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College Football: Biggest questions of the 2024 offseason

The Michigan Wolverines were crowned national champions for the first time since 1997 following their win over the Washington Huskies, and soon after that game ended, changes took place that could alter the sport's landscape for years to come.

With the 2024 offseason in full swing, it’s time to get into the biggest questions and talking points heading into next season. Here are some of the important storylines to monitor as the offseason rolls on into the spring.

Saban retires, Harbaugh leaves as coaching carousel starts

The college football head coaching landscape has never been more volatile these days, and that continued into this offseason as there were a number of high profile coaching changes across the country.

The biggest news came out of Alabama, where Nick Saban’s retirement opened the door for former Washington head coach Kalen DeBoer to fill in that spot in what was the most coveted job in college football this offseason.

Fresh off winning a national title, Jim Harbaugh’s time as a college coach is over for the foreseeable future, as he is back in the NFL as the new head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers. 

Harbaugh’s tenure at Michigan resulted in three College Football Playoff appearances and one national championship over the last three seasons.

Elsewhere, former Arizona head coach Jedd Fisch replaced DeBoer at Washington, Mike Elko took over for Jimbo Fisher at Texas A&M, Bill O’Brien steps in at offensive coordinator for Ohio State and former Oregon State coach Jonathan Smith is the new head coach at Michigan State, just to name a few changes.

Read more: College Football coaching tracker, updates

Transfer Portal movers and shakers

Much like the coaching carousel, the transfer portal is as volatile as its ever been. Below are some of the most notable moves in the offseason thus far.

PlayerPositionPrevious TeamNew Team
Caleb DownsSAlabamaOhio State
Evan StewartWRTexas A&MOregon
Walter NolanDLTexas A&MOle Miss
Trevor EtienneRBFloridaGeorgia
Quinshon JudkinsRBOle MissOhio State
Dillon GabrielQBOklahomaOregon
Cam WardQBWashington StateMiami
Isaiah BondWRAlabamaTexas
Will HowardQBKansas StateOhio State

Read more: College Football transfer portal tracker

NFL Draft leaves massive void on 2023 contenders

Hundreds of college football players declare for the NFL Draft each season, but which teams were affected most by entries for the 2024 NFL Draft?

At the top of the list has to be Florida State, with the Seminoles losing superstar wide receivers Keon Coleman and Johnny Wilson to the draft, in addition to Trey Benson, Jared Verse, Jaheim Bell and others.

The Washington Huskies reached the College Football Playoff National Championship after a magical run in 2023. 

However, they’ll be losing a myriad of special talents to the NFL, including quarterback Michael Penix Jr., star wideouts Rome Odunze and Ja’Lynn Polk, edge rusher Bralen Trice and tackle Troy Fautanu.

It goes without saying that Georgia will also be near the top of the list in terms of losing NFL talent, including tight end Brock Bowers and wide receiver Ladd McConkey, both of which were driving forces behind the Bulldogs offense in 2023. 

On the defensive side, Kamari Lassiter and Javon Bullard were excellent players and their absence will be felt, albeit not as much as their absences would be felt on most teams considering Georgia’s talent level.

Elsewhere, Alabama will lose a couple of tremendous players in JC Latham, Dallas Turner and Kool-Aid McKinstry, while Texas will need to regroup after losing wide receivers Adonai Mitchell and Xavier Worthy, plus a couple of key pieces in its front seven on defense.

Read more: Which college football stars declared for the 2024 NFL Draft?

Massive conference shake-ups on the way

Over the last couple of seasons, we’ve seen the effects of conference realignment start to really make its mark on the college football world.

That will only increase in the coming 2024 season, as the long-awaited move to the SEC for Texas and Oklahoma will commence, making that league into a super conference.

The Big Ten is also getting a massive facelift, as Washington, Oregon, USC and UCLA are set to enter the conference this fall, which makes the league into a second superconference.

The dissolution of the Pac-12 has also resulted in new names joining the Big 12, with Arizona, Utah, Colorado and Arizona State set to join the conference for the upcoming season.

Lastly, the ACC will also be adding a trio of schools (SMU, Stanford and California) in 2024, which incorporates one of the best Group of 5 teams in SMU into the mix while picking up a pair of storied former Pac-12 programs that have produced NFL stars.

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