CBS Sports announced Wednesday that it will open its 18th consecutive season of televising Southeastern Conference football with Alabama's trip to Texas A&M on Sept. 14.
The Aggies handed the Crimson Tide the lone loss in their 2012 national championship season, with Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel becoming the Heisman Trophy favorite after throwing for 253 yards and rushing for 92 during the 29-24 upset in Tuscaloosa. It is the league's most anticipated game this season, but CBS did not choose the matchup as its primetime telecast.
Alabama and Texas A&M will kick off at 3:30 p.m., but the Tide's game against visiting LSU on Nov. 9 is the most likely candidate for the network's one scheduled night telecast. CBS has set Nov. 9 as its day-night doubleheader, and Alabama-LSU will enter the season with more appeal than Florida-Vanderbilt, Kentucky-Missouri, Auburn-Tennessee, Arkansas-Ole Miss and Texas A&M-Mississippi State.
CBS will have its noon-3:30 doubleheader on Oct. 19, a date that contains Florida-Missouri, Georgia-Vanderbilt, Tennessee-South Carolina, Alabama-Arkansas, Auburn-Texas A&M and LSU-Ole Miss.
The Georgia-Florida game will be televised again by CBS at 3:30 on Nov. 2, and the Arkansas-LSU game will again by shown by the network at 2:30 on Nov. 29. The SEC championship is set for Dec. 7 at 4.
CBS, which will televise 16 games over 13 weeks, has produced the highest-rated college football package for four consecutive regular seasons. Alabama's victory over Georgia in the SEC championship was the highest-rated game a year ago with 16.2 million viewers, with the Alabama-LSU game third (11.4 million) and Texas A&M-Alabama fourth (9.6 million).
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