2009 College Football Season Kicks Off Thursday

tim-tebow-florida-gators-ncaaFirst Week of Season to Include 28 Games in Five Days and College GameDay from Atlanta as Part of Dick’s Sporting Goods Kickoff Week

ESPN will kick off the 2009 college football season with the second annual Dick’s Sporting Goods Kickoff Week (Thursday, Sept. 3 to Monday, Sept. 7), featuring extensive studio programming and 28 games over Labor Day weekend, including Labor Day, across ABC, ESPN  and SportsCenter.

As part of Kickoff Week, ESPN will provide extensive studio coverage, including College GameDay Built by The Home Depot originating from Atlanta – site of the ABC Saturday Night Football telecast pitting #5 Alabama vs. #7 Virginia Tech in the Chick-fil-A College Kickoff Game Presented by Southwest Airlines Sept. 5 at 8 p.m.

• College GameDay, entering its 23rd season, will air every Saturday at 10 a.m. on ESPN during the college football season beginning Sept. 5. This year will mark the 16th consecutive year College GameDay will consistently originate from the site of one of the day’s best games or most compelling storylines. Chris Fowler will return as host for his 20th season with analysts Lee Corso, who has been affiliated with the show since the first year, Kirk Herbstreit, who joined in 1996, and Desmond Howard, entering his fourth season.

The first week of game coverage will feature 28 telecasts in five days across ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN360.com, ESPN Classic, ESPN Radio and ESPN Mobile TV. In addition to #5 Alabama vs. #7 Virginia Tech, highlights include:

• The Pac-10’s #16 Oregon will look to avenge a 37-32 loss last year against defending WAC champion #14 Boise State, which finished the regular-season undefeated, Thursday, Sept. 3, at 10:15 p.m. on ESPN.
• ESPN will televise the first college football game from Dallas’ new Cowboys Stadium pitting #20 BYU against #3 Oklahoma on Saturday, Sept. 5, at 7 p.m. BYU won the only meeting between the perennial powers 31-6 in the 1994 Copper Bowl.
• An ABC telecast Saturday, Sept. 5, at 3:30 p.m. will feature a #13 Georgia at #9 Oklahoma State. Georgia, 34-3 against non-conference opponents with head coach Mark Richt, will open against a top-10 ranked team for the first time since 1967. Oklahoma State has won 15 straight non-conference games at Boone Pickens Stadium.
• The fifth annual The MEAC/SWAC Challenge from Orlando will pit MEAC defending champion South Carolina State against 2008 SWAC title winner Grambling State for the first time since 1994 on Sunday, Sept. 6, at 2 p.m. on ESPN2.
• A special Monday night college football telecast (one week before ESPN’s Monday Night Football kickoff) will feature Miami at #18 Florida State on Sept. 7 at 8 p.m. on ESPN. It will mark the first time the intrastate ACC rivals have played on Labor Day since 2006, which was ESPN’s most-viewed college football game ever – regular and postseason – with 6,330,000 households (based on a 6.9 rating).
• Other ranked teams in action include:
• #6 Ohio State against Navy Saturday, Sept. 5, at noon on ESPN;
• #8 Mississippi at Memphis Sunday, Sept. 6, at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN;
• #11 LSU at Washington Saturday, Sept. 5, at 10:30 p.m. on ESPN;
• #12 California against Maryland Saturday, Sept. 5, at 10 p.m. on ESPN2;
• #15 Georgia Tech against Jacksonville State Saturday, Sept. 5, at 1 p.m. on ESPN360.com;
• #21 North Carolina against The Citadel Saturday, Sept. 5, at 6 p.m. on ESPN360.com.


Date Time (ET) Game / Commentators Network
Thu, Sep 3 7 p.m. South Carolina at N.C. State ESPN / ESPN360.com / ESPN Mobile TV
Sean McDonough, Craig James, Jesse Palmer and Erin Andrews
  7:30 p.m. North Texas at Ball State ESPNU
Charlie Neal and Jay Walker
  10:15 p.m. #16 Oregon at #14 Boise State ESPN / ESPN360.com / ESPN Mobile TV
Mark Jones, Bob Davie and Heather Cox
Fri, Sep 4 8 p.m. Tulsa at Tulane ESPN / ESPN360.com / ESPN Mobile TV
Joe Tessitore and Rod Gilmore
Sat, Sep 5 noon Navy at #6 Ohio State ESPN / ESPN360.com / ESPN Mobile TV
Dave Pasch, Chris Spielman and Bob Griese
  noon Minnesota at Syracuse ESPN2 / ESPN360.com
Pam Ward and Ray Bentley
  noon Kentucky vs. Miami (Ohio) [From Cincinnati] ESPNU
Clay Matvick and David Diaz-Infante
  1 p.m. Jacksonville State at #15 Georgia Tech ESPN360.com
Frank Giardina and Doug Chapman
  2 p.m. Northeastern at Boston College ESPN360.com
Dave Popkin and Jon Ritchie
  3:30 p.m. #13 Georgia at #9 Oklahoma State * ABC / ESPN360.com
Sean McDonough, Matt Millen and Holly Rowe
    Western Michigan at Michigan * ABC / ESPN360.com
Mike Patrick, Craig James and Quint Kessenich
    Baylor at Wake Forest ABC / ESPN360.com
Dave Lamont and JC Pearson
  3:30 p.m. Reverse Mirror of ABC *  ESPN2 / ESPN360.com
  3:30 p.m. Jackson State at Mississippi State ESPNU
Todd Harris and Charles Arbuckle
  3:30 p.m. Missouri vs. Illinois ESPN / ESPN360.com / ESPN Mobile TV
Ron Franklin and Ed Cunningham
  6 p.m. Middle Tennessee at Clemson ESPN360.com
Ryan Rose and Danny Kanell
  6 p.m. William & Mary at Virginia ESPN360.com
Jim Barbar and Sonny Randle
  6 p.m. The Citadel at #21 North Carolina ESPN360.com
Bob Picozzi and Paul Maguire
  7 p.m. Dick’s Sporting Goods Cowboys Classic Presented By Hampton Hotels: #20 BYU vs. #3 Oklahoma (From Cowboys Stadium) ESPN / ESPN360.com / ESPN Radio / ESPN Mobile TV
Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge and Heather Cox
  7 p.m. Louisiana Tech at Auburn ESPNU
Eric Collins, Brock Huard and Beth Mowins
  7 p.m. Connecticut at Ohio ESPN360.com
Michael Reghi and Jerod Cherry
  8 p.m. Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game Presented By Southwest Airlines: #5 Alabama vs. #7 Virginia Tech (from Atlanta) ABC / ESPN Radio
Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit and Lisa Salters
  10 p.m. Maryland at #12 California ESPN2 / ESPN360.com
Terry Gannon and David Norrie
  10:30 p.m. #11 LSU at Washington ESPN / ESPN360.com / ESPN Mobile TV
Mark Jones and Bob Davie
  10:30 p.m. Prairie View A&M at Texas Southern ^ ESPNU
Carter Blackburn and Eddie Robinson, Jr.
Sun, Sep 6 2 p.m. Grambling State vs. South Carolina St. (from Orlando, The MEAC•SWAC Challenge) ESPN2 / ESPN360.com
Charlie Neal and Jay Walker
  3:30 p.m. #8 Mississippi at Memphis ESPN / ESPN360.com / ESPN Mobile TV
Joe Tessitore and Rod Gilmore
Mon, Sep 7 4 p.m. Cincinnati at Rutgers ESPN / ESPN360.com / ESPN Mobile TV
Bob Wischusen and Brian Griese
  8 p.m. Miami at #18 Florida State ESPN / ESPN360.com / ESPN Mobile TV
Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge and Erin Andrews