There are 84 days – 12 weeks – before the college football season begins on Aug. 24. The first SEC game features Florida vs. Miami on ESPN at 6 p.m.
Alabama and Auburn begin the following week, Bama against Duke and the Tigers against Oregon.
This past week at the SEC winter meetings, the TV schedule came into more focus. CBS and the SEC revealed that Bama at South Carolina would start the “SEC on CBS” national slate on Sept. 14 (2:30 p.m. start). It was also announced the annual rivalry game between defending SEC East Champion Georgia and Florida will take place on Nov. 2.
The big news, however, was what wasn’t explicitly announced: LSU and Alabama will not be the primetime game in CBS’ day-night doubleheader on Sept. 21. LSU plays at Alabama on Nov. 9.
The best guess for the Sept. 21 primetime game is Notre Dame at Georgia. This figures to be a compelling matchup, especially since Notre Dame got in the final four last season and got waxed by Clemson and Georgia was left out of the national playoffs.
While an undefeated Notre Dame could hardly have been excluded, the consensus at the end of the season was, Georgia was one of the top four teams in the country and Notre Dame was not.
Other prominent games on Sept. 21 – and likely candidates for the 2:30 game that day – are
Tennessee at Florida and Auburn at Texas A&M.
Of course, how the season unfolds will impact TV scheduling. But it could be the case that Auburn at Texas A&M will be CBS’ choice for its afternoon national telecast. If so, that means the Florida-Tennessee game won’t be aired on CBS for just the fourth time since 1996.
Missouri at Arkansas game at 2:30 p.m. Nov. 29, the Friday after Thanksgiving.
CBS also will air Missouri at Arkansas at 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 29, the Friday after Thanksgiving, and the SEC Championship Game at 3 p.m. on Dec. 7.
• Nate Oats, Alabama’s new basketball coach, is quickly developing a reputation for being blunt and somewhat humorous. This past week, he was asked about his relationship with Auburn AD Allen Greene, his former boss at Buffalo.
“He’s a great man,” Oats replied. “I’m supposed to hate him I guess, now.”
Oats also was asked about Tevin Mack announcing his intent to transfer.
“If after two months with a staff, you still have questions about whether it’s the right place, it’s probably not the right place.”
In other basketball news announced before the spring meetings, the SEC and American Athletic Conference announced an alliance in an effort to increase their number of quality win opportunities for the NCAA Tournament.
Here are four matchups for the inaugural alliance this coming season: Houston at South Carolina; Vanderbilt/SMU (location to be determined); Georgia at Memphis; and Ole Miss at Wichita State.
All four are home-and-home series.