ESPN’s extensive coverage of the 2013 college football campaign – from kick off on Thursday, Aug. 29 to the BCS National Championship on January 6 – will include 69 live weekday game telecasts across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3 and ABC. The lineup will showcase many of the nation’s top programs in weekly Thursday and Friday night matchups and on select Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout the season.
The schedule includes at least one team from all 10 Football Bowl Subdivision conferences (American Athletic, Atlantic Coast, Big Ten, Big 12, Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West, Pac-12, Southeastern and Sun Belt) plus independents BYU and Navy. Coverage of teams from Football Championship Division leagues Big Sky, Big South, Colonial Athletic, Mid-Eastern Athletic, Southern and Southwestern Athletic will also be featured.
The schedule involves 12 teams currently ranked in an early ESPN.com preseason top 25 poll highlighted by a showdown between No. 3 Oregon and No. 5 Stanford and multiple appearances by No. 4 Louisville. Additional ranked teams on the schedule include: No. 8 South Carolina, No. 12 Clemson, No. 13 Texas, No. 14 Florida State, No. 18 TCU, No. 19 UCLA, No. 21 Boise State, No. 22 Nebraska and No. 23 USC.
Overall, the 2013 college football season on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3, ESPN Radio, ESPN Mobile TV, ESPN Regional Television and ESPN GamePlan will total more than 450 regular-and post-season games, concluding with the entire Bowl Championship Series on ESPN. A comprehensive schedule with Saturday games will be released at a later date.
Weekday game highlights:
- ESPN Thursdays: The season will kick off with 10 games on Thursday, Aug. 29, highlighted by an ESPN College Football Primetime doubleheader involving SEC teams: No. 8 South Carolina hosting ACC member North Carolina at 6 p.m. ET followed by Ole Miss at Vanderbilt at 9:15 p.m. Additional highlights of the Thursday night series:
- SEC: Two games in addition to the opening doubleheader, including Kentucky at Mississippi State (October 24) and Ole Miss at Mississippi State in the annual Thanksgiving night showcase November 28). ESPN previously televised the rivalry game – also known as the Battle for the Golden Egg and the Egg Bowl – as its annual Thanksgiving Day prime-time college football game from 1998 to 2003.
- Pac-12: Two games, highlighted by No. 3 Oregon at No. 5 Stanford on November 7.
- ACC: Four matchups, highlighted by two contests with No. 12 Clemson, who are coming off an 11-2 record in 2012.
- Big 12: Two telecasts including No. 18 TCU at Texas Tech (September 12) and No. 13 Texas at Iowa State (October 3).
- American Athletic Conference: Four games, including No. 4 Louisville twice.
- Labor Day: ESPN’s Labor Day prime-time telecast on Monday, Sept. 2, will mark the ACC debut for Pittsburgh. The Panthers will host defending conference champion No. 14 Florida State, which finished last season with a 12-2 overall record.
- Friday nights: ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will combine to provide weekly Friday night telecasts showcasing top programs, including No. 4 Louisville of the American Athletic Conference twice. Additional highlights:
- Mountain West: ESPN will televise a Mountain West matchup over four consecutive Fridays from September 13 to October 4, highlighted by at least one telecast of the three teams that claimed a share of the conference championship in 2012: Boise State, Fresno State and San Diego State.
- Pac-12: ESPN2 will offer two Friday night Pac-12 games, both involving one ranked team: No. 23 USC (at Oregon State on November 1) and No. 19 UCLA (against Washington November 15).
- BYU: ESPN and ESPNU will both televise BYU, highlighted by the Cougars hosting No. 21 Boise State (October 25 on ESPN)
- MAC: ESPN2 and ESPNU will televise multiple games involving the participants in last year’s MAC championship game: Defending conference champion Northern Illinois three times and Kent State, with an 8-0 conference record last year, twice. ESPN2 will also carry the 16th annual Marathon MAC Football Championship at Ford Field in Detroit on Friday, Dec. 6, at 8 p.m.
- Sun Belt: Defending Sun Belt Conference champion Arkansas State will play in two midweek games, including a matchup against Louisiana-Lafayette, the Sun Belt’s second-place team in 2012 (Tuesday, Oct. 22).
|Thu, Aug 29||6 p.m.||North Carolina at No. 8 South Carolina||ESPN|
|6 p.m.||Liberty at Kent State||ESPN3|
|6:30 p.m.||Presbyterian at Wake Forest||ESPN3|
|7 p.m.||Tulsa at Bowling Green||ESPNU|
|7 p.m.||Illinois State at Ball State||ESPN3|
|7 p.m.||Akron at UCF||ESPN3|
|7:30pm||Towson at Connecticut||ESPN3|
|7:30 p.m.||Southern Utah at South Alabama||ESPN3|
|9:15 p.m.||Ole Miss at Vanderbilt||ESPN|
|10:30 p.m.||Rutgers at Fresno State||ESPNU|
|Fri, Aug 30||7 p.m.||Samford at Georgia State||ESPN3|
|8 p.m.||Texas Tech at SMU||ESPN|
|8 p.m.||Florida Atlantic at Miami (Fla.)||ESPNU|
|8:30 p.m.||Southern at Houston||ESPN3|
|Mon, Sep 2||8 p.m.||No. 14 Florida State at Pittsburgh||ESPN|
|Fri, Sep 6||8 p.m.||Wake Forest at Boston College||ESPN2|
|Thu, Sept 12||7:30 p.m.||No. 18 TCU at Texas Tech||ESPN|
|7:30 p.m.||Troy at Arkansas State||ESPNU|
|Fri, Sep 13||8 p.m.||Air Force at No. 21 Boise State||ESPN|
|Thu, Sep 19||7:30 p.m.||No. 12 Clemson at NC State||ESPN|
|Fri, Sep 20||9 p.m.||No. 21 Boise State at Fresno State||ESPN|
|Thu, Sep 26||7:30 p.m.||Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech||ESPN|
|Fri, Sep 27||9 p.m.||Utah State at San Jose State||ESPN|
|9 p.m.||Middle Tennessee at BYU||ESPNU|
|Thu, Oct 3||7:30 p.m.||No. 13 Texas at Iowa State||ESPN|
|7:30 p.m.||Western Kentucky at Louisiana-Monroe||ESPNU|
|Fri, Oct 4||9 p.m.||Nevada at San Diego State||ESPN|
|Thu, Oct 10||7:30 p.m.||Rutgers at No. 4 Louisville||ESPN|
|Fri, Oct 11||8:30 p.m.||Temple at Cincinnati||ESPN or ESPN2|
|Tue, Oct 15||8 p.m.||Louisiana-Lafayette at Western Kentucky||ESPN2|
|Thu, Oct 17||7:30 p.m.||Miami (Fla.) at North Carolina||ESPN|
|Fri, Oct 18||8 p.m.||UCF at No. 4 Louisville||ESPN|
|Tue, Oct 22||8 p.m.||Louisiana-Lafayette at Arkansas State||ESPN2|
|Thu, Oct 24||7:30 p.m.||Kentucky at Mississippi State||ESPN|
|Fri, Oct 25||8 p.m.||No. 21 Boise State at BYU||ESPN|
|Wed, Oct 30||8 p.m.||Cincinnati at Memphis||ESPN2|
|Thu, Oct 31||7 p.m.||South Florida at Houston||ESPN|
|7:30 p.m.||Louisiana-Monroe at Troy||ESPNU|
|10:30 p.m.||Arizona State at Washington State||ESPN|
|Fri, Nov 1||9 p.m.||No. 23 USC at Oregon State||ESPN2|
|Tue, Nov 5||8 p.m.||Bowling Green at Miami (Ohio)||ESPN2 or ESPNU|
|8 p.m.||Ohio at Buffalo||ESPN2 or ESPNU|
|Wed, Nov 6||8 p.m.||Central Michigan at Ball State||ESPN2|
|Thu, Nov 7||7:30 p.m.||Troy at Louisiana-Lafayette||ESPNU|
|9 p.m.||No. 3 Oregon at No. 5 Stanford||ESPN|
|Fri, Nov 8||8:30 p.m.||No. 4 Louisville at Connecticut||ESPN2|
|9 p.m.||Air Force at New Mexico||ESPNU|
|Tue, Nov 12||7:30 p.m.||Ohio at Bowling Green||ESPNU or ESPN3|
|7:30 p.m.||Buffalo at Toledo||ESPNU or ESPN3|
|Wed, Nov 13||8 p.m.||Ball State at Northern Illinois||ESPN2 or ESPNU|
|8 p.m.||Miami (Ohio) at Kent State||ESPN2 or ESPNU|
|Thu, Nov 14||7:30 p.m.||Georgia Tech at No. 12 Clemson||ESPN|
|Fri, Nov 15||9 p.m.||Washington at No. 19 UCLA||ESPN2|
|Tue, Nov 19||8 p.m.||Kent State at Ohio||ESPN2 or ESPNU|
|8 p.m.||Buffalo at Miami (Ohio)||ESPN2 or ESPNU|
|Wed, Nov 20||8 p.m.||Northern Illinois at Toledo||ESPN2|
|Thu, Nov 21||7:30 p.m.||Rutgers at UCF||ESPN|
|9:30 p.m.||UNLV at Air Force||ESPNU|
|Fri, Nov 22||9:30 p.m.||Navy at San Jose State||ESPN2|
|Tue, Nov 26||7 p.m.||Western Michigan at Northern Illinois||ESPN2|
|Thu, Nov 28||7:30 p.m.||Ole Miss at Mississippi State||ESPN|
|Fri, Nov 29||Noon||Iowa at No. 22 Nebraska||ABC|
|TBD||Miami (Fla.) at Pittsburgh||ABC, ESPN or ESPN2|
|TBD||South Florida at UCF||ABC, ESPN or ESPN2|
|TBD||SMU at Houston||ABC, ESPN or ESPN2|
|TBD||Mid-American Conference TBD||ESPNU|
|TBD||Mid-American Conference TBD||ESPN3|
|Thu, Dec 5||7:30 p.m.||No. 4 Louisville at Cincinnati||ESPN|
|Fri, Dec 6||8 p.m.||Marathon MAC Championship (from Detroit)||ESPN2|