Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee will not be lacking for prime-time appearances in the early stages of the 2015 college football season.
ESPN on Thursday afternoon announced the network designations of 30 Southeastern Conference games for the first three weeks of September. The league schedule opens at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 3, when ESPN will televise South Carolina facing North Carolina at the Belk College Kickoff Game in Charlotte.
Tennessee will begin its season Sept. 5 against Bowling Green in Nashville, with the game having a 4 p.m. kickoff on the SEC Network. The Volunteers host Oklahoma on Sept. 12, with ESPN televising that attractive nonconference pairing at 6 p.m. The Tennessee-Oklahoma game will be followed that evening on ESPN by LSU traveling to Mississippi State for a 9:15 start.
Georgia will occupy ESPN's 6 p.m. time slot on Sept. 19, when the Bulldogs host South Carolina. The Bulldogs will open their season on the SEC Network at noon on Sept. 5, when Louisiana-Monroe visits, and their Sept. 12 trip to Vanderbilt had been previously announced as a 3:30 p.m. start on CBS.
Alabama's opener Sept. 5 against Wisconsin in the Cowboys Classic in the Dallas suburb of Arlington was previously announced as an 8 p.m. start on ABC. The Crimson Tide will host MTSU at 4 p.m. on Sept. 12, which will be televised by the SEC Network, and will host Ole Miss on Sept. 19, with that game having a 9:15 kickoff on ESPN. Ole Miss handed Alabama its only regular-season loss last year.
The SEC and ESPN have signed a 20-year agreement that runs through the 2034 season. Last August, the league and ESPN launched the SEC Network, which televises more than 45 football games annually and will show seven games on the opening weekend.
Three of those seven games will appear on the SEC Network's alternate channel, and all 14 league teams will appear on the SEC Network or its alternate channel within the first three weeks of the season.
The SEC also announced broadcast times for three Thursday night games in addition to the South Carolina-North Carolina contest. Vanderbilt's opener against visiting Western Kentucky has been moved up to Sept. 3, and it will have an 8 p.m. start on the SEC Network.
Auburn will play at Kentucky on Thursday, Oct. 15, with that game having a 7 p.m. kickoff on ESPN. On Thursday, Nov. 5, Mississippi State will travel to Missouri, with ESPN televising it at 9 p.m.
Contact David Paschall at email@example.com or 423-757-6524.
Early SE C football broadcast schedule
Date Time (EDT) Game Network
Thursday, Sept. 3
* 6 p.m. South Carolina vs. North Carolina (from Charlotte) ESPN
* 8 p.m. Western Kentucky at Vanderbilt SEC Network
Saturday, Sept 5
* Noon Louisiana-Monroe at Georgia SEC Network
* Noon Tennessee-Martin at Ole Miss SEC Network Alternate
* 3:30 p.m. Auburn vs. Louisville (from Atlanta) CBS
* 3:30 p.m. UTEP at Arkansas ESPNU
* 4 p.m. Bowling Green at Tennessee (from Nashville) SEC Network
* 4 p.m. Southeast Missouri State at Missouri SEC Network Alternate
* 7 p.m. Texas A&M vs. Arizona State (from Houston ESPN
* 7 p.m. Louisiana-Lafayette at Kentucky ESPNU
* 7:30 p.m. New Mexico State at Florida SEC Network
* 7:30 p.m. McNeese State at LSU SEC Network Alternate
* 8 p.m. Alabama vs. Wisconsin (from Arlington) ABC
* 10 p.m. Mississippi State at Southern Miss Fox Sports 1
Saturday, Sept. 12
* Noon Jacksonville State at Auburn SEC Network
* 3:30 Georgia at Vanderbilt CBS
* 3:30 p.m. Fresno State at Ole Miss ESPN2 or ESPNU
* 4 p.m. Middle Tennessee at Alabama SEC Network
* 4 p.m. Toledo at Arkansas (from Little Rock) SEC Network Alternate
* 6 p.m. Oklahoma at Tennessee ESPN
* 7 p.m. East Carolina at Florida ESPN2
* 7 p.m. Ball State at Texas A&M ESPNU
* 7 p.m. Missouri at Arkansas State ESPN3
* 7:30 p.m. Kentucky at South Carolina SEC Network
* 9:15 p.m. LSU at Mississippi State ESPN
Saturday, Sept. 19
* Noon Connecticut at Missouri ESPNU
* Noon Nevada at Texas A&M SEC Network
* 3:30 p.m. Auburn at LSU CBS
* 4 p.m. Northwestern State at Mississippi State SEC Network
* 4 p.m. Austin Peay at Vanderbilt SEC Network Alternate
* 6 p.m. South Carolina at Georgia ESPN
* 7 p.m. Texas Tech at Arkansas ESPN2
* 7 p.m. Western Carolina at Tennessee ESPNU
* 7:30 p.m. Florida at Kentucky SEC Network
* 9:15 p.m. Ole Miss at Alabama ESPN