ESPN announced the telecast schedule for six of its college football games – all involving at least one SEC team, three with an ACC team and one with TCU of the Big 12 – for ABC and ESPN during the 2013 season. Five of the games will be played over the opening weekend, including the two marquee neutral site showdowns: Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game and Cowboys Classic. Additional games will be announced in the coming months.
The six games will include seven teams ranked in ESPN.com’s early college football top 25 rankings for 2013 (No. 1 Alabama, No. 6 Georgia, No. 10 South Carolina, No. 11 Clemson, No. 13 LSU, No. 17 TCU and No. 25 Vanderbilt. Highlights:
• The season will kick off with an ESPN SEC doubleheader on Thursday, Aug. 29. The action will begin with No. 10 South Carolina hosting ACC-member North Carolina at 6 p.m. ET. South Carolina – coming off an 11-2 season, including a 33-28 victory over Michigan in the Outback Bowl – is led by defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. North Carolina will return 13 starters to a team that finished 8-4 in 2012, including senior quarterback Bryn Renner and sophomore receiver Quinshad Davis. The second game at 9:15 p.m. will pit Ole Miss at SEC rival No. 25 Vanderbilt, holders of a three-game winning streak against the Rebels. Vanderbilt closed the 2012 campaign with a 9-4 record, including a victory over NC State in the Music City Bowl, for the program’s best season since 1915. Ole Miss will enter the season with a top five recruiting class, signing a class of top rated players led by No. 1 overall prospect defensive end Robert Nkemdiche.
• ESPN and ABC will combine to televise three night games involving the SEC on Saturday, Aug. 31, including a doubleheader of neutral site games. The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game from Atlanta will match two-time defending BCS National Champion No. 1 Alabama against the ACC’s Virginia Tech at 5:30 p.m. while No. 13 LSU will square off against the Big 12’s No. 17 TCU in the Cowboys Classicfrom Arlington at 9 p.m.
• The eighth season of the ABC Saturday Night Football series, broadcast television’s first weekly prime time college football game, will kick off with No. 6 Georgia at No. 11 Clemson in a showdown of teams predicted to compete for the national championship. Georgia won the SEC East Division in 2012 and finished with a 12-2 record, including a 45-31 victory over Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl. Clemson put together an 11-2 record in 2012, concluding with a 25-24 victory over LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Georgia has won the past five games against Clemson, including their last meeting in 2003.
2013 SEC Football Limited Opening Weekend/Full Thursday Night Television Schedule
Thursday, August 29
North Carolina @ South Carolina, 6pm ET on ESPN
Ole Miss @ Vanderbilt, 9:15pm ET on ESPN
Saturday, August 31
Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game: Virginia Tech vs. Alabama, 5:30pm ET on ESPN
Georgia @ Clemson, 8pm ET on ABC
Cowboys Classic: TCU vs. LSU, 9pm ET on ESPN
Thursday, October 24th
Kentucky @ Mississippi State, 7:30pm ET on ESPN