The landscape of college football is swiftly changing with the transfer portal and players going from team to team more than any professional free agency could ever have.
Another big change will occur in 2024 when the College Football Playoff expands from four teams to 12.
As one of the favorites to win the Big Ten next season, the Oregon Ducks are expected to be one of the 12 playoff teams. The top four seeds would receive a first-round bye with the opening-round contests being played on campus.
According to Brad Crawford of 247sports.com, the Ducks would play in that first round by hosting South Florida at Autzen in the middle of December as a 6-seed.
There is a lot to like with what former Tennessee assistant Alex Golesh built down there in Tampa. He out-recruited every other Group of Five program in the 2024 cycle and with reigning conference champion SMU moving on to the ACC and questions around Tulane following Willie Fritz’s departure to Houston, that strong league is wide open. Oregon makes its first playoff appearance under Dan Lanning after a terrific projected finish during its first season in the Big Ten. — Crawford
Once Oregon eliminates the Bulls, the Ducks are projected to travel to New Orleans and face Florida State in the Sugar Bowl. The Seminoles, a 3-seed, automatically advance to the quarterfinals with their seed. It will be interesting to see how first-round winners do after playing a game against a team that has a month off.
Florida State will have former Beaver DJ Uiagalelei as its quarterback and the Ducks are very familiar with him and his skillset. Nonetheless, 247sports projects a Seminole win here.
Florida State and Oregon in New Orleans would be an excellent, evenly-matched tilt between teams led by transfer portal quarterback and two fast-rising head coaches among the elites. — Crawford
The Ducks will have many firsts in 2024 with their initial season as a member of the Big Ten. Thankfully, they’re expected to do very well and see where this new playoff format takes them.