FBS college football teams with non-conference openings in 2024

By Kevin Kelley -

Most Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) college football teams have their non-conference schedules set for the 2024 season, but over 20 still need one game or have not revealed their final opponent.

Conference realignment has, as it usually does, thrown a wrench into future scheduling. Two Pac-12 teams, Cal and Stanford, had their non-conference schedules set for next season but now each will need to add an opponent as a result of joining the ACC, which plays one less league matchup.

Oklahoma and Texas, which join the SEC in 2024, were both in a similar situation but have since filled their slates for next season.

One school, Kennesaw State, is currently in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) but is moving up to the FBS and will compete in Conference USA beginning in 2024. The Owls are currently scheduled to open the season at UTSA and will also play at San Jose State. Two FCS teams are also on their schedule, UT Martin at home and Tennessee State on the road, but FBS schools don’t usually play at FCS opponents. That means Kennesaw will likely need to add at least one more non-conference opponent for next season.

Hawaii currently has four non-conference opponents set for 2024, but can add an additional contest under the Hawaii Exemption. Teams that play Hawaii can also schedule an extra non-conference game in 2024, but that is the exception rather than the norm so we won’t speculate on that. Oregon is currently the only opponent of Hawaii that has 13 games scheduled for next season (four non-conference plus nine Big Ten).

Below are the teams that currently have non-conference openings in 2024, or their final opponent has not been officially announced. Please note that all schedules are tentative and subject to change until officially announced by the teams or conferences.

* Last updated Sept. 28, 2023 at 7:30pm ET (removed NC State and Northern Illinois).



vs. Cal (Sept. 7), vs. New Mexico (Sept. 14), vs. ULM (Nov. 16)

Auburn’s fourth opponent will likely be an in-state FCS team.


at Georgia Southern (Aug. 31), vs. Oregon State (Sept. 7), at Oregon (Sept. 14)

Boise State needs a fourth opponent after reports that their home game against Houston in 2024 will be rescheduled.


at Missouri (Sept. 14), vs. Michigan State (Sept. 21), vs. WKU (Sept. 28)

BC’s fourth opponent will likely be an FCS team.


vs. Southern Illinois (Aug. 31), at Utah (Sept. 7), at Wyoming (Sept. 14)

BYU’s non-conference schedule was full, but one opponent, Utah, will become a Big 12 conference opponent. There’s a possibility that the game could remain on the schedule as a non-conference contest.


vs. UC Davis (Aug. 31), at Auburn (Sept. 7), vs. San Diego State (Sept. 14)

Cal’s 2024 non-conference schedule was complete until they recently announced they will join the ACC next season.


at FIU (Sept. 7), at Illinois (Sept. 14), vs. San Diego State (Sept. 28)

Central Michigan’s fourth opponent will likely be an FCS team.


at Northwestern (Sept. 7), vs. UConn (Sept. 14), vs. Middle Tennessee (Sept. 21)

Duke’s fourth opponent will likely be an FCS team.


at Indiana (Aug. 31), vs. Central Michigan (Sept. 7), at Florida Atlantic (Sept. 14)

FIU’s fourth opponent will likely be an FCS team.


at Michigan State (Aug. 31), vs. FIU (Sept. 14), at UConn (Sept. 21)

Florida Atlantic’s fourth opponent will likely be an FCS team.


vs. UNLV (Aug. 31), at Oklahoma (Sept. 7)

Houston needs a third opponent after reports that their road game against Boise in 2024 will be rescheduled.


Aug. 31 vs. FIU, Sept. 7 at Louisville, Sept. 21 vs. Charlotte

A report indicates that Indiana is canceling their contest against Louisville in 2024.


at UTSA (Aug. 31), at San Jose State (Sept. 14), at Tennessee State (Sept. 21), vs. UT Martin (Sept. 28)

As previously mentioned, Kennesaw State will likely not play at Tennessee State in 2024.


8/31 vs. Austin Peay, Sept. 7 vs. Indiana, Sept. 28 at Notre Dame, Nov. 30 at Kentucky

A report indicates that Indiana is canceling their contest against Louisville in 2024.


vs. Miami OH (Aug. 31), vs. Duke (Sept. 7)

Northwestern’s third opponent will likely be an FCS team.


Notre Dame currently has 11 games scheduled, and none are FCS teams. Back in 2021, it was reported that Notre Dame will play Army at Yankee Stadium in 2024.


vs. Akron (Sept. 7), at Virginia Tech (Sept. 21)

Rutgers’ third opponent will likely be an FCS team.


vs. HCU (Aug. 31), at Vanderbilt (Sept. 14), vs. TCU (Sept. 21)

SMU is joining the ACC in 2024.


vs. TCU (Aug. 31), vs. Cal Poly (Sept. 7), at Notre Dame (Oct. 12)

Stanford’s 2024 non-conference schedule was complete, but they will need an extra game since they are moving to the ACC next season.


at Stanford (Aug. 31), at SMU (Sept. 21)

TCU’s third opponent will likely be an FCS team.


UConn currently has 11 games on their 2024 schedule. The 12th contest will likely be against an opponent from the FCS.


vs. Southern Utah (Aug. 29), vs. BYU (Sept. 7), vs. Baylor (Sept. 14)

Utah’s non-conference schedule is full, but one opponent, Baylor, will become a Big 12 conference opponent and BYU is also a Big 12 opponent. Those games could be replaced or could remain on the schedule as non-conference matchups.


vs. Robert Morris (Aug. 31), at USC (Sept. 7), at Temple (Sept. 21)

Utah State was previously scheduled to play at Mississippi State in 2024, but canceled that contest and replaced it with a trip to face USC.


vs. Weber State (Aug. 31), vs. Eastern Michigan (Sept. 7)

Washington will be joining the Big Ten in 2024 along with Oregon, UCLA, and USC.



Army currently has 10 games scheduled for next season and one of those is an FCS team (Dartmouth). However, the Black Knights often play two FCS teams per season.


vs. Sam Houston (Aug. 31), vs. Army (Oct. 5)


*Based on public announcements and records searches to date.

The New Mexico State Aggies, which joined Conference USA this year after five seasons as an FBS Independent, are over-scheduled by one game based on public announcements and records searches to date. We currently have five non-conference opponents listed for NM State, but that will need to be trimmed down to four.


Oregon State and Washington State, the lone remaining Pac-12 schools, may need to pick up non-conference games if they do not join the Mountain West or rebuild the Pac-12 with other teams.



NC STATE – added Northern Illinois


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Comments (18)

BYU is now a Big 12 team so in 2024 Utah will actually have 2 openings and BYU will also have 1 spot to fill. I’ve wondered if Utah State might fill their one slot with BYU since the main reason their series was cancelled was due to having too many games after joining the Big 12. Unless Utah State filled their game with another team already.

Having BYU go to Logan to play Utah State would be great.
the Utah AD has stated they will try to make their scheduled games against Baylor and BYU not count as conference games and so no changes will need to be made. so that means they would play 11 Big 12 teams next year.

You have to assume that any Big 12 scheduling model is going to have BYU-Utah as an annual conference game, so I would think they will need to find at least one more non-conference game.

There are several decent potential opponents on this list that ND could schedule for its 12th game. Let’s hope it is somebody like Auburn or Washington, although I have heard rumors it could be Army.

Hawai’i currently has 4 non-conference games scheduled when they normally do 5. It seems they have room to do an away game against a P5 or G5 opponent.

Matt, I would concur. Hawaii will do an away payday game, which they currently do not have on the schedule for next year.

If the Pac-2 teams don’t merge (in one direction or the other) with The Mountain West, they’ll each have 8 holes to fill.

When you eliminate all the teams that will likely fill their last game with an FCS team, it becomes apparent that Oregon State and Washington can’t build a schedule if they go forward as a two-team conference for 2024.

Looking at their options….

They each have three non-conference games scheduled. They could play each other home-and-home. Oregon and Washington both publicly committed to keeping their in-state rivalry games going (and Washington needs a non-conference game), so they could try to them to their commitments. That’s six games each, including one FCS game. So between them, they need 12 more games (unless they play more than one FCS opponent).

Then, of the teams looking for a non-FCS game:

Boise State – I suspect they would agree to a home-and-home with Washington State, starting in 2024 (they already play Oregon State in 2024).

BYU – If the Utah game becomes a conference game, then maybe BYU would agree to a home-and-home starting in 2024, but I suspect it would have to be in Provo in 2024 with the return date several years out. I would say BYU is unlikely to be an option.

California – Cal is probably an option. They need a fourth non-conference game, they already have an FCS game on the schedule, and probably like a regional opponent given most of their road games will be on the east coast.

Houston – Highly unlikely they would cancel Boise State to add Oregon State or Washington State.

Indiana and Louisville – Highly unlikely they would cancel their game only to replace it with Oregon State or
Washington State.

Kennesaw State – You could probably pay them for a one-game shot.

Mississippi State – I doubt they want to add a non-conference game against a team that might beat them.

NC State – I guess they are a possibility.

Rice – Cal is probably an option (maybe even for both OSU and WSU).

SMU – I don’t think they add Oregon State or Washington State with two Power 5 teams already on the schedule.

Stanford – See Cal.

Utah – Maybe, depending on how the BYU and Baylor games end up being treated (and you can add Baylor as a maybe as well, for the same reason).

Utah State – I suspect they would agree to a home-and-home with either Oregon State or Washington State.

Washington – see above.

So, needing 12 games between the two them, I count 6-7 as viable options (Boise State, Cal, Kennesaw State, Rice, Stanford, Utah State)

The other wildcard is Army. If they go to the AAC for 2024 to replace SMU, then they are going to need to drop 5 games, most of which would be in October and November. Which gets into another issue….they won’t just need a lot of games, but they will need them in October and November.

And nothing says you can’t host 3 (or heck, even 4-6) FCS teams, though that could make the home slate somewhat unappealing.

Nevada, UNM, and UNLV play at Hawaii so could play a 13th game and may be willing to help out WSU and ORSU if they’re going to be invited to join the Pac in the future. Same goes for the rest of the MWC.

Finally, yes, it would really be in WSU’s and ORSU’s interest for Army to enter the AAC in 2024, which would open up several slots, some of them in Oct and Nov.

The only snarky remark is aimed at an SEC school, Mississippi State. Why? State has not screwed Oregon State and Wassu. Aim your hate at Oregon, Washington, USC, the B1G not Starkville,

A bit sensitive? That comment was factual, not snarky.

Mississippi State schedules one weaker Power 5 non-conference opponent (e.g., Arizona this year) and three non-conference home games they are going to win. Go look at their schedules for the last decade and that’s just what they do.

They already have Arizona State scheduled for 2024. They aren’t adding a team like Washington State or Oregon State. They will buy a home from a Group of Five team.