and white uniforms. They’re an older team with a few solid players throughout the roster that could win the MAC with the right coach. 

Other reasons to love Bowling Green: Future schedules consisting of Ohio State, Penn State, Iowa State, and Texas A&M isn’t bad.

MWC – Hawai’i

Hawai’i is the easiest choice of all the Mountain West teams, although Boise State always has a legitimate case for being wanted in Dynasty mode. Hawai’i plays on the Island, though! The tradition and history of the Rainbow Warriors is extremely fun to get behind. Will we be able to do the Ha’a before the game?

Courtesy of SBNation

This offense is about as known as it gets in the college football world: throw it as many times as possible and outscore the opponent. You get to recruit and develop the next Timmy Chang, Colt Brennan, or Davone Bess, iconic names in Hawai’i football history. Who doesn’t want to sign up to do that?

Other reasons to love Hawai’i: The ability to play 13 games.

Pac-12 – Washington State

Only two options here, but I think there’s only one way to go with this. The Cougars are the team to play with. Recreate those incredible Mike Leach offenses and make him proud. The Apple Cup is a fun rivalry with Washington and the schedule will always be unique with the Mountain West Conference. What will happen with Wazzou and Oregon State in the game? You may have some fun conference options with early success.

Other reasons to love Washington State: Did I mention recreating Mike Leach’s best years?

SEC – South Carolina

This one has some similarities to Michigan State, but not all. This program routinely plays some really great rivals (UGA, Clemson, and the occasional North Carolina) and has had some good, not great, years in recent seasons.

They have an unproven but have a really dynamic QB in LaNorris Sellers leading the way this year that many will enjoy utilizing. There is nothing like running over defenders with your 240+lb QB who wears goggles!

Courtesy of The Daily Gamecock

South Carolina definitely isn’t considered a powerhouse in the SEC and fits the underdog mold that makes Dynasty mode so fun. Plus, ya know, they’re the (Game)cocks. 

Other reasons to love South Carolina: The future schedule is packed with quality regional opponents like App State, Virginia Tech, UNC, NC State, and Coastal Carolina.

Sun Belt – Texas State

If you’re a college fantasy football player, then you know why this team is here. They’re going to sling it every game and will have an explosive offense that features the former Sun Belt POTY in Jordan McCloud, a great young RB in Ismail Mahdi, and multiple shifty small WRs. The Bobcats are going to be good in 2024 and will be a candidate for conference change in the video game if you can mimic the real-life team. No pressure, but if you’re not playing in the Big 12 by 2028, then that’s on you!

Recruiting is going to be a battle in the state of Texas, but that’s a big part of why we love Dynasty mode. Nothing is given. Everything is earned. Texas State has some appealing non-conference matchups on the horizon, with games of TAMU, Texas, Kansas State, Army, and Arizona State planned for the next five seasons.

Other reasons to love Texas State: Great potential to be poached by a bigger school to be head coach with success.

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