2012 college football kickoff TV schedule

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The 2012 college football season kicks off Thursday, Aug. 30, on ESPN with a doubleheader featuring South Carolina at Vanderbilt followed by Washington State at BYU. In the opening weekend, ESPN platforms will air 46 games including matchups with 16 ranked teams. Other highlights include the Emerald Isle Classic from Dublin, Ireland, with Notre Dame vs. Navy Saturday at 9am ET on CBS, Alabama vs. Michigan in the Cowboys Classic from Cowboys Stadium in Dallas Saturday night on ABC and Hawaii at No. 1 USC Saturday night on FOX.

Kickoff weekend highlights below, followed by complete schedules from ESPN and FOX (including BTN, FSN, FX and FOX College Sports.

Thursday, Aug. 30
South Carolina at Vanderbilt
ESPN, 7pm ET Live
College football season kicks off with a Thursday night SEC matchup in Nashville between the South Carolina Gamecocks and the Vanderbilt Commodores. South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier lost some key performers from last year’s 11-2 team that trounced Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl, but has even higher expectations for his team this year. Vanderbilt is building a contender under head coach James Franklin after a 6-7 season and a rare bowl appearance.

Friday, Aug. 31
Boise State at Michigan State
ESPN, 8pm ET Live
College football’s kickoff weekend continues with the Boise State Broncos visiting East Lansing and the Michigan State Spartans. Big challenges face the Broncos (12-1 last year), who have to replace four-year starting quarterback Kellen Moore as well as everyone on its excellent defensive line. The Spartans, coming off an 11-win season with the Big Ten’s No. 1 defense, will have a new starting quarterback in Andrew Maxwell and several new receivers.

Saturday, Sept. 1
Emerald Isle Classic: Notre Dame vs. Navy
CBS, 9am ET Live
College football’s opening weekend continues with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish taking on the Navy Midshipmen at Aviva Stadium in Dublin for the Emerald Isle Classic. Fans may have to set their alarm clocks for this one, with a 6am kickoff for viewers on the West Coast. Notre Dame and Navy will be meeting for the 86th time — they’ve played each other every year since 1927. Notre Dame routed Navy 56-14 in last year’s contest.

Cowboys Classic: Alabama vs. Michigan
ABC, 8pm Live
The Alabama Crimson Tide face the Michigan Wolverines in the Cowboys Classic at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Hard to believe, but this will be only the fourth meeting between the storied programs and first in the regular season. The previous three meetings were in bowl games, the last being Michigan’s 35-34 overtime win in the Orange Bowl in January 2000. Nick Saban’s Tide are coming off their second BCS national championship on three years, while the Wolverines have high expectations after an 11-2 record in head coach Brady Hoke’s first season.

2012 college football kickoff TV schedule:

ESPN, ABC, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3, ESPN 3D, Longhorn Network and ESPN Radio Schedule

Date Time (ET) Game / Commentators Network
Thu, Aug 30 7 p.m. No. 9 South Carolina at VanderbiltRece Davis, Jesse Palmer, David Pollack & Samantha Steele ESPN
  7 p.m. Central Florida at AkronKeith Morehouse & Jerod Cherry ESPN3
7 p.m. Eastern Michigan at Ball State
Jim Barbar & Rocky Boiman
ESPN3
  7 p.m. Southeast Missouri State at Central MichiganDan Gutowsky & Bob Chmeil ESPN3
  7 p.m. ESPN Goal Line simulcast ESPNU
  7:30 p.m. McNeese State at Middle Tennessee State ESPN3
  7:30 p.m. Massachusetts at ConnecticutBob Picozzi & David Diaz-Infante ESPN3 * & BIG EAST Network
  8 p.m. Sacramento State at New Mexico State ESPN3 *
  8 p.m. Southern Utah at Utah State ESPN3 *
  9 p.m. Eastern Washington at IdahoTrey Bender & Jay Taylor ESPN3
  10:15 p.m. Washington State at BYUJoe Tessitore, Matt Millen & Shannon Spake ESPN
Fri, Aug 31 7 p.m. Villanova at TempleScott Graham, John Bunting & Cat Whitehill ESPN3
  7:30 p.m. Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game: NC State vs. Tennessee (Atlanta)ESPNU: Dave Neal, Andre Ware & Holly RoweRadio: Bill Rosinski, David Norrie, and Joe Schad ESPNU & ESPN Radio
  8 p.m. No. 24 Boise State at No. 13 Michigan StateCarter Blackburn, Rod Gilmore & Jemele Hill ESPN
  8 p.m. Wagner at Florida AtlanticJared Schwartz & Forrest Conoly ESPN3
Sat, Sep 1 Noon Ohio at Penn StateDave Pasch, Brian Griese, Tom Rinaldi &Mark Schwartz ESPN & ESPN 3D
  Noon Northwestern at SyracuseBeth Mowins, Joey Galloway & Jenn Brown ESPN2
  Noon Western Michigan at IllinoisAnish Shroff & Dan Hawkins ESPNU
  Noon Buffalo at No. 6 GeorgiaDave Neal, Andre Ware & Cara Capuano ESPN3 & SEC Network
  12:30 p.m. Elon at North Carolina ESPN3 * & ACC Network
  2 p.m. Texas San Antonio at South AlabamaJonathon Yardley & Cole Cubilic ESPN3
  3 p.m. William & Mary at MarylandJohn Sadak, Cory Chavous & Beth McDade ESPN3
  3 p.m. Richmond at Virginia ESPN3 * & ACC Network
  3:30 p.m. Southern Mississippi at No. 17 NebraskaMike Patrick, Ed Cunningham & Jeannine Edwards ABC & ESPN2 **
  Miami at Boston CollegeBob Wischusen, Danny Kanell & Maria Taylor ABC & ESPN2 **
  3:30 p.m. Bowling Green at No. 23 FloridaMark Jones, Brock Huard & Jessica Mendoza ESPN
  3:30 p.m. Iowa vs. Northern Illinois (from Solider Field – Chicago)Tom Hart & John Congemi ESPNU
  6 p.m. Youngstown State at PittsburghBob Picozzi, Ralph Freidgen & Rotina McCann ESPN3
  6 p.m. Murray State at No. 7 Florida StateShawn Kenney& Rene Ingoglia ESPN3
  6:30 p.m. Liberty at Wake ForestRyan Rose & Stan Lewter ESPN3
  7 p.m. Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game: No. 14 Clemson vs. Auburn (Atlanta)
Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge & Holly Rowe
ESPN
  7 p.m. North Texas at No. 3 LSUClay Matvick, Matt Stinchcomb & Allison Williams ESPNU
  7 p.m. Florida International at DukeDarren Goldwater, John Gregory & Angela Mallen ESPN3
  7 p.m. Tennessee-Chattanooga at South FloridaDave Weekley, Warrick Dunn & Tiffany Greene ESPN3
  7 p.m. Austin Peay at Western Kentucky
Dan Gutowsky & Doug Graber
ESPN3
  7 p.m. Jackson State at Mississippi State ESPN3 * & RSN
  7 p.m. Central Arkansas at Mississippi ESPN3 * & PPV
  7 p.m. Jacksonville State at No. 10 Arkansas ESPN3 * & PPV
  7 p.m. Southeastern Louisiana at Missouri ESPN3 * & PPV
  7:30 p.m. Hawaii at No. 1 USCRich Cellini, John Mackovic, and Brett McMurphy ESPN Radio
  8 p.m. Cowboys Classic: No. 8 Michigan vs. No. 2 Alabama (Arlington, Texas)Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit & Heather Cox ABC & ESPN Radio
  8 p.m. Wyoming at No. 15 TexasMark Neely, Ray Bentle7 & Kaylee Hartung Longhorn Network
  10:30 p.m. Arkansas State at No. 5 OregonJoe Tessitore, Matt Millen & Shelley Smith ESPN
  10:30 p.m. Toledo at ArizonaJoe Davis & Mike Bellotti ESPNU
Sun, Sep 2 Noon MEAC/SWAC Challenge Presented by Disney: Bethune-Cookman vs. Alabama State (from Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium – Orlando)
Dave Lamont, Jay Walker & Paul Carcaterra
ESPN
  3:30 p.m. Kentucky at No. 25 LouisvilleCarter Blackburn, Rod Gilmore & Jemele Hill ESPN
Mon, Sep 3 8 p.m. Georgia Tech at No. 16 Virginia TechSean McDonough, Chris Spielman & Quint Kessenich ESPN

* Local blackout may apply
** Reverse mirror in which ESPN2 will regionalize two games on ABC to markets not receiving the telecast

FOX SPORTS MEDIA GROUP WEEKEND COLLEGE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

*All Times Eastern

DATE TIME GAME OUTLET Play by Play Analyst Sideline
Saturday, Sept. 1 7: 30 PM Hawai’i at USC FOX Gus Johnson Charles Davis Julie Alexandria
Saturday, Sept. 1 12:00 PM Miami (Ohio) at Ohio St. BTN Eric Collins Derek Rackley Lisa Byington
Saturday, Sept. 1 12:00 PM Troy at UAB FCS Mike Gleason Ben Leber Lesley McCaslin
Saturday, Sept. 1 12:00 PM Appalachian St. at East Carolina FSN (National) Ron Thulin Shaun King Desmond Purnell
Saturday, Sept. 1 12:00 PM Marshall at West Virginia FX Justin Kutcher Eric Crouch Darius Walker
Saturday, Sept. 1 3:00 PM Richmond at Virginia FS South Paul Kennedy Keith Jones Jenn Hildreath
Saturday, Sept. 1 3:30 PM Northern Iowa at Wisconsin BTN Kevin Kugler Chris Martin Jay Wilson
Saturday, Sept. 1 3:30 PM Eastern Kentucky at Purdue BTN Matt Devlin Glen Mason J Leman
Saturday, Sept. 1 3:30 PM Tulsa at Iowa St. FSN (National) Mark Followill Gary Reasons TBA
Saturday, Sept. 1 4:00 PM Colorado St. vs. Colorado (From Denver) FX Craig Bolerjack Joel Klatt Petros Papadakis
Saturday, Sept. 1 7:00 PM Savannah St. at Oklahoma St. FCS Kevin Eschenfelder ND Kalu Erin Bajackson
Saturday, Sept. 1 7:00 PM Northwestern St. at Texas Tech FSSW Plus Bill Land Dave Lapham Emily Jones
Saturday, Sept. 1 7:00 PM Jackson St. at Miss St. FS South Bob Rathbun Tim Couch Elizabeth Moreau
Saturday, Sept. 1 8:00 PM Indiana State at Indiana BTN Wayne Larrivee Jon Jansen Antwaan Randle El
Saturday, Sept. 1 10:30 PM Oklahoma at UTEP FSN (National) Mike Morgan JC Pearson Laura McKeeman
Sunday, Sept. 2 6:30 PM SMU at Baylor FSN (National) Joel Meyers Brian Baldinger Jim Knox

Photo: John Mersits/ZUMA Press/Newscom

About Ryan Berenz

Star Wars nerd. Adult Fan of LEGO (AFOL). Father of two. Husband of one. I write about sports on TV because I am bad at sports in real life.
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One Response to 2012 college football kickoff TV schedule

  1. James says:

    This weekend is a college football fan’s dream with so many great non-conference matchups. Alabama and Michigan are putting their national championship hopes on the line and it’s nice to see Notre Dame spreading the word of football in Ireland. I work at Dish when the early games on so I will be recording the Notre Dame matchup on my Hopper. The 2,000 hours of hard drive space makes it easy to record and keep up with games and shows that I miss. I think Alabama might be in trouble since their defense was gutted since the national champion game.

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