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Athlon Sports names 3 Michigan games best matchups in 2024, including top overall spot

Anthony Broomeby:Anthony Broome06/12/24

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The Michigan Wolverines head into the 2024 season as the defending College Football Playoff National Champions and will have the country gunning for them this year. An expanded CFP and Big Ten Conference lends itself to putting more showdown games on the schedule, and the U-M slate is full of them this time around.

Athlon Sports named three Michigan tilts among their top ten overall games for the 2024 season in their annual preview magazine, including the top overall game.

Here’s a look at what the outlet said about what lies ahead for the Wolverines:

1. Michigan at Ohio State (Nov. 30)

“Even with no divisions and a larger College Football Playoff field, The Game will more than likely matter on a national scale. The Buckeyes will certainly be ready for the Wolverines’ visit to the Horseshoe. Ohio State hasn’t lost four in a row to Michigan in more than 30 years.”

The Buckeyes have bet everything on putting their Michigan and CFP woes behind them this year, and a full-blown identity crisis could follow. Some might argue that is already taking place, but the pieces are there for OSU to achieve their goals. The hope is that Michigan will be arriving in Columbus to do more than just play spoiler.

4. Texas at U-M (Sept. 7)

“This matchup in the Big House will be just the second time these storied programs have ever met. The Longhorns get another opportunity to show that they are back, while everyone will be watching to see how the defending national champions fare after so much coaching and roster turnover.”

Has Michigan ever played a more anticipated Week 2 game? That might be recency bias, but this one feels massive compared to what has come before it. Both teams made the 4-team CFP last year, and are projected to crack the 12-team playoff this season. There will not be a two-month ramp up to serious competition for U-M this time around. The Big House should be rocking for this one.

7. Oregon at U-M (Nov. 2)

“The Ducks were victorious in their last visit to Ann Arbor, beating the Wolverines in 2007. A lot has changed since, including the fact that these two teams are now in the same conference. So what better way for Oregon to introduce itself to the Big Ten than with a win over the defending national champions in the Big House?”

Ohio State is the betting favorite to win the Big Ten this year, but Oregon is laying in the weeds and might be a more complete football team. This is a huge pecking order game during the stretch run of the regular season, and either way will be a huge litmus test for how much Michigan has grown to that point in Sherrone Moore’s first season as full-time head coach.

Odds and ends

Michigan’s trip to Washington on Oct. 5 – a rematch of the team’s 34-13 win in the CFP title game – is also mentioned among the honorable mentions. Another anticipated matchup will come in the form of USC’s trip to Ann Arbor on Sept. 21, which did not make Athlon’s list but will be a showdown of national powers in the Trojans’ first-ever Big Ten conference game.

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