ESPN sets time/TV for ten 2016 opening weekend games

By Kevin Kelley -

ESPN has announced the time and TV for ten opening weekend games on the 2016 college football schedule.

The slate kicks off on Thursday, Sept. 1 with South Carolina at Vanderbilt. The game will be televised by ESPN at 8pm ET.

Saturday gets off to an early start with Georgia Tech and Boston College squaring off in Dublin, Ireland. The game is set for 7:30am ET on ESPN2.

The defending national champion Alabama Crimson Tide take on the USC Trojans on Saturday, Sept. 3 at 8pm ET on ABC.

ESPN/ABC College Football Week 1 Schedule
*All times Eastern.

Thursday, Sept 1
South Carolina at Vanderbilt – 8pm, ESPN

Saturday, Sept 3
Georgia Tech vs. Boston College (at Ireland) – 7:30am, ESPN2
Oklahoma vs. Houston (at NRG Stadium) – Noon, ABC
Hawaii at Michigan – Noon, ESPN
LSU vs. Wisconsin (at Lambeau Field) – 3:30pm, ABC
Georgia vs. North Carolina (at Atlanta, GA) – 5:30pm, ESPN
USC vs. Alabama (at Arlington, TX) – 8pm, ABC
Clemson at Auburn – 9pm, ESPN

Sunday, Sept 4
Notre Dame at Texas – 7:30pm, ABC

Monday, Sept 5
Ole Miss vs. No. 4 Florida State (Orlando, FL) – 8pm, ESPN

College Football Schedule

Comments (18)

CBS doesn’t own any SEC broadcast rights for the first two weeks of the season. Doubtful ABC will sell them the rights for that one.

This could happen. Last year ESPN sold CBS rights to SEC games in the first two weeks. Remember Auburn-Louisville in Week 1 and Georgia at Vanderbilt in Week 2 were on CBS.

@Josh: Auburn/Louisville isn’t really a good comparison. Because of some oddities on how “neutral site games” are awarded to whomever has the 1st Tier conference rights, CBS had an argument that they actually owned that game, so it was sold to them to avoid a lawsuit. After UCLA @ Texas A&M, all the remaining SEC controlled games are OOC against not very good Non-P5 opponents. Hard to imagine ABC/ESPN giving up Texas A&M/UCLA for any of the remaining 5 games, none of which look very good. CBS is more likely to get a pick like Georgia/Vandy which was their game for week 2 last year. It was either the 4th or 5th pick of SEC games that week. But, I could also be wrong and they could trade for jumping CBS for a game or two later in the season.

I don’t believe it’s a case of CBS not having any SEC broadcast rights for the first two weeks of the season. I believe they simply have a set number of weeks they can select from, so they could pick UCLA at A&M in week one, and then give up a later week.

Also, with ESPN/2 being committed to televise the US Open, they may be looking to sublicense a couple of games in weeks one and two again.

CBS getting games in Week 1 and 2 had nothing to do with any lawsuits. CBS had an opening in the schedule and ESPN had a scheduling crunch with the US Open switching providers, so they sublicensed two SEC games that they didn’t really need/have room for to CBS, UL/Auburn and Vanderbilt/Georgia. They didn’t count as part of CBS’ college football package or against any appearance limits for the SEC and its teams.

The CBS contract didn’t include rights to games in Weeks 1 and 2 because CBS televised U.S. Open Tennis those two weeks. When CBS lost the U.S. Open, it decided to add SEC football those two weeks, but it has to sub-license those games from ESPN.

Dang, the SEC should play an OOC schedule all 12 weeks like this so that the rest of the conferences has a chance to win a National Championship. What, say again, oh they do,my mistake. They have a tough enough schedule playing their SEC conf schedule.

I bet those FCS teams they play in mid-November are also soooooooooo tough.

Probably as tough as whoever is playing Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, Maryland or Rutgers in the Little Ten, whoever is playing Kansas, Texas Tech and Iowa State in the Big 12, or whoever is playing just about anyone else in the ACC.

@Lion Turtle: Why does it matter so much who plays whom? It’s a freakin’ game, and it’s supposed to be entertaining. Worry about your own team, and not the decisions of a few executives to keep scheduling FCS teams.

SEC teams kick off the 2016 season on Thursday night. Perfect timing for all games, watching BC vs Ga.Tech at 8am will be fun & different, then I’ll be at the Michigan game just in time to relax & watch USC vs Bama, it will be a long day. Great opening games to start the season.

9 eastern kick offs for central time zone games are to late. People won’t be get there car till after midnight

Hawaii will be coming off of their stunning take down of the Cal Bears in week 1 and looking to make it two shocking upsets to start the season.