Where are the ESPN2 games? The opening weekend of college football...er, Week One since there's a Week Zero now...coincides with ESPN televising the US Open tennis championship. Since 2015, ESPN2 has been largely missing from the opening Saturday so that they can devote a full day to tennis. Unless there's a change afoot, I think that plan will stay in place.
What SEC game do you think CBS will take for Week One? Maybe the better question revolves around whether CBS will air any college football over Labor Day weekend, and potentially not the following weekend either. In 2015 and 2016 they had two SEC games the first two weeks of the season through a sublicense with ESPN, which happens to coincide with the US Open moving over to ESPN and absorbing coverage that used to air on CBS. Those games didn't appear to be the top choice that CBS normally has throughout the season. They looked to be anywhere from the second to fourth best game available.
For the opening weekend, the remaining SEC games are a pair of matchups vs. Sun Belt schools and two other games vs. FCS opponents.
EDIT: Regarding the two strikethrough items, I have been able to confirm that ESPN and CBS do have an existing sublicense agreement in place for college football games this season and for 2018.
When will they announce more start times for the first three weeks? ESPN's release says "at a later date". Wouldn't be surprised to see the later date be next week. The Big 12 website pegs June 1st as the date they want to release their early season & special date games.
That Oklahoma at Ohio State start time is weird. Why is it 7:30pm ET? Great question because I didn't know. I thank many of you for sending stuff in that you find. Here's the answer in a pair of tweets:
on those Saturdays with B1G home team in prime on ABC, there will be national studio show to lead in from 6-6:30 pm central time— Andy Kendeigh (@AKendeighKETV) May 25, 2017
So there you go. Its a thing for Big Ten games. No idea if we'll know games or specific weeks in advance of the season.all other ABC primetime games not featuring a B1G home team will continue to start at 7pm central— Andy Kendeigh (@AKendeighKETV) May 25, 2017
Hey, when are the going to announce the new Big Ten rights agreements, especially with ESPN picking five Big Ten games over the first two weeks? Where's my shoulder shrug emoji? Seriously, I don't know when they'll announce them. I thought the marketing upfronts that ESPN and FOX did over May 15-16 would be a good time for that. FOX clearly did as you'll see in a moment.
CBS acknowledged this week that they'll have the Big Ten men's basketball championships, even with the date change for 2018. FOX announced they'll have the Gavitt Games matchups with the Big East split between FS1 and BTN. The conference put it in a press release about the 2017 Friday night football games and Jim Delany spoke about them at football media days last summer. So its not a secret at this point. Maybe the basketball items, which Delany mentioned in the video towards the end, have been resolved now that CBS found a Selection Weekend replacement for 2018 with the American Athletic Championship.
What do you think FOX will pick up for games in the early part of the season? If you haven't seen this image from FOX Broadcasting's marketing upfront about ten days ago, take a look:
Most of the games in the image are played after Week Three, except Texas at USC. Besides that one and Texas A&M at UCLA on Sunday of Labor Day weekend, I think its fair to look at Pittsburgh at Penn St., Louisville vs. Purdue, Maryland at Texas and either Stanford at USC or Nebraska at Oregon as possibilities for FOX or FS1. Washington at Rutgers & Colorado St. vs. Colorado could be a FS1 doubleheader on Friday 9/1. Remember that ESPN2 comes back into play starting with Week 2, though ESPN will drop a window for the US Open women's final.Looks like FOX is officially getting the Michigan-Ohio State game this year & some other huge matchups. pic.twitter.com/EPC4atvYbz— Jordan Strack (@JordanStrack) May 15, 2017