SEC football on TV

Just as it's never too early to start planning for retirement, it's never too early to start planning your Southeastern Conference football weekends.

I started today. Stumbling across a preliminary list of college football telecasts for 2009 posted at, I separated the listings into two categories: (1) Games involving SEC teams and (2) Games I won't be watching. Yes, I am an SEC snob. I'll watch Mississippi State-Vanderbilt before I'll watch Texas-Oklahoma, Michigan-Ohio State or Florida State-Miami.

In my opinion, the most lackluster SEC matchup is still more interesting than the most intriguing non-SEC matchup. That's why I'm happy to report that, thanks to the SEC's TV contract with ESPN, Southeastern Conference teams will be showing up on the tube a lot this fall. Moreover, most of the matchups look very attractive.

TV coverage of the 2009 college football season begins at 6:30 on Thursday, Sept. 3, with North Texas facing Ball State on ESPNU. Thirty minutes later South Carolina and North Carolina State kick off on ESPN.

Two SEC teams already are penciled in for the season's opening Saturday. Alabama plays Virginia Tech at the Georgia Dome (8 p.m. on ABC) and LSU visits Washington (10:30 p.m. on ESPN). The Tide-Hokies shootout promises to be a war. Conversely, the most interesting aspect of LSU's game with Washington (0-12 last fall) may be seeing former UT defensive coordinator John Chavis wearing purple and gold, instead of orange and white.

More good news: CBS tentatively has scheduled SEC doubleheaders for Oct. 10 and Nov. 14.

Oct. 10 features Alabama visiting Ole Miss (3:30) and Florida visiting LSU (8:00). Those very well could be two of the most entertaining college football games of 2009.

Nov. 14 offers Auburn at Georgia (noon) and Florida at South Carolina (3:30). Both of those games show promise, although Auburn and South Carolina are a bit suspect heading into '09.

Big Orange fans will be happy to know that Tennessee already is penciled in for TV appearances Sept. 12 (hosting UCLA), Sept. 19 (visiting Florida) and Oct. 24 (visiting Alabama). Most likely, all of the Vols' games will be televised with the possible exception of Game 1 vs. Western Kentucky, Game 4 vs. Ohio University and Game 9 vs. Memphis. If the networks pass on those games, all three likely will wind up on pay-per-view.

That said, here's the preliminary list of SEC telecasts for 2009:

September 3

South Carolina at NC State, 7 pm, ESPN

September 5

Alabama vs. Virginia Tech (Atlanta), 8 pm, ABC

LSU at Washington, 10:30 pm, ESPN

September 6

Ole Miss at Memphis, 3:30, ESPN

September 12

UCLA at Tennessee, TBA, ESPN

September 19

Tennessee at Florida, 3:30 pm, CBS

September 24

Ole Miss at South Carolina, 7:30 pm, ESPN

September 26

Arkansas at Alabama, 3:30 pm, CBS

October 3

LSU at Georgia, 3:30 pm, CBS

October 10

Alabama at Ole Miss, 3:30 pm CBS

Florida at LSU, 8 pm, CBS

October 17

Arkansas at Florida, 3:30 pm, CBS (not confirmed)

October 24

Tennessee at Alabama, 3:30 pm, CBS (not confirmed)

October 31

Georgia vs. Florida, 3:30 pm, CBS

November 7

LSU at Alabama, 3:30 pm, CBS (not confirmed)

November 14

Auburn at Georgia, 12 pm, CBS (not confirmed)

Florida at South Carolina, 3:30 pm, CBS (not confirmed)

November 21

LSU at Ole Miss, 3:30 pm, CBS (not confirmed)

November 27

Alabama at Auburn, 2:30 pm, CBS

November 28

Florida State at Florida, 3:30 pm, CBS

December 5

SEC Championship, TBA, CBS

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