Arkansas and Alabama will be the first CBS game of the year.
Football season is creeping ever closer, and today's milestone is the release of the first three weeks of TV schedules.
The biggest news of it is something we expected would happen: for the first time since CBS got the SEC contract, its first game in Week 3 will not be Florida-Tennessee. Instead, the network will broadcast Alabama at Arkansas in a critical SEC West matchup. The Vols and Gators will play at 6 pm Eastern on ESPN.
In other big news, the first games for Texas A&M and Missouri have been set finally. Florida at A&M will be a 3:30 pm Eastern feature game on ESPN instead of CBS, as CBS doesn't get to start showing games until the third week of the year. That puts Georgia at Missouri in prime time on ESPN2 at 7:45 pm Eastern.
The cutoff of notability appears to be I-AA and also Idaho. The only SEC games in the first three weeks that ended up on pay-per-view are games against lower division opponents plus Idaho-LSU. Interestingly, Vanderbilt will end up on the Big Ten Network thanks to its road trip to Northwestern.