College Football 2012: ESPN 2012 College Football TV Schedule Listing

Sanjay KirpalaniNational Recruiting AnalystJune 8, 2012

COLUMBIA, SC - OCTOBER 08:  Marcus Lattimore #21 of the South Carolina Gamecocks runs with the ball against the Kentucky Wildcats during their game at Williams-Brice Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Columbia, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

College football season is still 83 days away, but the anticipation is slowly building until the action kicks off on August 30.

With off-field incidents and expansion rumors dominating the summer headlines, fans across the country rejoiced when ESPN announced its television schedule on College Football Live.

Check out the dates below along with my thoughts on some of the marquee showdowns. 

Date                   Game Matchup                           Game Time (EST)     Network

Thurs., Aug 30    South Carolina at Vanderbilt      7 p.m.                       ESPN

The SEC schedule kicks off the season with a battle between to Eastern division teams that went bowling a year ago.  Gamecocks star running back Marcus Lattimore makes his return after tearing his ACL last season.

Thurs., Aug 30    Central Florida at Akron             7 p.m.                       ESPN3

Terry Bowden makes his debut as the head coach of the Zips with a home game against the Knights from Conference USA.

Thurs., Aug 30    Eastern Michigan at Ball State    7 p.m.                       ESPN3

A pair of 6-6 teams from the MAC will give fans their first taste of MAC-tion on a weeknight. I know you're excited!  

Thurs., Aug 30    Texas A&M at Louisiana Tech    7:30 p.m.                  ESPN U

The Aggies kickoff the Kevin Sumlin-era by facing the defending champions from the WAC at Independence Stadium in Shreveport, La.     

Thurs., Aug 30  UMass. @ Connecticut         7:30 p.m.    ESPN3 & Big East Local Package

UMass will play its first game as an FBS football member against a Huskies squad coming off a 5-7 debut under Paul Pasqualoni last season.

Thurs., Aug 30    Washington State at BYU           10:15 p.m.                 ESPN

This battle of Cougars will feature the return of Mike Leach to the sidelines against a BYU team that quietly won 10 games last season.        

Fri., Aug 31        Villanova @ Temple                  TBD                          ESPN3

The Owls return to the Big East this fall, but before they hit league play, they will try to defeat their crosstown rivals in the season opener.

Fri., Aug 31       NC State vs. Tennessee             7:30 p.m.                   ESPNU

This is the first of the new-look doubleheader format for the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta, which will pit a SEC team against a ACC team each matchup. This matchup features an exciting battle between a pair of nationally underrated quarterbacks in Mike Glennon of the Wolfpack and Tyler Bray of the Volunteers.

Fri., Aug 31       Boise State at Michigan State    8 p.m.                        ESPN

The Broncos continue their tradition of opening the season against a BCS conference opponent away from the land of the blue turf. However, the Spartans loaded defense will present a tough challenge to whichever Bronco quarterback emerges in the battle to replace Kellen Moore.

BOISE, ID - OCTOBER 22:  Head Coach Chris Petersen of the Boise State Broncos shakes hands with Nick Alexander #81 before the game against the Air Force Falcons at Bronco Stadium on October 22, 2011 in Boise, Idaho.  (Photo by Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Ima
Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images

Sat., Sept. 1     Ohio at Penn State                   Noon                          ESPN

The Nittany Lions begin the Bill O'Brien era with a tough season opener against an Ohio team coming off the first bowl victory in school history last season.

Sat., Sept. 1     Northwestern at Syracuse          Noon                          ESPN2

This will be a critical matchup for a pair of teams coming off seven-loss seasons and each having to replace veteran quarterbacks.

Sat., Sept. 1     Western Michigan at Illinois      Noon                           ESPNU

New Fighting Illini coach Tim Beckman kicks off his tenure in Champaign against the Broncos out of the MAC.  Broncos quarterback Alex Carder will provide a tough test for the Illini defense.     

Sat., Sept. 1    Elon at North Carolina                12:30 p.m.                    ESPN3

The Tar Heels kickoff the Larry Fedora era in Chapel Hill against an FCS foe.

Sat., Sept. 1    William & Mary at Maryland       3 p.m.                          ESPN3

Randy Edsall and the Terps will try to rebound from last season's 2-10 debacle. Returning 17 starters should help them get off to a good start against an FCS opponent.

Sat.  Sept. 1    Richmond at Virginia                 3 p.m.                          ESPN3

Virginia head coach Mike London will lead his team against the school he coached for prior to arriving to Charlottesville.  

Sat., Sept. 1    Iowa vs. Southern Illinois           3:30 p.m.                      ESPNU

Quarterback James Vandenberg and the Hawkeyes will make the trek to Soldier Field in Chicago to face the defending MAC champions.

Sat., Sept. 1   Southern Mississippi at Nebraska 3:30 p.m.                     ABC & ESPN2

Ellis Johnson will make his debut as the head coach of the Golden Eagles, and his team will have its work cut out for them in Lincoln. Quarterback Taylor Martinez and running back Rex Burkhead spearhead a veteran Cornhuskers team that looks primed to make a run at the Big 10 title.

Sat., Sept. 1   Miami at Boston College               3:30 p.m.                      ABC

A pair of teams that disappointed last season will try to bounce back in a season-opening tilt in the ACC. The Eagles may have an edge, considering that they return 19 starters from last year, including junior quarterback Chase Rettig.

Sat., Sept. 1   Murray State at Florida State       6 p.m.                          ESPN3

The Seminoles will begin their quest to capture their first ACC title since 2005 against the Racers from the FCS level.  

Sat., Sept. 1  Youngstown State at Pittsburgh     6 p.m.                          ESPN3

The Panthers will have their third head coach in three seasons, with Paul Chryst taking over for Todd Graham.  His debut should mark the return of star running back Ray Graham, who missed the final five games after a season-ending knee injury.

Sat., Sept. 1  Liberty at Wake Forest                   6:30 p.m.                     ESPN3

Sat., Sept. 1  Tennessee-Chattanooga at South Florida 7 p.m.              ESPN3

Sat., Sept. 1  Clemson vs. Auburn                      7 p.m.                           ESPN

The finale of the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game will feature a battle of Tigers who have split meetings over the last two seasons. Clemson could have a hard time getting the best of Auburn for the second year in a row if star wideout Sammy Watkins is forced to sit out as a result of an offseason arrest.  

CLEMSON, SC - SEPTEMBER 17:  A general view of the Clemson Tigers during their game against the Auburn Tigers at Memorial Stadium on September 17, 2011 in Clemson, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Sat., Sept. 1  Florida International at Duke        7 p.m.                           ESPN3

Sat., Sept. 1  Michigan vs. Alabama                   8 p.m.                           ABC

The marquee matchup of the season's opening weekend features the defending national champions against a team that won 11 games and a BCS bowl last season. Wolverines quarterback Denard Robinson will have his hands full against what should still be a fierce Crimson Tide defense.

Sun., Sept. 2 Bethune Cookman vs. Alabama State  Noon                     ESPN

This Labor Day weekend matchup makes up the MEAC/SWAC Challenge Presented by Disney and will be played at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando.

Sun., Sept. 2 Kentucky at Louisville                    3:30 p.m.                      ESPN

Cardinals head coach Charlie Strong may have given the Wildcats some added motivation for the season-opening tilt between the Commonwealth State rivals.

Mon., Sept. 3 Georgia Tech at Virginia Tech        8 p.m.                         ESPN

This Coastal division tilt in the ACC will feature the only two teams to have won the division since the ACC began divisional play, which makes this Labor Day game a crucial one for both teams' title hopes.

Thu., Sept. 6 Pittsburgh at Cincinnati                   8 p.m.                         ESPN

The winner of this early season Big East matchup can enter the race for the league title, while the loser likely is headed for a rebuilding year.

Fri., Sept. 7  Utah at Utah State                            8 p.m.                         ESPN2

This is the first meeting between the Utes and the Aggies since 2009, a matchup won by Utah, 35-17.

Sat., Sept. 8 Central Florida at Ohio State           Noon                           ESPN2

The Knights will make consecutive trips to the state of Ohio to begin the season, but this time to face the new look Buckeyes under Urban Meyer.

Sat., Sept. 8 Penn State at Virginia                      Noon                            ABC

This is the first meeting between these two schools since 2002 and the first key road test for Bill O'Brien as the Nittany Lions' head coach.

STATE COLLEGE, PA - OCTOBER 8:  Matthew McGloin #11 of the Penn State Nittany Lions hands the ball off to Silas Redd #25 against the Iowa Hawkeyes during the game on October 8, 2011 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania.  The Lions defeated the
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Sat., Sept. 8 Maryland at Temple                        Noon                             ESPNU

Sat., Sept. 8 NC State at Connecticut                  Noon               ESPN3 & Big East Network

Sat., Sept. 8 Ball State at Clemson                   12:30 p.m                       ESPN3

Sat., Sept. 8 Maine at Boston College                1 p.m.                          ESPN3

Sat., Sept. 8 Austin Peay at Virginia Tech          1:30 p.m.                     ESPN3

The last time the Hokies played an FCS school on a short-week following a Labor Day primetime contest, they shockingly fell to James Madison in one of the sport's biggest upsets. Simply put, do not expect a repeat. 

Sat., Sept. 8 North Carolina at Wake Forest        3 p.m.                         ESPN3

Larry Fedora's first conference game as head coach of the Heels will feature a duel between a pair of junior quarterbacks—UNC's Bryn Renner and Wake Forest's Tanner Price—who passed for more than 3,000 yards last season.

Sat., Sept. 8 USC at Syracuse                             3:30 p.m.                     ABC

The nation will get its first glimpse of Heisman Trophy favorite and USC quarterback Matt Barkley, who will lead the Trojans on a rare cross-country trip for a game against the Orange at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

Sat., Sept. 8 Michigan State at Central Michigan  3:30 p.m.                  ESPNU

The Chippewas beat the Spartans 29-27 in 2009 in East Lansing, but Sparty got revenge, thrashing their in-state rivals 45-7 last season. Expect this matchup to resemble the latter meeting. 

Sat., Sept. 8 Air Force at Michigan                   3:30 p.m.                      ABC & ESPN2

With the Falcons returning only seven starters from last year's 7-6 team, the experienced Wolverines will likely have the upper hand, even after what should be a physical game against Alabama the week before. 

ANN ARBOR, MI - OCTOBER 29: Head coach Brady Hoke cheers on his team from the sideline while playing the Purdue Boilermakers at Michigan Stadium on October 29, 2011 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Michigan won the game 36-14. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Sat., Sept. 8 Indiana at Massachusetts             3:30 p.m.                     ESPN3

Sat., Sept. 8 Howard at Rutgers                       3:30 p.m.       ESPN3 & Big East Local Package

New Scarlet Knights head coach Kyle Flood will get a tuneup game against the Bison, one week before traveling to South Florida for their conference opener. 

Sat., Sept. 8 Savannah State at Florida State       6 p.m.                     ESPN3

This date was supposed to mark a marquee non-conference matchup between likely preseason top 10 clubs West Virginia and FSU, but the Mountaineers bailed out of the meeting following their move to the Big 12. Instead, the Seminoles will hold a scrimmage. 

Sat., Sept. 8 Memphis at Arkansas State          7 p.m.                          ESPN3

Considering the home date against the Tigers is a sandwich game between road trips to Oregon and Nebraska, new Red Wolves head coach Gus Malzahn could use a win to avoid what would likely be an 0-3 start in his debut season. 

Sat., Sept. 8 Louisiana-Lafayette at Troy          7 p.m.                          ESPN3

The Ragin' Cajuns could take a huge step towards winning the Sun Belt by getting a road win at traditional league power Troy. This matchup features a duel between two of the league's top passers in Troy's Corey Robinson and ULL's Blaine Gautier.  

Sat., Sept. 8 Presbyterian at Georgia Tech      7 p.m.                          ESPN3

Sat., Sept. 8 Texas Tech at Texas State          TBD                              TBD

The last time Tommy Tuberville and Dennis Franchione squared off against one another was the 2002 Iron Bowl. Tuberville will lead his Red Raiders against Franchione's Bobcats, who will be in their first season in the FBS as members of the WAC. 

Thu., Sept. 13 Mississippi Valley State at Southern  7:30 p.m.              ESPNU

Thu., Sept. 13 Rutgers at South Florida           7:30 p.m.                       ESPN

The Bulls could take a big step towards erasing the memories of last season's disappointment by getting a big early season conference win. 

Fri., Sept. 14  Washington State at UNLV         9 p.m.                           ESPN

Cougars receiver Marquess Wilson, the nation's second-leading returning wideout, should have a field day against a Rebels defense that finished 90th in the country against the pass.

Sat., Sept. 15 California at Ohio State             Noon                             ABC

The Bears will provide the Buckeyes with their first true test for Meyer's new offense. The Bears led the Pac-12 in total defense last season.

Sat., Sept. 15 Arkansas State at Nebraska        Noon                   ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU

Gus Malzahn is a great offensive mind, but his team will likely find the going tough against a veteran Blackshirts defense in Lincoln.

Sat., Sept. 15 Wake Forest at Florida State       Noon                     ESPN or ESPN2

The season finally begins for the Seminoles against a Demon Deacons team that defeated the 'Noles 35-30 last season. The winner gets a leg up in the race to claim the ACC's Atlantic division. 

Sat., Sept. 15 Bethune-Cookman at Miami     Noon                             ESPN3

Sat., Sept. 15 Virginia Tech at Pittsburgh        Noon                      ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU

The Hokies hit the road to face an old foe from their days in the Big East. This rivalry that will likely continue with the Panthers set to join the ACC.

Sat., Sept. 15 Connecticut at Maryland           12:30  p.m.                    ESPN3

This matchup could be dubbed the Randy Edsall-bowl, with the Terps hosting the school they hired him away from last season. 

Sat., Sept. 15 Furman at Clemson                  3 p.m.                            ESPN3

Sat., Sept. 15 Virginia at Georgia Tech          3:30 p.m.                       ESPNU

Tech gets a break with having a creampuff game a week earlier against Presbyterian, while the Cavs will have to host Penn State.

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 10:  Logan Thomas #3 of the Virginia Tech Hokies drives upfield against Isaiah Johnson #1 and Rashaad Reid #28 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Bobby Dodd Stadium on November 10, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Co
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Sat., Sept. 15 North Carolina at Louisville      3:30 p.m.                       ABC & ESPN2

This is another interesting non-conference matchup pitting the Big East against the ACC. Slowing down Cardinals sophomore quarterback Teddy Bridgewater will be a tough task for the Heels' rebuilding defense.

Sat., Sept. 15 Navy at Penn State                 3:30 p.m.                       ABC & ESPN2

The Nittany Lions welcome one of the few teams on their schedule that failed to reach a bowl last season.

Sat., Sept. 15 South Alabama at NC State    6 p.m.                            ESPN3

The Wolfpack will face an upstart Jaguars squad that will play its first season as a member of the Sun Belt Conference.

Sat., Sept. 15 Rice at Louisiana Tech            7 p.m.                            ESPN3

The WAC's defending champs should have a field day against the hapless Owls defense.

Sat., Sept. 15 Delaware State at Cincinnati   7 p.m.                            ESPN3

Sat., Sept. 15 Mississippi State at Troy           7 p.m.                           ESPN3

Sat., Sept. 15 NC Central at Duke                7 p.m.                              ESPN3

Sat., Sept. 15 Colorado State at San Jose State 8 p.m.                       ESPN3

Wed., Sept. 19 Kent State at Buffalo              7 p.m.                            ESPNU

Thu., Sept. 20 Arkansas Pine Bluff at Alabama State 7:30 p.m.           ESPNU

Thu., Sept. 20 BYU at Boise State                  9 p.m.                             ESPN

BYU brings a veteran team with 17 returning starters into the land of the blue turf, where the Broncos have lost only one of their last 32 games.

Fri., Sept. 21  Baylor at Louisiana-Monroe      8 p.m.                           ESPN

The nation will catch its first look at the Bears in the post RG III-era when they pay a visit to the Warhawks. 

WACO, TX - NOVEMBER 19:  Head coach Art Briles of the Baylor Bears during play against the Oklahoma Sooners at Floyd Casey Stadium on November 19, 2011 in Waco, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Sat., Sept. 22 Massachusetts at Miami (OH)      Noon     ESPN3 & MAC Game of the Week

Sat., Sept. 22 Connecticut at Western Michigan   2 p.m.                      ESPN3

Sat., Sept. 22 Gardner-Webb at Pittsburgh           3:30 p.m.                  ESPN3

Sat., Sept. 22 South Florida at Ball State              4:30 p.m                 ESPN3

Sat., Sept. 22 Louisville at Florida International    7 p.m.                   ESPNU or ESPN3

The Cardinals will travel to Florida looking for revenge for last season's 24-17 home loss at the hands of the Golden Panthers.

Sat., Sept. 22 Southern Miss at Western Kentucky  7 p.m.                    ESPN3

Sat., Sept. 22 New Mexico at New Mexico State    8 p.m.                     ESPN3

The Aggies defeated the Lobos for the fourth straight season last year and are in a good position to make it five in a row when they host them this fall.

Sat., Sept. 22 Kansas at Northern Illinois                TBD                  ESPNU or ESPN3

Charlie Weis will try to lead the Jayhawks to a road win over the MAC's defending champs.    

Thu., Sept. 27 Morgan State at NC A&T            7:30 p.m.                      ESPNU

Fri., Sept. 28  Hawaii at BYU                             8 p.m.                          ESPN

The Cougars secondary will get tested by Hawaii's high-powered offense, which finished 12th nationally in passing offense last season.                                   

Sat., Sept 29  Buffalo at Connecticut                Noon                            ESPN3

The Huskies beat the Bulls 17-3 last season, and should be able to handle them at home this fall. 

CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 03:  Johnny McEntee #18 of the Connecticut Huskies looks to the sideline between plays during the game against the Cincinnati Bearcats on December 3, 2011 at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Bearcats defeated the Connecti
Tyler Barrick/Getty Images

Sat., Sept. 29 Ball State at Kent State             Noon                            ESPN3

Sat., Sept. 29 UNLV at Utah State                   8 p.m.                           ESPN3

Sat., Sept. 29 Wisconsin at Nebraska              8 p.m.                            ABC

The first mega tilt in the Big 10 will take place in Lincoln, with the 'Huskers looking to avenge a 31-point beatdown at the hands of the Badgers last season in Madison.       

Sat., Sept. 29 Florida State at South Florida    TBD              ABC, ESPN or ESPN2

The Seminoles haven't forgotten about the 17-7 loss to the Bulls in 2009. Expect the architect of that upset, Bulls quarterback B.J. Daniels, to be running for his life against the vaunted 'Noles defense.

Sat., Sept. 29 Nevada at Texas State              TBD                              TBD

Thu., Oct. 4   Arkansas State at FIU                    TBD                           ESPNU

New Arkansas State coach Gus Malzahn gets the national spotlight.

Fri., Oct. 5    Pittsburgh at Syracuse                 7 p.m.                          ESPN

Big game for the Orange. After going 5-7 last year on the heels of an 8-win campaign in 2010, Syracuse needs to re-establish itself.

Fri., Oct. 5     Utah State at BYU                     10:15 p.m.                     ESPN or ESPN2

State is looking to avenge a close 27-24 loss to the Cougars last season.

Sat., Oct. 6   Buffalo at Ohio                        Noon                ESPN3 & MAC Game of the Week  

Sat., Oct. 6   Illinois at Wisconsin                  3:30 p.m.                      ABC

This one will be over so quick they might play "Jump Around" before the third quarter.

Sat., Oct. 6  UNLV at Louisiana Tech          7 p.m.            ESPN or WAC Syndication

Tough one for the Rebels here after having to open the season against Minnesota, Washington State, Air Force and Utah State.

Sat., Oct. 6  Nebraska at Ohio State            8 p.m.               ABC, ESPN or ESPN2

Should be a great game, albeit a tough one for Nebraska after hosting Wisconsin the week before.

LINCOLN, NE - OCTOBER 8: Quarterback Braxton Miller #5 of the Ohio State Buckeyes slips between safety Austin Cassidy #8 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers and linebacker Will Compton #51 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers during their game at Memorial Stadium October
Eric Francis/Getty Images

Thu., Oct. 11 Western Kentucky at Troy         TBD                               ESPNU

Fri., Oct. 12 Navy at Central Michigan            8 p.m.                           ESPN2

Sat., Oct. 13 Illinois at Michigan                    3:30 p.m.                       ABC

A little national television action for Denard Robinson to pad his Heisman stats.

Sat., Oct. 13 Utah State at San Jose State       4 p.m.             ESPN3 & WAC Syndication

Sat., Oct. 13 Texas vs. Oklahoma                   TBD                              ABC

A shame this game isn’t played later in the year, a la traditional rivalry games like Michigan-Ohio State, because this is always the make-or-break game for both schools.

Tue., Oct. 16 Louisiana-Lafayette at N. Texas  TBD                  ESPN or ESPN2        

Thu., Oct. 18 Hampton at NC Central             7:30 p.m                         ESPNU

A little NCAA Football Championship Subdivision action for a Thursday night.

Fri., Oct. 19 Connecticut at Syracuse             8 p.m.                             ESPN

Two nationally televised games in 14 days for the Orange, a true chance to shine.

Sat., Oct. 20 Northern Illinois at Akron           Noon       ESPN3 & MAC Game of the Week

Meet NIU coach Dave Doeren. Remember his name because he’ll be at a BCS school pretty soon.

Sat., Oct. 20 Army at Eastern Michigan          1 p.m.                           ESPN3

Sat., Oct. 20 Pittsburgh at Buffalo                   3:30 p.m.                      ESPN3

Pitt RB Ray Graham was the second-leading rusher in the nation last year when he suffered a knee injury on Oct. 26. If he’s healthy and back—and he should be—he’s fun to watch.

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 29:  Ray Graham #1 of the Pittsburgh Panthers celebrates his rushing touchdown against the South Florida Bulls during the game on September 29, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Im
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Sat., Oct. 20 Idaho at Louisiana Tech        7 p.m.       ESPN3 & WAC Syndication

Sat., Oct. 20 Cincinnati at Toledo                  TBD                    ESPNU or ESPN3

Dangerous non-conference game for Cincy against a team that can put up a lot of points in a hurry.

Tue., Oct. 23 Arkansas St. at Louisiana-Lafayette  TBD                   ESPN or ESPN2

In 13 games last year, the Ragin’ Cajuns scored less than 30 points exactly one time. This one will be fun.

Thu., Oct. 25 Clemson at Wake Forest            7:30 p.m.                      ESPN

The Tigers always start out great and then traditionally slip up somewhere. This road game is as good a spot as any.   

Thu., Oct 25 Delaware State at Morgan State  7:30 p.m.                      ESPNU

Fri., Oct. 26  Cincinnati at Louisville              8 p.m.                ESPN or ESPN2

Winner of this one will have a big say in determining the Big East crown.

Sat., Oct. 27 Northern Illinois at Western Mich.  Noon  ESPN3 & MAC Game of the Week

The Broncos allowed 51 points in a loss to NIU last year.

Sat., Oct. 27 Kent State at Rutgers       3:30 p.m.         ESPN3 & Big East Local Package

Sat. Oct. 27 Michigan State at Wisconsin       3:30 p.m.                     ABC

Two unbelievable games last year makes this one must-see TV.

Sat., Oct. 27 Ohio State at Penn State       6 p.m                      ESPN or ESPN2

If Michigan isn't Ohio State’s Rose Bowl this season, this one is pretty darn close.

Sat., Oct. 27  Michigan at Nebraska          8 p.m.                ABC, ESPN or ESPN2

Wolverines smacked around Nebraska last year. Primetime, national television? You know Big Red isn’t letting that happen again.

ANN ARBOR, MI - NOVEMBER 19:  Denard Robinson #16 of the Michigan Wolverines tries to out run the tackle of Lavonte David #4 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Michigan Stadium on November 19, 2011 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Michigan won the game 45-17. (Photo b
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Thu., Nov. 1  Eastern Michigan at Ohio       6 p.m.                      ESPNU

Careful here, Ohio. EMU is not a pushover anymore. Three of six losses last year were to Michigan, Penn State and MAC champ Northern Illinois.

Thu., Nov. 1  Virginia Tech at Miami            7:30 p.m.                     ESPN

The best Thursday night game of the year? Certainly has the potential, and it could have national significance for VT.

Thu., Nov. 1  Mid. Tennessee at W. Kentucky  TBD                          ESPNU

Keep an eye on WKU’s Jack Doyle, a big-time NFL prospect at tight end.

Sat., Nov. 3  Texas-San Antonio at La. Tech      4 p.m.           ESPN3 & WAC Syndication

UTSA is moving up to FBS in just its second year of existence, and with former Miami (Fla.) coach Larry Coker at the helm.

Sat., Nov. 3  Western Michigan at Central Michigan  TBD                 ESPN3

Western, Central, Eastern …. Aren’t they all just one big school?

Tue., Nov. 6  Ball State at Toledo                  8 p.m.                          ESPN 2

Wed., Nov. 7 Bowling Green at Ohio             8 p.m.                          ESPN 2

Thu., Nov. 8 Florida State at Virginia Tech    7:30 p.m.                       ESPN

Wow, Miami and FSU on back-to-back Thursday nights? Who set up this schedule for Va Tech?

TALLAHASSEE, FL - NOVEMBER 12:  EJ Manuel #3 of the Florida State Seminoles passes during a game against against the Miami Hurricanes at Doak Campbell Stadium on November 12, 2011 in Tallahassee, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Thu., Nov. 8 La-Monroe at Arkansas St.        TBD                               ESPN U

Fri., Nov. 9  Pittsburgh at Connecticut           8 p.m.                           ESPN 2

Pitt has had four head coaches in the last 18 months. Let’s hope Paul Chryst is still there at this point and playing for a Big East title.

Sat., Nov. 10 Navy at Troy                              3:30 p.m.                      ESPN3

Just like we said about Northern Illinois’ Dave Doeren, Navy’s Ken Niumatalolo is one of the country’s most underrated coaches.

Wed., Nov. 14 Ohio at Ball State                 8 p.m.            ESPN 2 or ESPN U

If you must, on a Wednesday night.

Wed., Nov. 14 Toledo at Northern Illinois   9 p.m.             ESPN 2 or ESPN U

See above.

Thu., Nov. 15 North Carolina at Virginia           7:30 p.m.                 ESPN

Cavs lost quite a few offensive linemen and key defensive players, but most of their skill position players are back and they should be above .500, if not in the hunt for an ACC title.

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 31:  Michael Rocco #16 of the Virginia Cavaliers warms up prior to facing the Auburn Tigers during the 2011 Chick Fil-A Bowl at Georgia Dome on December 31, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Fri., Nov. 16  Hawaii at Air Force                    9:30 p.m.               ESPN2

Fri., Nov. 16 FIU at Florida Atlantic                  TBD                     ESPNU

Sat., Nov. 17 Rutgers at Cincinnati Noon ESPN3 & Big East Network

If Rutgers hopes to have any Big East aspirations, this is the game to steal on the road.

Sat., Nov. 17 Kent State at Bowling Green  Noon ESPN3 & MAC Game of the Week

Player to watch? Bowling Green sophomore Anthon Samuel, a running back with speed to burn.

Tue., Nov. 20 Akron at Toledo               7 p.m.                ESPN2

Thu., Nov. 22 Tuskegee at Alabama State  4 p.m.              ESPNU

Great Thanksgiving Day college game amidst the NFL hoopla between two historically black colleges.

Fri., Nov. 23       Nebraska at Iowa              Noon                ABC

How awesome a Black Friday game is this between two teams building one of the great college rivalries?

Fri., Nov. 23 South Florida at Cincinnati      TBD         ABC, ESPN, or ESPN2

This is one of those great games, with conference title implications that nobody will be watching.

Fri., Nov. 23 Syracuse at Temple              TBD           ABC, ESPN, or ESPN 2

RB Matt Brown is going to make Temple fans forget all about Bernard Pierce.

Sat., Nov. 24 Michigan at Ohio State             Noon                ABC

One of the sport’s greatest rivalries is back, and as heated as its ever been.  Can Urban Meyer swing the momentum back in the Buckeyes favor?

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 28:  Urban Meyer speaks to the media after being introduced as the new head coach of Ohio State football on November 28, 2011 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Sat., Nov. 24 Idaho at Utah State 3 p.m. ESPN3 & WAC Syndication

Bet there’s a small pocket of fans out west who will argue to the death that THIS is the game of the day.

Thu., Nov. 29 Louisville at Rutgers              7:30 p.m.                     ESPN

Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater might be the best quarterback in the conference.

Fri., Nov. 30 MAC Championship Game       7 p.m.                        ESPN 2

Fri., Nov. 30 MAC Championship Game        7 p.m.                        ESPN 2

Somehow, this underrated conference seems to produce an entertaining title game, which will be held at Detroit’s Ford Field.

Sat., Dec 1 ACC Championship Game           7:45 or 8 p.m.          ABC or ESPN

Who will it be? Clemson? Virginia Tech? Florida State?

Sat., Dec 1 Pittsburgh at South Florida          TBD                 ABC, ESPN or ESPN 2

Bulls lost four of their last five games last season. That can’t happen again if they have Big East aspirations.

Sat., Dec 1 Boise State at Nevada                TBD                  ABC, ESPN or ESPN 2

We all remember what happened two years ago to the Broncos. Nevada can be a tough place to play.

Sat., Dec 1 Cincinnati at Connecticut           TBD                  ABC, ESPN or ESPN 2

The Huskies were 117th in the country last year in sacks allowed. Let’s hope by this point in the season they haven’t gotten their quarterback(s) maimed.