Kickoffs, TV revealed for early-season college football games

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Michael Pratt vs Ole Miss 2021

The college football season is three months away, but it seemingly kicked off Wednesday afternoon with enough scheduling and television news to cover three months worth of football fans’ appetites.

So without further adieu, let’s dive into the buffet…

*LSU’s season opener Sunday, Sept. 3, against Florida State in Orlando – a likely matchup of top 10 teams – was already announced as a 6:30 p.m. kickoff on ABC, but the Tigers’ next two games got time and TV designations Wednesday.

The Sept. 9 home opener against Grambling will kick off at 6:30 and will live stream on SEC Network+ and ESPN+. The following Saturday, the Tigers open SEC play at Mississippi State at 11 a.m. on ESPN.

*Tulane, a likely preseason top 25 team and riding the wave of its American Athletic Conference championship and Cotton Bowl victory, gets linear broadcasts for each of its first three games.

The Sept. 2 opener against a South Alabama team that may very well be the preseason favorite in the Sun Belt Conference is a 7 p.m. kickoff on ESPNU. The next week, Ole Miss comes to Yulman Stadium for a 2:30 p.m. kick on ESPN2.

The Green Wave’s first road game Sept. 16 against Southern Miss will kick at 3 p.m., also on ESPNU.

*Southeastern’s opener at Mississippi State on Sept. 2 kicks off at 3 p.m. and airs on SEC Network. The following Saturday, the Lions visit South Alabama for a 4 p.m. game on ESPN+.

*Nicholls gets an early season test from 2022 College Football Playoff finalist TCU on Sept. 9 in Fort Worth. The game will kick at 7 p.m. as part of the Big 12 Now on ESPN+ package.

*The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns play their first three games on ESPN+ – Sept. 2 against Northwestern State at 6:30 p.m., the Sun Belt opener Sept. 9 at Old Dominion at 5 p.m. CDT, and Sept. 16 at UAB at 6 p.m.

The Cajuns have one weeknight game – Thursday, Nov. 9 at home against Southern Miss at 6:30 p.m. on ESPNU.

*Louisiana Tech’s TV schedule is set almost entirely, as is often the case in Conference USA. Tech gets a one-week jump on the rest of the state, opening with a league game against FIU on Aug. 26 at 8 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.

In other early-season matchups, the Bulldogs’ Sept. 2 game at SMU is an 11 a.m. kick on ESPNU. Their Sept. 9 home game against Northwestern State is a 6 p.m. start on ESPN+, as is their Sept. 16 C-USA game against North Texas in Ruston.

*ULM’s Sept. 2 opener against Navy is a 6 p.m. kickoff with the TV network to be determined. The Warhawks’ game the following Saturday against Lamar kicks at 7 p.m. on ESPN+, and their Sept. 16 matchup at Texas A&M is at 3 p.m. on SEC Network.

*Southern’s Sept. 9 home game against Jackson State will kick at 6 p.m. on ESPN+. It will also air on ESPNU on a tape-delayed basis.

*McNeese’s Sept. 9 trip to The Swamp to face Florida is a 6:30 p.m. CDT kickoff on ESPNU.

*The entire bowl schedule was also announced Wednesday. While the Allstate Sugar Bowl’s slot in primetime on New Year’s Day, as a CFP semifinal this year, had previously been confirmed, the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl will be played on Saturday, Dec. 16, at 1:15 p.m. on ESPN.

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Lenny Vangilder


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Lenny was involved in college athletics starting in the early 1980s, when he began working Tulane University sporting events while still attending Archbishop Rummel High School. He continued that relationship as a student at Loyola University, where he graduated in 1987. For the next 11 years, Vangilder worked in the sports information offices at Southwestern Louisiana (now UL-Lafayette) and Tulane;…

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