It was announced this morning that Georgia’s September conference games against South Carolina and Arkansas would both start at noon E.T. with either ESPN or ESPN2 televising the games. David Hale mentioned yesterday that Damon Evans had spoken with SEC officials about campaigning for a few earlier kickoffs, and boy did he get his wish. I can only say that I’m glad to be skipping the South Carolina game this year – I’m sure it will be just lovely in Columbia for a noon game in early September.
We also learned that the Florida game will kick off at 3:30, but that’s no surprise given the perpetual relationship of that game with CBS. The Georgiadogs.com announcement also has more information about other SEC start times announced today.
Colorado announced that the Georgia game on October 2nd will start at 2:30 p.m. Mountain Time (4:30 eastern). The game will be nationally televised by Fox Sports Net. Colorado fans will find Bulldog partisans very receptive to the guests of honor for that game: the Buffaloes plan to honor the 20th anniversary of their 1990 consensus national champion team. We’ll be right there with them.
Are the two early kickoffs the result of Georgia losing some prime time stature? It’s possible, but it’s more likely that there are a few games a little more interesting nationally. CBS will be broadcasting the US Open tennis through Sept. 12, so they’re not an option that weekend. CBS will take Florida @ Tennessee matchup over the Arkansas @ Georgia game. Can’t argue with that. Prime time slots those weeks will go to a pair of interesting nonconference games: Oregon @ Tennessee, Penn State @ Alabama, and Clemson @ Auburn. Each of Georgia’s first two conference games should be compelling, but I don’t think they rate over those big name nonconference games. Most other weeks remain wide-open, and the networks will use their option to wait to see how the season goes before slotting those games. If Georgia comes out of September in good shape, they’ll be in line for several 3:30 or later starts.