Kickoff for the 2024 Liberty Flames football season is still over six months away, but it’s never too early to begin discussing the upcoming season. ESPN’s Bill Connelly and his SP+ formula has released his preseason rankings for Liberty and the rest of the FBS teams for the 2024 season. The Flames’ projected SP+ rank is No. 38. This is down from last year’s preseason ranking of No. 85.

Here’s how the Conference USA teams rank in the preseason SP+ rankings:

38. Liberty
68. Western Kentucky
75. Jacksonville State
100. New Mexico State
108. Sam Houston
109. Middle Tennessee
123. Louisiana Tech
126. UTEP
127. Florida International
129. Kennesaw State

As far as the 2024 non-conference schedule goes, here’s how Liberty’s opponents look:

47. Appalachian State
99. East Carolina
118. UMass
N/A Campbell

That’s an average of 88 for the Flames’ FBS non-conference opponents which is up significantly from last year’s average preseason non-conference SP+ ranking of 116.5.

The top five G5 teams in this preseason raning:

36. Memphis
38. Liberty
47. Appalachian State
50. Boise State
51. Louisiana

And a look at where the FBS programs in Virginia rank:

30. Virginia Tech
38. Liberty
57. James Madison
81. Virginia
96. Old Dominion

The Flames jumped from 121st to 75th in SP+ postseason rankings from 2018 to 2020. Following the 2021 season, Liberty finished ranked No. 49. At the end of the 2022 campaign, the Flames were ranked No. 73. At the end of the 2023 season, Liberty saw its postseason all-time high finish in the SP+ rankings of No. 33.

The Flames finished the 2023 campaign with a 13-1 record that included a CUSA Championship in the program’s first season in its FBS league home and a trip to the Fiesta Bowl as the highest ranked Group of Five Conference champion. It was a fifth straight bowl game appearance, where the Flames lost to No. 8 Oregon. Liberty has now won eight or more games for the 15th season in program history, including all five years as a full FBS member.

Liberty will open the 2024 season at home against Campbell on Aug. 31 with the CUSA opener the following week, Sept. 7, at New Mexico State.