Press Release

Posted by Michael Humes on June 7, 2012

Sixty-Eight College Football Games Added to ESPN’s 2012 Schedule

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ESPN continues to build its extensive 2012 college football schedule, adding 68 games across ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3. The matchups involve home games from the SEC, Big Ten, BIG EAST, Mid-American, Sun Belt and Western Athletic conferences. The announcement also includes the MEAC/SWAC Challenge Presented by Disney and six ESPNU Thursday night telecasts from the two prominent HBCU (Historically Black College/University) leagues.

In the first three weeks, ESPN will televise games from all 11 Football Bowl Subdivision conferences plus BYU, Notre Dame and Navy. Additional selections, including home games from the SEC, Pac-12 and Big 12, will be announced in the upcoming weeks.

Every game will also be available via WatchESPN, which delivers live access to ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3 on PCs, smartphones and tablets to fans who receive ESPN’s linear networks as part of their video subscription from Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks or Verizon FiOS TV.


  • Five additional season-kickoff games on Thursday, Aug. 30: the opening night will be highlighted by an ESPN doubleheader beginning with South Carolina at Vanderbilt at 7 p.m. ET followed by the previously announced Washington State at BYU game at 10:15 p.m. ESPNU will televise Texas A&M’s first game as a member of the Southeastern Conference when the Aggies visit defending Western Athletic Conference champion Louisiana Tech at 7:30 p.m.
  • Eight home Big Ten Conference games in the first three weeks of the season, highlighted by a 3:30 p.m. game on ABC and ESPN2 each Saturday: Southern Mississippi at Nebraska (Sept. 1), Air Force at Michigan (Sept. 8) and Navy at Penn State (Sept. 15).
  • Including two previously announced games, ESPN networks will cover the debut of eight head coaches with their new team in the first weekend: Tim Beckman (Illinois), Terry Bowden (Akron), Paul Chryst (Pittsburgh), Ellis Johnson (Southern Miss), Bill O’Brien (Penn State) and Kevin Sumlin (Texas A&M); previously announced games include Larry Fedora (North Carolina against Elon Saturday, Sept. 1, at 12:30 p.m. on ESPN3) and Mike Leach (Washington State at BYU Thursday, Aug. 30, at 10:15 p.m. on ESPN).
  • ESPN’s telecast of Penn State against Ohio (Saturday, Sept. 1, at noon) will mark the debut of Nittany Lions head coach Bill O’Brien, the school’s first new head coach in 46 years.
  • Three defending conference champions in the opening weekend: Louisiana Tech (WAC), Northern Illinois (MAC) and Southern Mississippi (Conference USA).
  • ESPNU will televise three games involving Big Ten teams on the first two Saturdays of the season, including a doubleheader from the state of Illinois on September 1: Western Michigan at Illinois at noon followed by Iowa vs. Northern Illinois from Chicago’s Soldier Field at 3:30 p.m. ESPNU will also televise Michigan State at Central Michigan on September 8 at 3:30 p.m.
  • Multiple games involving teams ranked in a preseason College Football Live preseason top 25 poll.

ESPN will provide the most extensive multiplatform college football coverage with more than 450 regular-season and postseason games, concluding with the Discover BCS National Championship, across ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3, ESPN Regional Television, ESPN Radio, ESPN 3D, ESPN Mobile, ESPN GamePlan and ESPN Goal Line. In addition to game action, ESPN will deliver news, analysis, features and highlights across College GameDay Built by The Home Depot, College Football Live and multiple other television shows as well as, ESPN Radio and ESPN The Magazine.

Newly Announced ESPN 2012 College Football Telecasts (additional selections will be announced later):

DateTime (ET)GameNetwork
Thu, Aug 307 p.m.South Carolina at VanderbiltESPN
 7 p.m.Central Florida at AkronESPN3*
 7 p.m.Eastern Michigan at Ball StateESPN3*
 7:30 p.m.Texas A&M vs. Louisiana Tech (from Independence Stadium – Shreveport, LA)ESPNU
 7:30 p.m.  Massachusetts at ConnecticutESPN3 & BIG EAST Local Package
Fri, Aug 31TBDVillanova at TempleESPN3*
Sat, Sep 1NoonOhio at Penn StateESPN
 NoonNorthwestern at Syracuse ESPN2
 NoonWestern Michigan at IllinoisESPNU
 3:30 p.m.Southern Mississippi at No. 17 NebraskaABC & ESPN2**
 3:30 p.m.Iowa vs. Northern Illinois (from Solider Field – Chicago)ESPNU
 6 p.m.Youngstown State at Pittsburgh      ESPN3*
 7 p.m.Tennessee-Chattanooga at South Florida ESPN3*
Sun, Sep 2NoonMEAC/SWAC Challenge Presented by Disney: Bethune-Cookman vs. Alabama State (from Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium – Orlando)ESPN
Sat, Sep 8NoonCentral Florida at No. 20 Ohio StateESPN2
 NoonMaryland at Temple ESPNU
 NoonNC State at Connecticut ESPN3 & BIG EAST Network
 3:30 p.m.Air Force at No. 10 MichiganABC & ESPN2**
 3:30 p.m.No. 12 Michigan State at Central MichiganESPNU
 3:30 p.m.Indiana at MassachusettsESPN3*
 3:30 p.m.Howard at RutgersESPN3 & BIG EAST Local Package
 7 p.m.Memphis at Arkansas StateESPN3*
 7 p.m.Louisiana-Lafayette at TroyESPN3*
 TBDTexas Tech at Texas StateTBD
Thu, Sep 137:30 p.m.Mississippi Valley State at SouthernESPNU
Sat, Sep 15NoonCalifornia at No. 20 Ohio StateABC
 NoonArkansas State at No. 17 NebraskaESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU
 NoonNo. 19 Virginia Tech at Pittsburgh           ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU
 3:30 p.m.Navy at Penn StateABC & ESPN2**
 3:30 p.m.North Carolina at Louisville          ABC & ESPN2**
 7 p.m.Rice at Louisiana TechESPN3*
 7 p.m.Delaware State at Cincinnati ESPN3*
 7 p.m.Mississippi State at TroyESPN3*
 8 p.m.Colorado State at San Jose State ESPN3*
Wed, Sep 197 p.m.Kent State at BuffaloESPNU
Thu, Sep 207:30 p.m.Arkansas Pine Bluff at Alabama StateESPNU
Sat, Sep 22NoonMassachusetts at Miami (OH)ESPN3 & MAC Game of the Week
 2 p.m.Connecticut at Western MichiganESPN3*
 3:30 p.m.Gardner-Webb at PittsburghESPN3*
 4:30 pmSouth Florida at Ball StateESPN3
 7 p.m.Louisville at Florida InternationalESPNU or ESPN3
 7 p.m.Southern Mississippi at Western KentuckyESPN3*
 8 p.m.New Mexico at New Mexico StateESPN3*
 TBDKansas at Northern IllinoisESPNU or ESPN3
Thu, Sep 277:30 p.m.Morgan State at North Carolina A&TESPNU
Sat, Sep 29NoonBuffalo at ConnecticutESPN3 & BIG EAST Network
 NoonBall State at Kent StateESPN3 & MAC Game of the Week
 8 p.m.UNLV at Utah StateESPN3*
 TBDNevada at Texas StateTBD
Sat, Oct 6NoonBuffalo at OhioESPN3 & MAC Game of the Week
 7 p.m.UNLV at Louisiana TechESPN3 & WAC Syndication
Sat, Oct 134 p.m.Utah State at San Jose StateESPN3 & WAC Syndication
Thu, Oct 187:30 p.m.Hampton at NC CentralESPNU
Sat, Oct 20NoonNorthern Illinois at AkronESPN3 & MAC Game of the Week
 1 p.m.Army at Eastern MichiganESPN3*
 3:30 pmPittsburgh at BuffaloESPN3
 7 p.m.Idaho at Louisiana TechESPN3 & WAC Syndication
 TBDCincinnati at Toledo ESPNU or ESPN3
Thu, Oct 257:30 p.m.Delaware State at Morgan StateESPNU
Sat, Oct 27NoonNorthern Illinois at Western MichiganESPN3 & MAC Game of the Week
 3:30 pmKent State at RutgersESPN3 & BIG EAST Local Package
Sat, Nov 34 p.m.Texas-San Antonio at Louisiana TechESPN3 & WAC Syndication
 TBDWestern Michigan at Central MichiganESPN3*
Sat, Nov 103:30 p.m.Navy at TroyESPN3*
Sat, Nov 17NoonRutgers at CincinnatiESPN3 & BIG EAST Network
 NoonKent State at Bowling GreenESPN3 & MAC Game of the Week
Thu, Nov 224 p.m.Tuskegee at Alabama StateESPNU
Sat, Nov 243 p.m.Idaho at Utah StateESPN3 & WAC Syndication

* ESPN3 exclusive game
** Reverse mirror in which ESPN2 will regionalize two games on ABC to markets not receiving the telecast