One of the most-anticipated college football seasons in history is finally here. ESPN will present approximately 1,000 regular season games across all platforms, readying for the return of a 40-game Bowl Season schedule that includes the exclusive presentation of the College Football Playoff Semifinals at the Rose Bowl Game Presented by Prudential and the Allstate Sugar Bowl, and concludes with the CFP National Championship Presented by AT&T on Monday, Jan. 8, at NRG Stadium in Houston.
There are nearly 60 games slated to kick off across ESPN platforms in Week 1, beginning Thursday, Aug. 31, and running through Labor Day Monday on ABC, ESPN, ESPNU, SEC Network, ACC Network, Big 12 Now on ESPN+, ESPN+, SEC Network+ and ACCNX.
In honor of scoring a touchdown and extra point, here are 6+1 things to keep an eye on during Kickoff Weekend and beyond:
1. Access, access, and more access: Coming in 2023, ESPN is taking fans where they’ve never been before. Viewers will experience “mic’d up” head coaches and star players in pregame, head coach interviews in the first and third quarters, halftime player interviews, locker room access, handheld cameras on the field to bring out the quarterbacks and following scoring plays, and more.
2. ESPN+ boasts its biggest season yet. With more than 150+ FBS games, 500+ total college football games, and 20 conferences featured, ESPN+ is a must-have for college football fans.
Thurs-Sun, @ESPNCFB Wk 1 coverage kicks off across ESPN platforms
— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) August 31, 2023
3. The connection between ESPN and fans defines our studio coverage:
a. College GameDay celebrates its 30th season of going on the road with a refresh of the iconic opener, ‘Coming to Your City.’
The Cadillac Three, Darius Rucker, and Lainey Wilson put their spin on Big & Rich’s anthem, debuting ahead of the Week 1 show (Sept. 2, 9 a.m. ET, ESPN).
b. SEC Nation is commemorating its 10th season with a Week 1 double feature of SEC football starring two shows in three days: Columbia, Mo., (tonight, 7 p.m., SECN) and downtown Nashville (Saturday, Sept. 2, 10 a.m., SECN).
c. For the first time in ACC Network history, two of ACCN’s signature programs, ACC Huddle (Saturdays, 11 a.m. – noon, 6:30-8 p.m.) and ACC PM (weekdays, 4-7 p.m.), will travel to game sites each week this fall. ACCN welcomes Week 1 coverage with six games and ACC Huddle road shows in four cities.
4. Texas at Alabama in Week 2 receives the alternate telecast treatment, as Field Pass with The Pat McAfee Show continues ESPN’s industry-leading second-screen innovations. As always, ESPN’s signature MegaCast presentation will be prominent in both the regular and postseason, with multi-platform productions blanketing select marquee regular season matchups, the New Year’s Six, College Football Playoff Semifinals, and the 2024 CFP National Championship.
5. Some of the biggest showdowns and conference clashes are set for ESPN and ABC this fall: LSU/FSU, Texas/Alabama, Red River (Texas/Oklahoma), and Notre Dame/Clemson, plus Championship Weekend featuring the ACC, American, Big 12, MAC, Pac-12, Sun Belt and SWAC Championship Games.
6. ESPN is the home for the most comprehensive coverage in college football. In the first three weeks of the season alone, ESPN platforms will showcase 100+ live CFB games.
Extra point: Mid-week matchups kick off even earlier this fall, thanks to ESPN’s new rights agreement with Conference USA. October features C-USA mid-weeks on ESPN2 and ESPNU, with November continuing with ESPN’s traditional MACtion presentation.