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College Football Week 1 Viewing Guide (!!!)

There is an actual slate of real live college football and it starts tonight!

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NCAA Football: Liberty Bowl-Navy vs Kansas State
We want YOU to enjoy some college football again.
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The college football season officially kicked off last Saturday night when we watched Central Arkansas take down Austin Peay in an FCS showdown. While the Big Ten and PAC-12 seasons still remain in question and the remaining power 5 conferences are still on hold until closer to the end of the month, college football gets going in earnest this weekend.

There are a total of nine FBS matchups this weekend. And by this weekend I mean as early as tonight and running through Monday. That’s right, we’ve got live college football on your screens tonight.

Thursday Matchups

In our first dose of mid-week action in 2020, we kick things off at 7pm CT tonight as UAB plays host to that same Central Arkansas which took down Austin Peay last Saturday. That gives us another chance to soak in UCA (CAU?) tight end Jack Short, the neck roll-wearing monster who leads the nation in truck sticks and opponent equipment damage.

The only hangup with game one tonight is it will be aired on ESPN3 as both ESPN and ESPN2 bring coverage of the US Open. For those, like me, who had to check, ESPN3 is one more than ESPN2, but not quite ESPN+. That is, it’s not available on actual TV, but it also doesn’t require a subscription the way ESPN+ does. You can stream ESPN3 content via a web browser or via the ESPN mobile app provided you subscribe to a participating TV service provider.

There are no such issues with the 8pm CT matchup featuring South Alabama and Southern Miss. That one is on CBS Sports Net, which is in fact on TV. Maybe. Depending on your provider.

Saturday Matchups

While Saturday doesn’t give us the traditional full slate of college football we’re accustomed to in an opening weekend, in a wild year like 2020 it’s about as much as we can ask for. There are six games in total and they’re socially distanced across several time slots to ensure we can enjoy some FBS football as we count down to the return of (some) the power five conferences later this month (hopefully).

Things kick off at noon CT with Marshall hosting Eastern Kentucky. You read that right, it’s 2020 and now you have to wait an extra hour for your football. It is what it is. You can catch game one on the old fashioned regular ESPN. A half hour later, Middle Tennessee at Army kicks off on CBS Sports Network.

At 3:30pm CT, SMU is at Texas State. That one is on ESPN as well.

As we get into the evening slate, the TV gets a little more wonky. At 6:30 CT, you’ve got North Texas hosting Houston Baptist. You’ll need to break out the web browser or ESPN mobile app for that one again as it’s on ESPN3.

At 7, you’ve got Arkansas State at Memphis in what should be the game of the day. That one is on your traditional ESPN station on the tube. Things wrap up for the day with an 8pm CT kick back over on ESPN3 featuring Stephen F. Austin at UTEP.

If someone can explain why ESPN is putting games on ESPN3 instead of a paid service like ESPN+ or just an ESPN2 to capture a fraction of the money they’ve lost from no live sports over the last several months, I’d be highly appreciative. Anywho, that does it for the Saturday slate. As I said, not stellar by any means, but there are games in every time slot and that means a day full of football.

Monday Matchup

But wait, there’s more! After the all day buffet on Saturday, we get some dessert football on Monday as BYU travels to Navy for what should be a tremendous game. It’s a 7pm CT kick and you can catch that action on your traditional ESPN station.


That will do it for week one. We’ll be back next week with another semi-full slate of games. Which matchup this week are you most looking forward to watching?

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