The premier Southeastern Conference football programs have a way of avoiding an abundance of noon telecasts from season to season.
Tennessee isn't exactly topping the league heap right now after last year's 3-7 collapse.
The SEC announced its complete television schedule for the first three weeks of the 2021 season Thursday, and the Volunteers have home games Sept. 11 against Pittsburgh and Sept. 18 against Tennessee Tech that will kick off at noon. Tennessee's first game against Pittsburgh since 1983 will be televised by ESPN, while the Tennessee Tech contest will be available digitally on ESPN+ and SEC Network+ and is not on any mainstream channel.
Tennessee's opener against visiting Bowling Green, the first meeting between the Vols and Falcons since their 2015 encounter in Nashville's Nissan Stadium, was previously moved up to Thursday, Sept. 2, for an 8 p.m. kick on the SEC Network.
No more than one game per year per SEC institution will appear on ESPN+ as part of the league's recently announced media rights agreement. ESPN+ is a streaming sports platform that requires a $5.99 monthly subscription, while SEC Network+ is part of pay TV subscriptions and provides digital-only events to fans through the ESPN App on smartphones, tablets and OTT streaming devices, as well as on computers via ESPN.com.
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's trip to Kentucky on Sept. 18 will also have a noon start with ESPN+ and SEC Network+ as the only viewing options.
Georgia's mammoth opener against Clemson in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Sept. 4 was previously announced as a 7:30 kickoff on ABC, and the Bulldogs learned Thursday that their Sanford Stadium opener Sept. 11 against the University of Alabama at Birmingham will have a 3:30 start on ESPN2. Georgia's third game, against South Carolina in Athens on Sept. 18, will be televised by ESPN at 7.
Another scheduling note involving Georgia is that the Oct. 16 matchup against Kentucky is homecoming for the Bulldogs.
Alabama's home opener against Mercer on Sept. 11 will kick at 4 on the SEC Network. Starting times and networks for the Crimson Tide's opener Sept. 4 against Miami in Atlanta (3:30 on ABC) and third game at Florida (3:30 on CBS) were previously announced.