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

DateTime (ET)Game / CommentatorsNetwork
Thu, Aug 307 p.m.No. 9 South Carolina at VanderbiltRece Davis, Jesse Palmer, David Pollack & Samantha SteeleESPN
 7 p.m.Central Florida at AkronKeith Morehouse & Jerod CherryESPN3
7 p.m.Eastern Michigan at Ball State
Jim Barbar & Rocky Boiman
 7 p.m.Southeast Missouri State at Central MichiganDan Gutowsky & Bob ChmeilESPN3
 7 p.m.ESPN Goal Line simulcastESPNU
 7:30 p.m.McNeese State at Middle Tennessee StateESPN3
 7:30 p.m.Massachusetts at ConnecticutBob Picozzi & David Diaz-InfanteESPN3 * & BIG EAST Network
 8 p.m.Sacramento State at New Mexico StateESPN3 *
 8 p.m.Southern Utah at Utah StateESPN3 *
 9 p.m.Eastern Washington at IdahoTrey Bender & Jay TaylorESPN3
 10:15 p.m.Washington State at BYUJoe Tessitore, Matt Millen & Shannon SpakeESPN
Fri, Aug 317 p.m.Villanova at TempleScott Graham, John Bunting & Cat WhitehillESPN3
 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 SchadESPNU & ESPN Radio
 8 p.m.No. 24 Boise State at No. 13 Michigan StateCarter Blackburn, Rod Gilmore & Jemele HillESPN
 8 p.m.Wagner at Florida AtlanticJared Schwartz & Forrest ConolyESPN3
Sat, Sep 1NoonOhio at Penn StateDave Pasch, Brian Griese, Tom Rinaldi &Mark SchwartzESPN & ESPN 3D
 NoonNorthwestern at SyracuseBeth Mowins, Joey Galloway & Jenn BrownESPN2
 NoonWestern Michigan at IllinoisAnish Shroff & Dan HawkinsESPNU
 NoonBuffalo at No. 6 GeorgiaDave Neal, Andre Ware & Cara CapuanoESPN3 & SEC Network
 12:30 p.m.Elon at North CarolinaESPN3 * & ACC Network
 2 p.m.Texas San Antonio at South AlabamaJonathon Yardley & Cole CubilicESPN3
 3 p.m.William & Mary at MarylandJohn Sadak, Cory Chavous & Beth McDadeESPN3
 3 p.m.Richmond at VirginiaESPN3 * & ACC Network
 3:30 p.m.Southern Mississippi at No. 17 NebraskaMike Patrick, Ed Cunningham & Jeannine EdwardsABC & ESPN2 **
 Miami at Boston CollegeBob Wischusen, Danny Kanell & Maria TaylorABC & ESPN2 **
 3:30 p.m.Bowling Green at No. 23 FloridaMark Jones, Brock Huard & Jessica MendozaESPN
 3:30 p.m.Iowa vs. Northern Illinois (from Solider Field – Chicago)Tom Hart & John CongemiESPNU
 6 p.m.Youngstown State at PittsburghBob Picozzi, Ralph Freidgen & Rotina McCannESPN3
 6 p.m.Murray State at No. 7 Florida StateShawn Kenney& Rene IngogliaESPN3
 6:30 p.m.Liberty at Wake ForestRyan Rose & Stan LewterESPN3
 7 p.m.Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game: No. 14 Clemson vs. Auburn (Atlanta)
Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge & Holly Rowe
 7 p.m.North Texas at No. 3 LSUClay Matvick, Matt Stinchcomb & Allison WilliamsESPNU
 7 p.m.Florida International at DukeDarren Goldwater, John Gregory & Angela MallenESPN3
 7 p.m.Tennessee-Chattanooga at South FloridaDave Weekley, Warrick Dunn & Tiffany GreeneESPN3
 7 p.m.Austin Peay at Western Kentucky
Dan Gutowsky & Doug Graber
 7 p.m.Jackson State at Mississippi StateESPN3 * & RSN
 7 p.m.Central Arkansas at MississippiESPN3 * & PPV
 7 p.m.Jacksonville State at No. 10 ArkansasESPN3 * & PPV
 7 p.m.Southeastern Louisiana at MissouriESPN3 * & PPV
 7:30 p.m.Hawaii at No. 1 USCRich Cellini, John Mackovic, and Brett McMurphyESPN Radio
 8 p.m.Cowboys Classic: No. 8 Michigan vs. No. 2 Alabama (Arlington, Texas)Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit & Heather CoxABC & ESPN Radio
 8 p.m.Wyoming at No. 15 TexasMark Neely, Ray Bentle7 & Kaylee HartungLonghorn Network
 10:30 p.m.Arkansas State at No. 5 OregonJoe Tessitore, Matt Millen & Shelley SmithESPN
 10:30 p.m.Toledo at ArizonaJoe Davis & Mike BellottiESPNU
Sun, Sep 2NoonMEAC/SWAC Challenge Presented by Disney: Bethune-Cookman vs. Alabama State (from Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium – Orlando)
Dave Lamont, Jay Walker & Paul Carcaterra
 3:30 p.m.Kentucky at No. 25 LouisvilleCarter Blackburn, Rod Gilmore & Jemele HillESPN
Mon, Sep 38 p.m.Georgia Tech at No. 16 Virginia TechSean McDonough, Chris Spielman & Quint KessenichESPN

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


*All Times Eastern

DATETIMEGAMEOUTLETPlay by PlayAnalystSideline
Saturday, Sept. 17: 30 PMHawai’i at USCFOXGus JohnsonCharles DavisJulie Alexandria
Saturday, Sept. 112:00 PMMiami (Ohio) at Ohio St.BTNEric CollinsDerek RackleyLisa Byington
Saturday, Sept. 112:00 PMTroy at UABFCSMike GleasonBen LeberLesley McCaslin
Saturday, Sept. 112:00 PMAppalachian St. at East CarolinaFSN (National)Ron ThulinShaun KingDesmond Purnell
Saturday, Sept. 112:00 PMMarshall at West VirginiaFXJustin KutcherEric CrouchDarius Walker
Saturday, Sept. 13:00 PMRichmond at VirginiaFS SouthPaul KennedyKeith JonesJenn Hildreath
Saturday, Sept. 13:30 PMNorthern Iowa at WisconsinBTNKevin KuglerChris MartinJay Wilson
Saturday, Sept. 13:30 PMEastern Kentucky at PurdueBTNMatt DevlinGlen MasonJ Leman
Saturday, Sept. 13:30 PMTulsa at Iowa St.FSN (National)Mark FollowillGary ReasonsTBA
Saturday, Sept. 14:00 PMColorado St. vs. Colorado (From Denver)FXCraig BolerjackJoel KlattPetros Papadakis
Saturday, Sept. 17:00 PMSavannah St. at Oklahoma St.FCSKevin EschenfelderND KaluErin Bajackson
Saturday, Sept. 17:00 PMNorthwestern St. at Texas TechFSSW PlusBill LandDave LaphamEmily Jones
Saturday, Sept. 17:00 PMJackson St. at Miss St.FS SouthBob RathbunTim CouchElizabeth Moreau
Saturday, Sept. 18:00 PMIndiana State at IndianaBTNWayne LarriveeJon JansenAntwaan Randle El
Saturday, Sept. 110:30 PMOklahoma at UTEPFSN (National)Mike MorganJC PearsonLaura McKeeman
Sunday, Sept. 26:30 PMSMU at BaylorFSN (National)Joel MeyersBrian BaldingerJim 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. I write about Alaskan Bush People because someone pays me money to.
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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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