2011 College Football Season Kicks Off Thursday

First Week of Season Includes 44 Games in Five Days, College GameDay Built by The Home Depot from Arlington. ESPN will kick off the 2011 college football season with 44 games in five days across ESPN, ABC, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3.com as part of the fourth annual DICK’s Sporting Goods Kickoff Week Sept. 1-5. The season will conclude with all five post-season Bowl Championship Series bowls, highlighted by the Allstate BCS National Championship Jan. 9, at 8:30 p.m. ET, on ESPN, ESPN3.com, ESPN 3D and ESPN Radio.

Schedule highlights

  • The season will kick off with 11 games Thursday, Sept. 1, including an ESPNU doubleheader: Murray State at Louisville at 6 p.m. followed by Kentucky vs. Western Kentucky from Nashville at 9:15 p.m.
  • ESPN3.com will offer exclusive coverage of 13 games and 37 games overall.
  • First weekend will include two Saturday night telecasts pitting teams from the Associated Press top 25 preseason rankings against each other:
  • No. 3 Oregon vs. No. 4 LSU (in Cowboys Classic from Arlington) Sept. 3 at 8 p.m. on ABC
  • No. 5 Boise State vs. No. 19 Georgia (in Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game from Atlanta) Sept. 3 at 8 p.m. on ESPN and ESPN3.com
  • No. 2 Alabama against Kent State Saturday, Sept. 3 at noon on ESPN3.com
  • No. 6 Florida State against Louisiana-Monroe Saturday, Sept. 3, at 3:30 p.m. on ESPNU
  • No. 11 Wisconsin against UNLV Thursday, Sept. 1, at 8 p.m. on ESPN, ESPN3.com and ESPN 3D.
  • No. 12 South Carolina against East Carolina Saturday, Sept. 3, at 7 p.m. on ESPN3.com
  • No. 13 Virginia Tech against Appalachian State Saturday, Sept. 3, at 12:30 p.m. on ESPN3.com
  • No. 14 TCU at Baylor Friday, Sept. 2, at 8 p.m. on ESPN and ESPN3.com
  • No. 15 Arkansas against Missouri State Saturday, Sept. 3, at 7 p.m. on ESPN3.com
  • No. 18 Ohio State against Akron Saturday, Sept. 3, at noon on ESPN and ESPN3.com
  • No. 22 Florida against Florida Atlantic Saturday, Sept. 3, at 7 p.m. on ESPNU
  • No. 23 Auburn against Utah State Saturday, Sept. 3, at noon on ESPN2 and ESPN3.com
  • No. 24 West Virginia against Marshall Sunday, Sept. 4, at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN and ESPN3.com
  • No. 25 USC against Minnesota Saturday, Sept. 3, at 3:30 p.m. on ABC and ESPN2 and ESPN3.com
  • Overall, the weekend will kick off with 16 teams from the preseason poll. Additional teams include:
  • A Labor Day telecast Monday, Sept. 5 will feature an ACC showdown and debut of two new head coaches: Miami with Al Golden at Maryland, led by Randy Edsall, at 8 p.m. on ESPN, ESPN3.com, ESPN 3D and ESPN Radio.

New elements

  • ACC: The first year of a 12-year agreement with the Atlantic Coast Conference providing ESPN extensive rights to games for Saturday, Thursday and Labor Day telecasts across ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3.com.
  • BYU: The first year of an eight-year agreement for exclusive rights to BYU home football games across multiple ESPN platforms. ESPN will televise the first game as an independent against Ole Miss Saturday, Sept. 3, at 4:45 p.m.

Goal Line and WatchESPN

  • Second year of ESPN Goal Line – currently available to Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Verizon FiOS TV customers – will include unlimited live cut-ins and highlights from numerous games every Saturday beginning at noon.
  • Viewers can also watch live ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3.com and ESPN Goal Line game action on smart phones or tablets through the WatchESPN app. The service – available to customers of Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks or Verizon FiOS TV – gives fans the ability to watch ESPN’s live networks, no matter where they are.

College GameDay Built by The Home Depot

  • College GameDay Built by The Home Depot – Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on ESPNU and 10 a.m. to noon on ESPN – will open the season Sept. 3 from Arlington, Texas, site of the Cowboys Classic pitting No. 3 Oregon vs. No. 4 LSU (8 p.m. on ABC).
  • Chris Fowler will return as show host with analysts Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard. Erin Andrews will anchor several segments of the first hour on ESPNU and contribute reports, interviews and features during the ESPN portion. David Pollack joins as a contributor.
  • The three-time Emmy Award-winning program is entering its 25th season and 19th consecutive year of originating from the site of one of the day’s best games or a game with the most compelling storyline.

2011 Season

The 2011 college football season on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN 3D, ESPN3.com, ESPN Radio, ESPN Mobile TV, ESPN Regional Television and ESPN GamePlan will total more than 400 regular-and post-season games, concluding with the entire Bowl Championship Series, including the AllState BCS National Championship, on ESPN. The schedule will include weekly Saturday night games on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU, weekly ESPN and ESPNU Thursday night contests and telecasts every Friday and select Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

ESPN, ABC, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3.com, ESPN 3D, Longhorn Network and ESPN Radio Schedule

Note: All ABC split national, ESPN and ESPN2 games will be simulcast on ESPN3.com

Date Time (ET) Game Network
Thu, Sep 1 6 p.m. Murray State at Louisville 

Rob Stone, Danny Kanell & Allison Williams

7 p.m. North Texas at Florida International 

Kevin Corke & Doug Graber

7 p.m. Villanova at Temple 

Scott Graham & Chuck Cecil

7 p.m. Western Illinois at Sam Houston State 


7:30 p.m. Western Carolina at Georgia Tech 

Ryan Rose & Warrick Dunn

7:30 p.m. Fordham at Connecticut 

Bob Picozzi & Christian Fauria

7:30 p.m. North Carolina Central at Rutgers 

Dave Popkin & Rob Harley

7:30 p.m. West Alabama at South Alabama 


8 p.m. UNLV at No. 11 Wisconsin 

Rece Davis, Craig James, Jesse Palmer & Jenn Brown

ESPN 3D: Dave Lamont, Tim Brown & David Diaz-Infante

ESPN / ESPN3.com / ESPN 3D
8 p.m. Wake Forest at Syracuse 

Dave Weekley & John Bunting

9 p.m. Bowling Green at Idaho 


9:15 p.m. Kentucky vs. Western Kentucky (from Nashville) 

Dave Neal, Andre Ware & Cara Capuano

Fri, Sep 2 8 p.m. No. 14 TCU at Baylor 

Joe Tessitore, Rod Gilmore & Samantha Steele

ESPN / ESPN3.com
Sat, Sep 3 Noon Akron at No. 18 Ohio State 

Dave Pasch, Urban Meyer, Chris Spielman & Quint Kessenich

ESPN / ESPN3.com
Noon Utah State at No. 23 Auburn 

Beth Mowins, Mike Bellotti & Ivan Maisel

ESPN2 / ESPN3.com
Noon Northwestern at Boston College 

Rob Stone & Danny Kanell

Noon Kent State at No. 2 Alabama 


12:30 p.m. Appalachian State at No. 13 Virginia Tech 

Steve Martin, Dave Archer & Mike Hodgewood

3:30 p.m. Minnesota at No. 25 USC 

Carter Blackburn, Brock Huard & Shelley Smith

ABC and ESPN2 * / ESPN3.com
Western Michigan at Michigan 

Mike Patrick, Craig James & Jeannine Edwards

ABC and ESPN2 * / ESPN3.com
3:30 p.m. Louisiana Monroe at No. 6 Florida State 

Pam Ward & Dan Hawkins

3:30 p.m. Troy at Clemson 

Joe Davis & Warrick Dunn

3:30 p.m. James Madison at North Carolina 


4:45 p.m. BYU at Mississippi 

Bob Wischusen, Bob Davie & Jessica Mendoza

ESPN / ESPN3.com
6 p.m. Buffalo at Pittsburgh 

John Sanders & John Bunting

6 p.m. Liberty at North Carolina State 

Darren Goldwater & Rene Ingoglia

6 p.m. William & Mary at Virginia 

Dave Weekley & John Gregory

6 p.m. Montana at Tennessee 


7 p.m. Richmond at Duke 

Neil Solondz & Jay Taylor

7 p.m. Army at Northern Illinois 

Shawn Kenney & Bob Chemeil

7 p.m. Indiana at Ball State 

Jim Barbar & Adam Archuletta

7 p.m. Florida Atlantic at No. 22 Florida 

Clay Matvick, Brian Griese & Allison Williams

7 p.m. East Carolina at No. 12 South Carolina 


7 p.m. Missouri State at No. 15 Arkansas 


7 p.m. Austin Peay at Cincinnati 


7:30 p.m. Elon at Vanderbilt 


8 p.m. Cowboys Classic: No. 3 Oregon vs. No. 4 LSU (from Arlington) 

Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit & Erin Andrews

ABC / ESPN Radio
8 p.m. Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game: No. 5 Boise State vs. No. 19 Georgia (from Atlanta) 

Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge & Holly Rowe

ESPN / ESPN3.com
8 p.m. Ohio at New Mexico State 


10:15 p.m. Colorado at Hawaii 

Dave Lamont & David Diaz-Infante

ESPN2 / ESPN3.com
10:30 p.m. Grambling State at Alcorn State 

Adam Amin & Jay Walker

ESPNU ** / ESPN3.com (at 7 p.m.)
Sun, Sep 4 Noon MEAC/SWAC Challenge Presented by Disney: Prairie View A&M vs. Bethune Cookman (from Orlando) 

Morgan & Jay Walker

3:30 p.m. Marshall at No. 24 West Virginia 

Joe Tessitore, Rod Gilmore & Quint Kessenich

ESPN / ESPN3.com
Mon, Sep 5 8 p.m. Miami at Maryland 

ESPN: Sean McDonough, Matt Millen & Heather Cox

ESPN 3D: Joe Tessitore, Tim Brown & Ray Bentley

ESPN Radio: Bill Rosinski, David Norrie & Joe Schad

ESPN / ESPN3.com / ESPN Radio / ESPN 3D

* Part of reverse mirror in which ABC’s split national telecast is televised regionally on ESPN or ESPN2 and ESPN3.com to markets receiving another game on ABC

** Same day delay