The kickoff times and television plans for Georgia’s first three games of the 2012 season were announced this morning:
- Buffalo (Sept. 1): 12:21 p.m. ET – SEC Network
- @ Missouri (Sept. 8): 7:45 p.m. ET – ESPN2
- Florida Atlantic (Sept. 15): 7:30 p.m. ET – CSS
Times for the rest of the SEC’s games in weeks 1-3 can be found here. It’s a reflection of the current balance of power in the SEC that CBS will open its SEC coverage with Alabama-Arkansas rather than the usual Florida-Tennessee.
Overall, the times are about as good as we could expect. The Missouri game certainly deserves its prime time slot, though the placement on ESPN2 means a third-tier broadcast team for one of the five biggest SEC East games of the season. We’ve anticipated a lively reception for Missouri’s first SEC game, and the early evening start will only fan those flames.
The opener against Buffalo will be played in the full glory of the early September sun (no lake-effect cooling for our guests for sure), but it’s not as bad as it could be. A 12:21 kickoff is certainly preferable to one later in the afternoon. We should be used to these games by now. At any rate, it’s not the 3:30 start time for Florida’s visit to Texas A&M – a game which will be played on the surface of the sun.
The most interesting of the three is the FAU kickoff. The appearance of a night game on a home schedule that frankly didn’t offer many opportunities for a later start got a pretty positive reception this morning. For the hard core tailgaters, a night game against any opponent is great news, and it’s a September afternoon that we won’t have to spend in the sun.
It’s been a while since Georgia has had a late start against a non-BCS opponent. The Dawgs kicked off against Georgia Southern on a rainy night at 6:00 in 2000, and you have to go even further back for a true night game. There’s not going to be much buzz for this game, and I wonder about the impact of the start time on attendence. It’s not (yet) a sellout to begin with. The tailgates should be good and strong, but will the quality of the opponent tempt many fans – and especially students – to just continue the tailgate? The late start and likely result could also mean a desolate stadium after halftime as families get a head start home from a game that’s likely to end around 11.