ESPN Announces College Football Coverage
ESPN will kick off the 2013 college football season with national coverage of 46 games in five days as part of the sixth annual DICK's Sporting Goods Kickoff Week from Thursday, Aug. 29, to Monday, Sept. 2. In the first week of the season, ESPN will provide national distribution of 25 more games than every other national network combined.
The schedule - featuring coverage across ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, ESPN3, ESPN Goal Line, Longhorn Network and ESPN Radio - will be highlighted by 12 of the top 15 ranked teams in action, including two matchups between ranked teams. Schedule highlights:
· 10 Games to Kick: The 2013 season will commence on Thursday, Aug. 29, with 10 games across ESPN, ESPNU, ESPN3 and ESPN Radio, including an ESPN doubleheader: North Carolina at No. 6 South Carolina at 6 p.m. ET (also on ESPN Radio) followed by Ole Miss at Vanderbilt at 9 p.m.
· Showdown of Ranked Teams: ABC and ESPN will televise two matchups between ranked teams in prime time on Saturday, Aug. 31: No. 5 Georgia at No. 8 Clemson at 8 p.m. on ABC Saturday Night Football Presented by Windows and No. 20 TCU vs. No. 12 LSU in the Cowboys Classic at 9 p.m. on ESPN.
· Top 2: ESPN and ESPN Radio will = carry defending BCS National Champion Alabama, opening the season at No. 1, against Virginia Tech in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game from Atlanta on Saturday, Aug. 31, at 5:30 p.m. ESPN2 will open its 2013 season with No. 2 Ohio State against Buffalo on Saturday, Aug. 31, at noon.
· Everything's Bigger in Texas: ESPN networks will combine to carry six games from Texas in a little more than 24 hours. On Friday, Aug. 30, ESPN will televise Texas Tech at SMU at 8 p.m. while ESPN3 will carry Southern at Houston at 8:30 p.m. The schedule of games from Texas on Saturday will begin at 1 p.m. with Rice at No. 7 Texas A&M (ESPN) followed by Mississippi State vs. Oklahoma State from Houston at 3:30 p.m. (ABC and ESPN2), New Mexico State at No. 15 Texas at 8 p.m. (Longhorn Network) and No. 20 TCU vs. No. 12 LSU in the Cowboys Classic from Arlington at 9 p.m. (ESPN).
· Monday night football: ESPN's Labor Day prime-time telecast on Monday, Sept. 2, at 8 p.m. will mark the ACC debut for Pitt with the Panthers hosting defending conference champion No. 11 Florida State, which finished last season with a 12-2 overall record.
· Challenge for the Ranked: The opening weekend will showcase a variety of tough matchups, including three ranked teams against competitive non-conference opponents. Two games on Saturday, Aug. 31 will pit No. 10 Florida against Toledo at 12:20 p.m. (ESPN3 and the SEC Network) and No. 22 Northwestern at California at 10:30 p.m. (ESPN2). ESPN will televise No. 9 Louisville against Ohio on Sunday, Sept. 1, at 3:30 p.m.
You are Looking Live... On-Site Studio
ESPN will provide extensive studio reports and analysis from two game sites and its Bristol, Conn. headquarters over opening weekend. Details:
· On-site studio coverage will begin on Thursday, Aug. 29, with ESPN's daily College Football Live Presented by DICK's Sporting Goods and a special College Football Live Kick Off pregame show from Columbia, S.C. (site of that night's North Carolina at No. 6 South Carolina at 6 p.m. on ESPN). Both one-hour programs on ESPN - College Football Live at 3 p.m. and College Football Live Kick Off at 5 p.m. - will be hosted by Scott Van Pelt with analysts Brian Griese, Lou Holtz and Mark May.
· College Football Live will then join the popular College GameDay Built by The Home Depot in Clemson, S.C. (site of Saturday Night Football's No. 5 Georgia at No. 8 Clemson at 8 p.m. on ABC). College Football Live (Friday, Aug. 30, at 5 p.m. on ESPNU) will include analysis and reports from College GameDay's Chris Fowler, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard in Clemson and content from Chris Cotter and analyst Robert Smith in Bristol, Conn.
· The season-opening College GameDay Built by The Home Depot on August 31 - beginning at 9 a.m. with host Fowler, analysts Corso, Herbstreit, Howard and David Pollack, and reporters Samantha Ponder, Tom Rinaldi, Scott Van Pelt and Gene Wojciechowski - will preview all the day's matchups in its longest installment to date leading into the Rice at No. 7 Texas A&M game (1 p.m. on ESPN).
· ESPN will provide day-long studio coverage from its Bristol on Saturday, Aug. 31. Rece Davis will host on ESPN with Holtz and May while Wendi Nix will anchor on ESPN2 with analysts Todd McShay and Robert Smith. John Saunders will helm the desk on ABC with analyst Jesse Palmer.
· ESPN will provide a special one-hour College Football Live at 7 p.m. prior to ESPN's Labor Day showcase pitting No. 11 Florida State at Pitt (Sept. 2, at 8 p.m.). Joe Tessitore will host with Holtz and May.
Goal Line & WatchESPN
For the fourth consecutive season, the ESPN Goal Line network will offer unlimited live cut-ins and highlights from numerous top college football games every Saturday beginning at noon. Goal Line is currently available to Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, Cox, Cablevision, Verizon FiOS TV, Comcast and Midcontinent Communications customers. The season will kick off with a special edition of Goal Line on Thursday, Aug. 29, at 7 p.m. Zubin Mehenti and Jorge Andres will host the coverage with analyst Jon Berger.
All games will be available through WatchESPN, accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app, through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold members and on Apple TV to fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider.
ESPN continues to be the only network to televise home games from all 10 Football Bowl Subdivision conferences plus independent BYU. ESPN will also carry road games featuring Notre Dame, Navy and Army.