The curtain fell on the four-team Faculty Soccer Playoff in Houston on Monday night, and it greater than delivered in its final season with two nail-biting semifinals that weren’t determined till the ultimate play and sufficient controversy to make even Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh increase an eyebrow.
The 2024 season will arrive with a seismic shift that features much more convention realignment and an even bigger (and supposedly higher) 12-team CFP format. That may certainly make everybody in Florida blissful, proper?
As we bid adieu to varsity soccer’s acquainted panorama and embark on an much more unsure future, let’s take a sneak peek on the inaugural version of the 2024 Manner-Too-Early High 25:
2023 report: 13-1, 8-0 SEC
2024 outlook: After narrowly lacking out on the Faculty Soccer Playoff for the third straight season, the Bulldogs reloaded with one other No. 1-ranked recruiting class and blasted Florida State 63-3 within the Capital One Orange Bowl. Georgia has received 30 of its previous 31 video games and 46 of 48. The profitable may not decelerate with beginning quarterback Carson Beck opting to return for his senior season. His expertise might be invaluable throughout a 2024 schedule that kicks off with a high-stakes opener towards Clemson in Atlanta. Georgia’s demanding slate consists of SEC street video games at Kentucky, Alabama, Texas and Ole Miss. Changing Bowers and McConkey presents a problem, however the Bulldogs have stockpiled tight ends and receivers. Including Etienne, who ran for 1,472 yards with 14 touchdowns at Florida the previous two seasons mixed, was essential with Edwards and Kendall Milton departing. Creating depth within the inside defensive position and within the secondary might be a precedence within the spring.
2023 report: 12-2, 8-1 Massive 12
2024 outlook: The Longhorns are again. Texas turned the nook below coach Steve Sarkisian in 2023, profitable the Massive 12 in its final season within the league and reaching the CFP for the primary time. The Longhorns may return as many as 4 beginning offensive linemen, reinforcing the crew’s power up entrance. The duty of figuring out succesful replacements for key gamers like Sweat and Murphy on the defensive position takes middle stage within the spring. Quarterback Quinn Ewers has a choice to make concerning the NFL draft. If he returns, Ewers should discover new go-to targets with Mitchell, Worthy and Sanders all anticipated leaving for the NFL. The Longhorns play at Michigan on Sept. 7 and face Oklahoma in Dallas and Georgia at dwelling in consecutive weeks in October, earlier than closing the common season at Texas A&M on Nov. 30. Welcome to the SEC.
2023 report: 12-2, 8-1 Pac-12
2024 outlook: Oregon’s Dan Lanning has performed a commendable job in his first two seasons as a head coach, guiding the Geese to a 21-5 report and signing ESPN’s No. 3-ranked recruiting class in 2024. However three of Oregon’s 5 losses below Lanning got here towards rival Washington, and with each packages transitioning to the Massive Ten, Lanning and his workers have to determine recover from that exact hump. Including Gabriel, who threw for 3,660 yards with 30 touchdowns and 6 interceptions at Oklahoma in 2023, was massive after dropping Nix. UCLA switch Moore, the No. 2 pocket passer within the 2023 ESPN 300, is likely to be Oregon’s quarterback of the long run. Savage, who had 115 tackles and 6 interceptions at Kansas State the previous two seasons, will assist offset the lack of three starters within the secondary. Oregon performs at Michigan on Nov. 2 and will get Ohio State and Washington at dwelling.
2023 report: 12-2, 8-0 SEC West
2024 outlook: Simply when it appeared the Alabama dynasty is likely to be fading, Nick Saban pulled off one in all his higher teaching jobs and guided the Crimson Tide to a different SEC championship and CFP look. Quarterback Jalen Milroe, benched within the third sport of the season, grew to become one of many higher dual-threat passers by season’s finish. He must proceed to develop as a decision-maker. The offensive line, to which guards Tyler Booker and Jaeden Roberts and left deal with Kadyn Proctor are anticipated to return, stays a legal responsibility at occasions. There’s plenty of firepower anticipated to depart on protection, particularly Turner, Braswell and Eboigbe. The switch portal additions of Overton (Texas A&M) and Jackson (USC) would possibly assist fill a few of these holes. Alabama performs street video games at Wisconsin, Tennessee, LSU and Oklahoma in 2024. A Sept. 28 dwelling sport towards Georgia will loom massive.
2023 report: 11-2, 8-1 Massive Ten
2024 outlook: Ryan Day has performed stable work as Ohio State’s coach since taking on for City Meyer in 2019. The Buckeyes are 53-8 the previous 5 seasons, profitable two Massive Ten titles and reaching the CFP 3 times. However after a 3rd consecutive defeat to rival Michigan, adopted by a listless 14-3 loss to Missouri within the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Traditional, the stress is constructing. McCord transferred to Syracuse, and Day went into the portal to land former Kansas State beginning quarterback Howard, who threw for 48 touchdowns and 5,786 yards over 4 seasons with the Wildcats. Noland, from Fairburn, Georgia, was the No. 2 pocket passer within the 2024 ESPN 300. Bettering the offensive line can be a precedence. Ohio State’s schedule in 2024 consists of dwelling video games towards Iowa and Michigan and street contests at Oregon and Penn State.
2023 report: 15-0, 9-0 Massive Ten
Anticipated key losses: QB J.J. McCarthy, RB Blake Corum, RB Donovan Edwards, OT LaDarius Henderson, G Trevor Keegan, G Zak Zinter, C Drake Nugent, WR Roman Wilson, LB Michael Barrett, CB Mike Sainristil
2024 outlook: After returning to the CFP for the third straight yr, there might be plenty of uncertainty surrounding the Michigan program heading into the offseason. Will coach Jim Harbaugh signal a contract extension at his alma mater or bounce again to the NFL? The Wolverines have already acquired a discover of allegations from the NCAA concerning alleged recruiting violations and there is a separate NCAA investigation into this system’s alleged signal stealing. Harbaugh would possibly face one other suspension in 2024 if he returns. On the sector, the Wolverines are going to lose a boatload of expertise, particularly if McCarthy and Edwards go away for the NFL draft. The offensive line should be rebuilt and key items will even have to get replaced on protection. The Wolverines play probably the most troublesome schedules within the FBS subsequent season with dwelling video games towards Texas, USC and Oregon and street video games at Washington and Ohio State.
2023 report: 11-2, 6-2 SEC
Anticipated key additions: DT Walter Nolen, DE Princely Umanmielen, WR Antwane Wells Jr., DE Tyler Baron, G Gerquan Scott, S Key Lawrence, LB Chris Paul Jr., CB Tahveon Nicholson, S Louis Moore, WR Deion Smith
2024 outlook: After taking Ole Miss to the primary 11-win marketing campaign within the 118-year historical past of this system, Lane Kiffin’s crew is likely to be poised to run it again in 2024, particularly with quarterback Jaxson Dart deciding to return for an additional season. Unexpectedly dropping Judkins to the switch portal hurts, and a few receivers even have selections to make on whether or not or not they will enter the NFL draft, however the Rebels ought to be explosive once more on offense both approach. There might be some key losses on protection: Johnson (5½ sacks) introduced he is leaving, together with three starters within the secondary. However Kiffin, the self-proclaimed “Portal King,” has added a dozen transfers (and counting). Umanmielen had seven sacks at Florida in 2023; Nolen was the No. 1 prospect within the 2022 ESPN 300 when he signed with Texas A&M. The Rebels will play their two hardest opponents, Oklahoma and Georgia, at dwelling in 2024.
Luther Burden III makes nice catch on 42-yard Missouri TD
Brady Prepare dinner throws a 42-yard landing cross to Luther Burden.
2023 report: 11-2, 6-2 SEC
2024 outlook: After the Tigers went 6-7 in 2022, coach Eli Drinkwitz gave the impression to be on the recent seat getting into 2023. Not anymore. Missouri’s persistence was rewarded with an 11-win season and a victory over Ohio State within the Cotton Bowl. With quarterback Brady Cook and receiver Luther Burden III returning, the Tigers determine to be a respectable CFP contender in 2024. They’re going to have to interchange some key starters on protection — Harper was a Butkus Award finalist and Abrams-Draine and Rakestraw have been two of the very best cornerbacks within the SEC. The Tigers will even lose Schrader, the main rusher within the FBS with 125.2 yards per sport. Carroll ran for 1,350 yards with 13 touchdowns at Georgia State final yr. Delight (Clemson), Smith (Georgia) and McClellan (Florida) have been key pickups by means of the portal as effectively. Nwaneri was the No. 1 defensive finish prospect within the nation, in line with ESPN recruiting. Shedding defensive coordinator Blake Baker to LSU hurts.
2023 report: 10-3, 7-2 Pac-12
2024 outlook: It has been fairly a turnaround for the Wildcats below coach Jedd Fisch. After going 1-11 in 2021, Arizona received 10 video games by defeating Oklahoma 38-24 within the Valero Alamo Bowl. The Wildcats will take a seven-game profitable streak into 2024, after they bounce from the Pac-12 to the Massive 12. They’re going to be among the many favorites of their first season of their new league. The majority of Arizona’s starters this previous season have been underclassmen, so there’s loads of expertise returning. Noah Fifita was one of many prime freshman quarterbacks within the FBS, and one in all his favourite targets, receiver Tetairoa McMillan, can be coming again. 4 starters may additionally return on the offensive line, though left deal with Morgan might be missed. Upshaw had 8.5 sacks in 2023 and left a giant gap on the sting. Arizona’s 2024 schedule is manageable with Massive 12 street video games at BYU, Utah, TCU and UCF.
2023 report: 10-3
2024 outlook: The Combating Irish received 19 video games in coach Marcus Freeman’s first two seasons, and large adjustments are approaching offense in 2024. Offensive coordinator Gerad Parker left to change into Troy’s coach. Freeman changed him with LSU’s Mike Denbrock, whose Tigers unit led the FBS in scoring and yards per sport in 2023. Leonard, who accounted for 43 touchdowns the previous three seasons at Duke, was added to interchange Hartman. The Irish landed Mitchell (Florida Worldwide) and Collins (Clemson) to shore up what was an underwhelming receiver corps. Mitchell led Convention USA in receiving yards final season, whereas Collins had 510 receiving yards and three touchdowns with the Tigers. Discovering replacements for each beginning offensive tackles and Estime (1,341 dashing yards with 18 touchdowns) might be priorities within the spring. The excellent news: A number of defensive starters, together with tackles Howard Cross III and Rylie Mills, linebacker Jack Kiser and security Xavier Watts, introduced they’re coming again.
2023 report: 14-1, 9-0 Pac-12
2024 outlook: There is not any query the Huskies are going to take a step again after a magical season in 2023, however there is not any approach Washington’s program goes to fall off a cliff below coach Kalen DeBoer, who seemingly does nothing however win. Shedding Penix and maybe his prime three receivers will go away a Lake Washington-sized gap on offense. The Huskies added Rogers, who’s Mississippi State’s all-time main passer with 12,315 yards and 94 touchdowns. Hunter had 143 receptions for two,056 yards with 13 touchdowns the previous three seasons at California. Inexperienced, a switch from Arizona State, had 11.5 tackles for loss and 6 sacks in 2023. His pass-rushing abilities might be wanted with Trice in all probability departing. The Huskies play street video games at Iowa, Penn State and Oregon and face Michigan, USC and UCLA at dwelling throughout their maiden Massive Ten marketing campaign.
2023 report: 10-3, 7-2 Massive Ten
2024 outlook: It appeared the Nittany Lions missed an opportunity in 2023 to problem Michigan and Ohio State within the Massive Ten East with one of many higher defenses within the FBS. However Penn State’s passing sport wasn’t adequate — it ranked eightieth within the FBS with 215 passing yards per contest. Coach James Franklin introduced in former Kansas offensive coordinator Andy Kotelnicki to jump-start his assault. There are some good items coming again in quarterback Drew Allar, operating backs Nicholas Singleton and Kaytron Allen and tight finish Tyler Warren. Each beginning offensive tackles should get replaced, and the receiver room wants a critical improve. Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz left to change into Duke’s head coach and was changed with former Indiana coach Tom Allen. The Nittany Lions will miss their two departing lockdown cornerbacks, however there’s sufficient expertise returning for Allen to achieve success in his first season.
2023 report: 8-5, 5-4 Pac-12
2024 outlook: Accidents derailed the Utes this previous season, as quarterback Cameron Rising and tight finish Brant Kuithe missed your complete marketing campaign whereas recovering from knee accidents and tailback Micah Bernard missed all however two video games with an harm. The Utes struggled with consistency on offense and misplaced 4 of their final six video games, together with a 14-7 defeat towards Northwestern within the SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl. There’s hope that Kuithe and Bernard would possibly return with Rising in 2024, when Utah jumps to the Massive 12. 4 sophomores and one freshman began on the offensive line within the bowl sport. Jackson, the crew’s main rusher with 797 yards, entered the switch portal, as did backup quarterbacks Barnes and Johnson. Three starters should get replaced within the secondary.
2023 report: 10-3, 6-2 SEC
2024 outlook: The Tigers received 10 video games in every of Brian Kelly’s first two seasons in Baton Rouge. They did not reap the benefits of having Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Jayden Daniels this previous season, because the protection allowed at the least 42 factors in three losses. Now, Daniels is off to the NFL draft. He accounted for 95% of LSU’s passing yards and 44.3% of its dashing yards earlier than its bowl sport. Daniels was accountable for 50 complete touchdowns. The excellent news for Kelly is that inheritor obvious Garrett Nussmeier, who waited three years for the beginning job, appears greater than able to take over. He was MVP of the ReliaQuest Bowl after passing for 395 yards with three scores in a 35-31 victory over Wisconsin. He will not have Nabers and Thomas, who’re potential first-round picks. Shoring up LSU’s protection might be a spotlight within the spring. Kelly cleaned home by shifting on from coordinator/linebackers coach Matt Home, safeties coach Kerry Cooks, cornerbacks coach Robert Steeples and defensive position coach Jimmy Lindsey. Hiring Baker from SEC opponent Missouri was a boss transfer.
2023 report: 10-3, 7-2 Massive 12
Anticipated key additions: DT David Stone, RB Taylor Tatum, TE Davon Mitchell, OT Spencer Brown, CB Dezjhon Malone, WR Deion Burks, RB Samuel Franklin, TE Bauer Sharp, G Febechi Nwaiwu, DE Caiden Woullard
2024 outlook: The Sooners made good progress in coach Brent Venables’ second season, bettering from 6-7 to 10-3 and knocking off Texas 34-30 within the Purple River Rivalry. Shedding Gabriel, a two-year starter who threw for six,828 passing yards and 73 complete touchdowns in Norman, was a giant blow. Freshman Jackson Arnold, a former five-star recruit, is subsequent in line. He has all of the instruments however wants to chop down on errors. 4 of 5 beginning offensive linemen should get replaced, together with Stoops, the main receiver. The Sooners added Brown, a two-year starter at Michigan State, and Nwaiwu, a starter at North Texas, to assist fill holes up entrance. Malone was an honorable point out All-Mountain West choice at San Diego State and would possibly shore up a cross protection that wants assist. Venables parted methods with defensive coordinator Ted Roof and changed him with Jacksonville State’s Zac Alley.
2023 report: 13-1, 8-0 ACC
2024 outlook: The Seminoles should do some self-examination after their 60-point loss within the Orange Bowl, the worst defeat in program historical past. The Seminoles have been lacking 30 gamers who have been injured, opted out or entered the switch portal. The sting of going undefeated and being overlooked of the CFP will in all probability linger for some time. Coach Mike Norvell and his workers have to select up the items with lots of their finest gamers shifting on. Uiagalelei can have the unenviable job of changing Travis. DJU began 40 profession video games at Clemson and Oregon State and had a 30-10 report with 8,319 passing yards and 57 touchdowns. The Seminoles picked up a giant addition on protection in Jones, a former Georgia linebacker whose father was an All-American at FSU. There are going to be many new faces on either side of the ball in 2024.
2023 report: 9-4, 4-4 SEC
2024 outlook: Volunteers followers acquired a sneak peek into the long run in a 35-0 rout of Iowa within the Cheez-It Citrus Bowl. With Milton opting out of the bowl sport, freshman Nico Iamaleava acquired the beginning. He accomplished 12 of 19 passes for 151 yards with one landing and three extra scores dashing. The Los Angeles native was the No. 4 pocket passer within the 2023 ESPN 300. There are stable receivers returning in Squirrel White, Bru McCoy and Brazzell, who was Tulane’s main pass-catcher in 2023. It’s going to additionally assist that middle Cooper Mays and tackles John Campbell Jr. and Gerald Mincey are coming again. Shoring up the secondary might be a precedence within the spring after six defensive backs entered the switch portal.
Ollie Gordon breaks off 25-yard rush
Ollie Gordon breaks off 25-yard rush
2023 report: 10-4, 7-2 Massive 12
2024 outlook: The Cowboys acquired the final snort on rival Oklahoma within the Sooners’ remaining season within the Massive 12. The Pokes received the final Bedlam sport for the foreseeable future, reached the Massive 12 championship sport and defeated Texas A&M 31-23 within the TaxAct Texas Bowl. With Oklahoma and Texas shifting on, Oklahoma State may problem Arizona and Utah for supremacy within the revamped league. Tailback Ollie Gordon II, FBS’ main rusher with 1,732 yards in 2023, is coming again. So are all 5 beginning offensive linemen, main receiver Brennan Presley and quarterback Alan Bowman, who was given an NCAA waiver to play a seventh season. The Pokes play Massive 12 street video games at Baylor, BYU, Colorado, Kansas State and TCU in 2024.
2023 report: 9-4, 4-4 ACC
2024 outlook: The present state of Clemson soccer could be perceived as each a glass half-full and half-empty. The Tigers received 9 video games in 2023 for the thirteenth season in a row, and so they’ll in all probability end within the prime 25 of the ultimate AP ballot for the thirteenth consecutive season as effectively. That being stated, they have been 4-4 on the finish of October and out of the CFP race for the third straight season. If the Tigers are going to return to the game’s higher echelon in 2024, quarterback Cade Klubnik should proceed to enhance, and coach Dabo Swinney wants to search out some weapons. Shipley entered the NFL draft, and Collins, the crew’s second-leading receiver, transferred to Notre Dame. Hiring former Ole Miss coach Matt Luke to educate the offensive line ought to assist an inconsistent unit. The Tigers misplaced a handful of gamers to the switch portal however have not added any but.
2023 report: 9-4, 6-2 ACC
2024 outlook: The Wolfpack navigated their approach by means of a quarterback mess all through the 2023 season, however nonetheless had an opportunity to win 10 video games. NC State coach Dave Doeren might have discovered a solution to his quarterback drawback subsequent season by bringing in former Coastal Carolina starter McCall, who handed for greater than 10,000 yards with 106 complete touchdowns with the Chanticleers. The Wolfpack additionally signed Waters, who was Duke’s main rusher with 819 yards and 12 scores in 2023. Correll was a three-year beginning middle at Notre Dame. The Wolfpack should discover replacements for Wilson and Scott, who mixed to make 213 tackles final season. There are additionally holes to fill within the secondary.
2023 report: 9-4, 6-3 Massive 12
2024 outlook: The Wildcats got here painfully shut to assembling one other magical run below coach Chris Klieman. They misplaced 4 video games by a complete of 21 factors, together with a 30-27 loss at Missouri and 33-30 defeat in additional time at Texas. Now, Kansas State should transfer ahead with out Howard, who left for Ohio State, and former offensive coordinator Collin Klein, who left for Texas A&M. Klieman promoted offensive line coach Conor Riley to co-offensive coordinator and employed former Texas Tech coach Matt Wells to work with him. The offense appears to be in good fingers with quarterback Avery Johnson, who threw for 2 touchdowns and ran for an additional one in a 28-19 victory over NC State within the Pop-Tarts Bowl. 4 beginning offensive linemen should get replaced, together with Beebe, an All-American.
2023 report: 10-4, 7-1 ACC
2024 outlook: Kiffin is likely to be the “king of the switch portal,” however Louisville’s Jeff Brohm is not doing too dangerous in touchdown impression transfers, both. The Cardinals will add at the least 17 transfers, together with a number of on offense who would possibly jump-start their inconsistent passing sport. Shough turns 25 in September and might be taking part in his seventh season of faculty soccer. He’s 13-7 as a starter at Oregon and Texas Tech. Brooks (Alabama) and Lacy (South Alabama) have been massive additions at receiver, as have been Redman and Koziol at tight finish. Boone was the MAC Offensive Participant of the Yr in 2023, dashing for 1,400 yards and 15 touchdowns. A lot of the protection is anticipated to return intact, led by ends Ashton Gillotte (11 sacks) and Mason Reiger (5 sacks). Griffith, an FCS All-America defensive deal with at Harvard, had 11 tackles for loss and three.5 sacks in 2023.
Jalon Daniels connects with Jared Casey for Jayhawks TD in OT
Jalon Daniels connects with Jared Casey for Jayhawks TD in OT
2023 report: 9-4, 5-4 Massive 12
2024 outlook: Lance Leipold has performed large work at Kansas, main the Jayhawks to consecutive bowl video games and their first postseason victory since 2008, a 49-36 win towards UNLV within the Assured Fee Bowl. Now, Kansas might be on the verge of even larger issues in 2024 — if quarterback Jalon Daniels can get well from a again harm. The Jayhawks should do some work within the trenches, with three beginning offensive linemen departing, together with Booker, the highest pass-rusher. Nonetheless, main rusher Devin Neal, prime receivers Lawrence Arnold, Quentin Skinner and Luke Grimm are all returning. Former BYU and Baylor offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes was employed to interchange Kotelnicki.
2023 report: 11-3, 8-0 AAC
2024 outlook: The Mustangs had fairly a swan track within the American Athletic Convention, profitable a convention title and placing collectively their finest season since Eric Dickerson and Craig James have been a part of the “Pony Categorical” backfield in 1982. Now, the Mustangs will attempt to transition that success to the ACC. Beginning quarterback Preston Stone, who broke his left leg and did not play within the AAC championship sport or bowl sport, is coming again. So are operating again Jaylan Knighton and doubtlessly 4 beginning offensive linemen. Getting defensive finish Elijah Roberts (9.5 sacks in 2023) to return was additionally one other coup for coach Rhett Lashlee. The Mustangs might want to discover two new beginning cornerbacks within the spring and shore up the inside defensive position.
2023 report: 10-4, 7-2 Massive Ten
2024 outlook: Hear me out: Iowa averaged 15.4 factors per sport in 2023, which ranked 132nd out of 133 FBS groups (solely Kent State was worse) in scoring offense. The Hawkeyes someway managed to win 10 video games and seize a Massive Ten West title. Positive, they have been shut out of their remaining two video games, falling to Michigan 26-0 within the Massive Ten championship sport and to Tennessee 35-0 within the Cheez-It Citrus Bowl. It was the primary time Iowa had been shut out in consecutive video games since 1966. Do not forget Iowa performed its remaining 9 video games with out beginning quarterback Cade McNamara, who tore an ACL on Sept. 30. So, if coach Kirk Ferentz can rent the precise offensive coordinator to interchange his son, Brian, issues must get higher, proper? A handful of six-year seniors, together with cornerback Jermari Harris and linebacker Jay Higgins, have already introduced they’re coming again. The dangerous information: Taylor is departing after setting an NCAA report for punting yards in a season with 4,479.