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 have now finalized their non-conference slate, which begins at UTSA on Aug. 31. KSU will then host Louisiana on Sept. 7 and then visit San Jose State on Sept. 14 before hosting UT Martin on Sept. 28.

Following Oregon canceling its contest against Hawaii, the Rainbow Warriors now have three non-conference opponents set for 2024, not counting their Mountain West alliance game at Washington State. Hawaii can add two additional contests 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.

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.

* Updated Jan. 23, 2024 (added Army and UAB; removed Syracuse and TCU)
* Updated Jan. 25, 2024 (removed Boston College and UAB)
* Updated Jan. 29, 2024 (removed UMass)
* Updated Jan. 30, 2024 (removed Florida Atlantic)
* Updated Feb. 1, 2024 (removed New Mexico State)
* Updated Feb. 7, 2024 (removed Michigan State)
* Last updated Feb. 8, 2024 (removed SMU)



vs. UCLA (Aug. 31), at Sam Houston (Sept. 14), vs. Northern Iowa (Sept. 21)

Hawaii has a non-conference opening after Oregon canceled their Week Zero contest. The Rainbow Warriors can also add a second non-conference opponent to get to five total due to the Hawaii Exemption.


ARMY – added Notre Dame (neutral)

AUBURN – added Alabama A&M (home)

BOISE STATE – added Portland State (home)

BOSTON COLLEGE – added Duquesne (home)

BYU – added SMU (away)

CALIFORNIA – added Oregon State (home)

CENTRAL MICHIGAN – added Central Connecticut (home)

DUKE – added Elon (home)

FIU – added Monmouth (home)

FLORIDA ATLANTIC – added Wagner (home)

HOUSTON – added Rice (home)

ILLINOIS – moved a previously scheduled game against Eastern Illinois to Week Zero.

INDIANA – added Western Illinois (home)

JACKSONVILLE STATE – added Louisville (away)

KENNESAW STATE – added Louisiana (home)

LOUISVILLE – added Jacksonville State (home)


MISSISSIPPI STATE – added Toledo (home)

NC STATE – added Northern Illinois (home)

NEW MEXICO STATE – added Southeast Missouri (home)

NORTHERN ILLINOIS – added NC State (away)

NORTHWESTERN – added Eastern Illinois (home)

NOTRE DAME – added Army (neutral)

OREGON STATE – added Oregon, Cal, Washington State, and six Mountain West opponents

RICE – added Texas Southern (home) and UConn (away)

RUTGERS – added Howard (home)

SMU – added BYU (home); added Nevada (away)

STANFORD – added San Jose State (away)

SYRACUSE – added UNLV (away)

TCU – added LIU (home)

UAB – added Alcorn State (home)

UCONN – dropped Army, added Merrimack (home) and Rice (home)

UMASS – added CCSU (home)

UTAH – added Utah State (away), game vs. Baylor in 2024 will be considered a non-conference contest

UTAH STATE – added Utah (home)

WASHINGTON – added Washington State (neutral-site)

WASHINGTON STATE – added Oregon State, Texas Tech, Washington, and six Mountain West opponents

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Comments (36)

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.

Army is trying to drop games as they don’t have enough slots so ND-Army almost certainly isn’t happening this year.

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.

Utah was taken off due to Baylor game counting as non-conference game, but Utah still needs one more besides that so should stay on there

Oregon State has stated they will have 5 games against power 5 teams which means they will probably include the Boise St game as one of the 6 games for the agreement. I predict Oregon St and Washington St will play each other twice and Oregon St will add Cal. They would still need 1 more power five. They could take Syracuse or Wake Forest off of Army’s schedule.

@Kevin Kelley

Is there a chance that CUSA may do a full round robin this season with nine conference games within the 10 team setup? That might mitigate NM State’s open date dilemma.

With confirmation of Syracuse to the list; who do you think they will likely schedule? I heard Kansas was a possibility- but it seems like there is no movement.

Hawai’i currently has 12 games scheduled (5 non-conference + 7 conference games). They usually play a 13th game so they might schedule a 6th non-conference game.

The Oregon/Hawaii game in Week 0 is going to be cancelled or rescheduled for another season. Oregon did not want to play 13 games and have the travel to Hawaii now that they will be doing a lot of traveling in the Big 18 Conference. That game was originally set before the transition to the Big 18.

That is going to leave Hawaii with just 11 games on the books. Tough sledding for the Rainbow Warriors in the years ahead. It’s a shame because they lost a prime home game.

Hawai’i Dave,
Dittos. ‘lost a prime home game.’

After a few years on the rim of the b18 Conf. the Ducks & Huskies could find themselves disappearing into the shadows of the Buckeyes, Wolverines, Nittany’s as the Nebraska Cornhuskers have the last 7 years.

Hopefully the 2024 nonconference replacement Game = @ least an 85 scholarship Team, whether Trust 4 Conf. or dependent Conf..

SMU only has 11 games scheduled for 2024 (showing three open dates on the current schedule), so I would think that SMU would add one more game to get to 12 games. I’d predict that SMU could face Michigan State on Sept. 14 or UMass on Nov. 9.