Thursday, August 26, 2021

Welcome to 2021 CFB

Hey, its the 2021 season!  Its not 2020, which I'm thankful it isn't as the cancellations wore on me a lot (even more during men's basketball), though there's chances we could have some remnants of that as conferences have planned for various forfeit and no-contest contingencies, but let's move that aside and hope for the best.  If you're new to this site, a few things:

* The time of the site is based on Eastern time for each game.  Since there's a chance you're not based there, a drop down exists at the top of the page to change to a specific time zone.  Arizona is handled as a unique case in the drop down since it does not observe Daylight Saving Time, and for those outside of the US, Greenwich Time is available.

* The number of online exclusive games has increased over time.   The button to the left of the time zone option can hide those games.

* The Available TV Windows link at the top of the page goes to a Google Sheets document which has a grid of the available TV windows by most networks so you can see what is open for your team's game to be slotted.

* At the bottom of the page, the FBS games scheduled for each week not yet scheduled for TV can be shown via a button at the bottom of the grid.  Inside that grid, I try to list the TV options for each game.

* I try to guess where I think games will be slotted once 12 day selections start.  Those will have blog posts on Sunday morning before those selections are made the next day, which I also try to track.  A few notes about guesses: 
  • I'm not a guesses machine when it comes to guessing when your team's games are going to be played for the entire season.  
  • I don't guess farther out than 12 days in advance.
  • I'm very poor at getting things right, so do not think about using those guesses to book travel and lodging for a game.  I try to know as many guidelines and rules that networks and conferences try to adhere to, but I'm not perfect.
* Very few things have changed coming into this season with respect to broadcasters showing the games. 
  • Conference USA is now confirmed to have an increased presence on CBS Sports Network as they've taken some of the games ceded by NFL Network after their agreement with the conference was dissolved one year into a four year agreement.
  • UConn's contract with CBSSN starts this season for home games on the network.
  • The Sun Belt signed an extension with ESPN one year into their current agreement, providing the conference with a few more linear TV games during the season.
  • Liberty signed a new agreement with ESPN that will provide them with at least one linear TV game per season.
  • I'm unsure if Stadium's C-USA games will air on the Bally Sports RSNs and any affiliated RSNs.  As far as I can tell, the Mountain West games will be on Stadium's over-the-air affiliates.
  • The Big Sky moved over to ESPN+ for the majority of their games from PlutoTV.  ESPNU will also televise a couple Big Sky games each season.
  • The WAC will also use ESPN+ for the majority of the games its schools play in FCS football this season as some schools play a schedule of WAC and ASun "conference" games (dubbed AQ7 or WAC-ASun Challenge) for an autobid to the FCS playoffs.
If my site isn't suiting your needs for football, there's other places like LSUFootball who provides a list by channel number for DirecTV, FBSchedules who watching future schedules like a hawk, Eye on Sky and Air Sports who tracks all sorts of sports and the announcers and 506Sports who does the same and has those famous NFL coverage maps.

Enjoy the season.


Anonymous said...

I just switched to Fios and was happy to see eight ESPN College Extra channels in HD on my lineup. Is it pretty safe to assume they'll be utilizing those channels similarly to how they've done in the past—mostly ESPN3 games?

Matt Sarzyniak said...

I have no idea. Do they have any games scheduled for them? The ESPN College Extra website hasn't been updated since before the pandemic started.

I'll try to find out if it's still a functioning service.

Anonymous said...

I'm not seeing anything in the guide for the next two Saturdays. I'm surprised these channels still exist at all, but they'd be nice for flipping in between games and not having to turn on a streaming device.

Unknown said...


Just wanted to say I appreciate all your work and have been following you for years. Got a little nervous when you took some breaks this summer, but glad to see you're in mid-season form already. Keep up the great work!

Matt Sarzyniak said...

Can confirm that ESPN College Extra still exists and will have games in Week 1.

Anonymous said...

Not sure if you knew or if you want to add in on the week 1 schedule or on your site but the Houston & Vegas were sponsored by Good Sam

Matt Sarzyniak said...

I typically don't put sponsorships on the games unless the game is solely known by that name. I did for some bowl games, the Duke's Mayo games and the Allstate Kickoff Classic because they don't have an underlying game name.

Mark Falzone said...


I have some questions about the ACCN and RSN selections this week.

I always thought that RSN chose last (after ACCN). Any truth to that?

Also, why would Va Tech/MTSU not be on TV? Even preseason, wouldn't you take an FBS game vs. a FBS/FCS game? Ga Tech/Kennesaw St, Clemson/SC St, and FSU/Jacksonville St all chosen ahead of Va Tech/MTSU? Makes no sense to me.

Finally, I don't understand why the ACCN primetime game would be FSU vs. an FCS team when you have more compelling games of UVA/Illinois (which is being buried at 11am) and Rutgers/Syracuse. Unless this is a counterprogramming type move where you put your best games early to not compete with the ABC & ESPN primetime games?

I'd love to hear your thoughts on these topics. Thanks as always for the great work!

Matt Sarzyniak said...


I've assumed the RSN package went last or 2nd last, but I've never had any idea. Don't know why Middle Tennessee-Va Tech went online only, but they're trying to cram 4 games in on ACCN vs. the other games you mentioned. I assume that Clemson will always be chosen ahead while the school is considered a top ten school. Don't know if they're trying to put more negotiation pressure on Comcast re: ACCN either.

I'm sure there's some programming strategy to this, but I'm not seeing it.