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College Football Today: 2024 Season Preview

July 3, 2024 | By RotoRob | comment on this post
Malachi Nelson has a chance to be the starter for the Boise State Broncos.
Malachi Nelson comes with major expectations. (KTVB)

Utah State Coach Blake Anderson has been put on administrative leave and is not expected to return; star Cowboy RB Ollie Gordon II was arrested because of a suspected DUI incident; and four-star TE recruit Linkon Cure has committed to K-State for 2025. Here’s a couple more stories we’re following with the 2024 NCAAF season under two months away…

Broncos Seek Back-to-Back MWC Titles

The Mountain West has seen tremendous parity recently, with four different schools winning the conference championship over the last four years. However, early odds suggest that we’ll finally get a repeat champ as 2023 conference winner Boise State Broncos are projected to do it again this season.

Boise State has come very close to making the College Football Playoffs a couple of times since this format began in 2014, but has settled for nearly annual Bowl game appearances. Unfortunately, after winning double-digit games in 2022, the Broncos took a step back last year, only going 8-6 and losing to UCLA in the LA Bowl, so they’ll be looking to bounce back this season.

But when it comes to Mountain West play, Boise State has been stellar. Since joining the conference in 2011, it’s kicked ass within conference games, going 84-17.

This will be the first full season of the Spencer Danielson era in Boise State. Taking over as Head Coach after 10 games last year, he led the quad to a 3-1 finish in the regular season before leading them to victory in the conference title game.

This could be the year for Boise State to finally sneak into College Football playoffs given that the squad has 14 returning starters and has added promising young QB Malachi Nelson to the mix.

With Taylen Green transferring to Arkansas, former Trojan Nelson was brought in to ultimately take the reins of the Broncos offense. Nelson barely played for USC last year, completing just one pass, but he’ll get plenty of rope this season, assuming he can keep improving enough (see video below) to beat out Maddux Madsen for the starting gig.

This may not happen right away, but considering that when he graduated from high school Nelson was compared to Jordan Love, he’s definitely worth getting excited about. Nelson should be an impact starter in time and, down the road, he could be an early round candidate for the NFL Draft.

New QB Mix for Gamecocks

The Jacksonville State Gamecocks had a fairly strong Conference USA and FBS debut, going 9-4 after a 9-2 record in their only campaign in the ASUN in 2022. Still, this team is a long way from being a contender (currently listed at +100,000 to win the National Championship as per FanDuel).

The Gamecocks are expected to again sport a winning squad this year despite the fact that they rank just 103rd in terms of returning production. Still, Head Coach Rich Rodriguez has this program generally trending upwards, even if things will be different this season.

For starters, senior quarterback Zion Webb has graduated, leaving former Cornhusker Logan Smothers as the projected main man under centre, although UConn transfer Zion Turner will also factor in heavily.

Smothers racked up a career high 735 passing yards last year, bouncing back from a down 2022 when he was barely a factor. Expect this dual threat QB to rank within the top 90 at his position in college football this season, but barring a massive breakout, he’s not likely to be an NFL Draft prospect.

RotoRob Tune of the Day

Once upon a time, we were members of the Coney Hatch Fan Club, periodically receiving communications from the group, including handwritten thank you notes from various band members. In 1983, the Toronto-based hard rock group released their second album, Outta Hand, which included the single “First Time for Everything.” The B-Side was “Fallen Angel,” a track which has a very “Radar Love” vibe to it.

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