The most meaningful game in each Power 4 college football conference in 2024

Florida State v Clemson
Florida State v Clemson / Isaiah Vazquez/GettyImages
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Big 12: Kansas at Kansas State (Oct. 26)

The Big 12 will be undergoing the largest alterations (outside of the Pac-12, of course) before fall rolls around, with the headlining ones being the departures of Oklahoma and Texas. If you know anything about college football, you know why those two leaving make for a shattering loss, but let’s look at things from a “glass half-full” perspective, shall we?

With that insurmountable duo finally out of the way, the usually inferior hopefuls now have their strongest chances of taking the conference by storm, and two front-runners in that mission would have to be Kansas and Kansas State.

The "Sunflower Showdown" would have to be the biggest surprise on this list without question, as it’s not only shared between two historically lackluster programs, but also horrifically one-sided in recent memory, with the Wildcats having beaten the Jayhawks the last 15 years and counting. It’s not all bad though, as both sides are coming off of nine-win seasons, and the Jayhawks appear to have a better shot at flipping the script now more than ever.

The 2023 edition of the rivalry went KSU’s way by a hair-graying final of 31-27; the four-point margin is tied for closest we’ve seen in their series since 2004. That combined with Kansas’s superior QB situation makes the odds of the Jayhawks snatching a win in Manhattan seem quite sturdy.

But no matter who wins, both teams should be in for a great 2024 and highlighted in the hunt for a conference title, an accolade that now comes with a punched ticket to the CFP. That makes their rivalry mean more than many of us can ever remember it meaning, which is easily enough for me to give it the Big 12’s spot on this list.