ESPN Kicks Off With Steve Spurrier

ESPN's coverage of the 2005 Division I-A college football season will kick off Thursday, Sept. 1 in South Carolina with an on-site season preview show, a live music concert and Steve Spurrier's first game as head coach of South Carolina when the Gamecocks take on Central Florida. The evening will begin at 7 p.m. ET. In addition, SportsCenter will provide on-site reports as part of the 50 States 50 Days summer tour during the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. editions ...

Coverage will kick off at 7 p.m. with the College GameDay Kickoff Special, an on-site special featuring a preview of the season from host Chris Fowler and analysts Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Trev Alberts and Mark May. Country music performers Big & Rich and Cowboy Troy will perform for fans with ESPN televising three songs from the concert during the College GameDay Kickoff Special.

Throughout the season, the Saturday morning College GameDay Built by The Home Depot (every Saturday at 10:30 a.m.) will feature a specially recorded version of the upcoming Big & Rich and Cowboy Troy single "Coming to Your City." To hear the song with altered lyrics specific to College GameDay, log onto the MediaZone at http://media.espn.com/MediaZone/MultimediaClips/Big&Rich.mp3.

At 7:30 p.m., ESPN will televise Central Florida at South Carolina, led by new head coach Steve Spurrier making his return to the college sidelines since leaving Florida after the 2001 season. Mike Tirico and Kirk Herbstreit will call the game from the booth with Erin Andrews reporting from the sidelines.

In addition, the game will serve as the South Carolina stop for SportsCenter Across America, a 50-states-in-50-days summer tour. Rece Davis will anchor SportsCenter segments specific to South Carolina -- historical notes, factoids and vignettes about the state's contribution to the national sports scene -- on-site during the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. shows. One of the segments will include an interview with Spurrier. ESPNU, the 24-hour college sports network, will provide an encore showing of the Central Florida at South Carolina game Thursday, Sept. 1 at midnight. As part of SportCenter's summer tour, ESPNU is showcasing a college sports telecast that involved a team, player or event originating from the state SportsCenter is visiting that day.

The College GameDay Kickoff Special, Big & Rich and Cowboy Troy concert, and SportsCenter will originate from the State Campgrounds across from South Carolina's Williams-Brice Stadium.

In 2005, ABC Sports, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will televise more than 300 live regular-andpost-season games in approximately 260 telecast windows, a record for the four networks.

Last year, ABC Sports, ESPN and ESPN2 combined to present 216 games in 175 windows.

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