College football 2024: 12 games with implications for a 12-team playoff

Georgia and Texas last played on Jan. 1, 2019 in the Sugar Bowl. AP/Rusty Costanza

Rest assured, Florida State fans, an undefeated Power 5 champion will not be excluded from the College Football Playoff next season.

In the new 12-team CFP, the field will likely include the five highest-ranked conference champions plus the next seven highest-ranked teams, which means any team that does not win its league will need to have an impressive résumé to earn an at-large bid.

Strength of schedule still matters -- that includes the difficulty of the league opponents and the nonconference lineup. The new-look playoff, combined with jarring conference realignment, will change how the committee views that metric this fall.

(If you need a crash course, here's a reminder of what the sport will look like this fall.)

Texas vs. Georgia is a blockbuster matchup -- for the SEC race. The Washington vs. Michigan rematch of CFP finalists is must-see TV -- in the Big Ten conference. And the Arizona-Utah game will be critical -- to the Big 12 conference standings.

There's at least one game in every league every month that will impact what will be a historic Selection Day. Based on the changes to the format, here's a winter look at the 12 most important games that will impact the 12-team playoff this fall:

1. Georgia at Texas, Oct. 19