Ahhh, NCAA Football is right around the corner. There is nothing quite like those first few weekends, when every team is still Bowl eligible and winning against out-of-conference cream puffs by 45 points. This season doesn’t bring much change in the landscape of broadcast rights for college football. The Big 10 and SEC networks will have great content with multiple games to offer each week. This is especially true as the out-of-conference games dominate the first few weeks. The Big 10 will have multiple games on at 12pm ET each Saturday. The same is true of the SEC and even the PAC 12 at various times, although there is still no relief for west coast football fans as far as DIRECTV is concerned. There had been rumblings they had a settlement on carriage rights, but nothing announced at this point.
ESPN College Extra enjoys its second full season of coverage beginning the first Saturday in September. To be perfectly honest as the sun set on ESPN Game Plan and College Extra filled that space, there was no real loss. The games they have on offer are usually second- and even third-tier match ups with the occasional ACC or Big12 game leaking through. If you are in either of the trade areas for those two conferences, those games won’t be available to you on ESPNCX anyway, so you will need to justify that expense by having a fan base that wants to see the less than desirable mix of games available.
The included schedule is as accurate as it can be for the beginning of the season. Unlike the NFL, who can make every game available via their PPV package, NFL Sunday Ticket, the viewing on NCAA games depends on the quality of the match ups. Since that is dependent on record and game significance, there is no way to project what games will be bid up to national broadcast status until the week before. Consequently, there are an enormous number of times TBA for the second week through the conference championships. We have listed those games with definitive TV placement such as the CBS 3:30 EST SEC Game of the Week and all the Notre Dame games, but otherwise you will have to rely on our Football Weekend Preview (released on Monday, every week of the season) and the regular SportsTV Guides to get the most accurate listings each week.
It looks to be another season filled with the same names at the top, but with some hope that the playoff system will give rise to a sleeper. We almost had a Boise State team make the cut last year. Maybe there will be some early November surprises and a playoff with new blood chasing the ultimate prize. Stay tuned, because at least NCAA Football is never boring.
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