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Opening Week Pac-12 TV Schedule

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Utah leads the Pac-12 into a full slate of non-conference contests, and welcomes Jim Harbaugh back to college football, and the Pac.
Utah leads the Pac-12 into a full slate of non-conference contests, and welcomes Jim Harbaugh back to college football, and the Pac.
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

It's opening weekend, and the Pac-12 is spread across all 3 days, and with surprisingly little overlap, given there are 12 games to get in.

It looked like everyone could see all of it, given sufficient recording capacity, when DirecTV tested the Pac-12 Network on their channel 612 last week, a great sign that now that AT&T's purchase of DirecTV is a done deal. But as we approach kickoff time, no announcement has come forward, ore even any rumors. But at least it appears that Pac-12 carriage by the largest satellite provider in the world is finally in the works.

The season starts mid-afternoon west coast time Thursday, but the first game for the conference comes at 6:30 PM MDT (5:30 PM PDT), when Michigan from the B1G Ten kicks off the Harbaugh era with a visit to Utah. Fox Sports 1 will be there to see if the Utes can handle the Wolverines again this year, as they did in last year's lightning interrupted game in Ann Arbor.

With a trip to the Big House coming next weekend, and a trip to Salt Lake City on the schedule for Halloween, Beaver fans will be watching this one with more interest than any other opening weekend game.

Opening evening rolls on at 7 PM AST (7 PM PDT) in Tucson when UT-San Antonio from Conference-USA visits defending Pac-12 South Champion #22 Arizona. The Roadrunners gave the 'Cats a go last year in the Alamo Dome, only losing by 3 points, and the Pac-12 Network will have the rematch.

Thursday night winds up (and rolls into Friday morning on the continent) with Colorado visiting Hawaii at 7 PM HST (10 PM PDT). Being a Mt. West game, CBS College Sports has the all-nighter coverage.

Friday of course is opening day for the Beavers, and Oregon St. hosts Weber St. from the FBS Big Sky at 5 PM PDT. The Pac-12 Network has the coverage of the beginning of the Gary Andersen era.

The other game Friday night is one of the bigger games of the weekend, at least in the west, and is the homecoming for Chris Petersen, as Washington visits #23 Boise St. for the first time ever, with kickoff on the blue turf at 8:15 PM MDT (7:15 PDT). ESPN will be on hand, and its worth setting the recorder for, even, or especially because, the Huskies are double digit road dawgs to the Broncos from the Mt. West, the first time UW has ever been a double digit underdog to a Mt. West team.

Saturday kicks off bright and early for west coast fans, with #21 Stanford visiting Northwestern for the second Pac-12 vs. B1G Ten matchup of the weekend, for an 11 AM CDT (9 AM PDT) start. It ESPN's morning game.

Morning starts against Portland St. seem fashionable, and Washington St. hosts the Vikings from the Big Sky at 11 AM PDT. It's the first game of a Pac-12 Network quadruple header, which unfortunately is going to run into all kinds of over-runs, as the conference execs haven't learned that college games require a minimum of a 3 1/2 hour window.

Virginia from the ACC comes west, and will meet #13 UCLA at 12:30 PM PDT in the Rose Bowl. The Bruins will be breaking in true freshman quarterback Josh Rosen, aka "J. Chosen" (according to some Bruins). FOX has the coverage.

The Pac-12 Network will catch up at some point with the action in Berkeley that starts at 2 PM PDT, when FCS Grambling St. of the SWAC visits California. It's too bad the audience will miss the pre-game, and the half time show might be the best part of the event, as the famous Grambling band is making what is believed to be their first trip to the west coast, to do a battle of the bands with the Cal band.

The Tigers have actually done a better job of coming out west this century than your average SEC powerhouse, having visited Nevada, Washington St., and San Jose St. But this is the first time they have brought their band.

One of the biggest games of the day kicks off at 6 PM CDT (4 PM PDT & AST) in Reliant Stadium in Houston, when #15 Arizona St. visits not far from home Texas A&M of the SEC. It's the ESPN Prime Time Saturday night game.

It's also an important opportunity for the Sun Devils to earn some respect they and the Pac-12 aren't getting, as ASU is, despite their #15 ranking, a road underdog to the unranked Aggies.

#7 Oregon, the Pac-12 North and Conference champions, kick off the Vernon Adams era at 5 PM PDT against Adams' old team, Eastern Washington from the Big Sky. The Pac-12 Network will get there after the Bears get done in Berkeley.

The long day of 14+ hours on non-stop Pac-12 action winds up with Arkansas St. of the Sun Belt visiting the LA Coliseum to take on #8 USC. This game was relegated to the Pac-12 Network, but might be worth the last look of the day, as while the Trojans are legitimately in the National Championship hunt, never mind the Pac-12, but the Red Wolves have run off 4 straight bowl teams, and 35 wins in the last 4 years, just 1 short of what USC has. The Wolves aren't coming just for the paycheck.

Here's the complete schedule for opening day, distorted for east coast bias time.

Thu, Sept 3, 2015
6:00 PM ET
CBSS
FIU at UCF
6:00 PM ET
ESPN
North Carolina vs.
(Charlotte, NC)
South Carolina
7:00 PM ET
ESPN3
Stony Brook at Toledo
7:00 PM ET
ESPN3
VMI at Ball State
7:00 PM ET
ESPNU
Oklahoma State at Central Michigan
7:00 PM ET
ESPN3
Elon at Wake Forest
7:30 PM ET
ESPN3
Villanova at Connecticut
7:30 PM ET
ESPN3
Alcorn State at (16) Georgia Tech
8:00 PM ET
SECN
Western Kentucky at Vanderbilt
8:30 PM ET
FS1
Michigan at Utah
9:00 PM ET
ESPN3
Ohio at Idaho
9:00 PM ET
N/A
Southern Utah at Utah State
9:00 PM ET
ESPN
(2) TCU at Minnesota
9:30 PM ET
CBSS
Duke at Tulane
10:00 PM ET
MWC Video
Abilene Christian at Fresno State
10:00 PM ET
N/A
New Hampshire at San Jose State
10:00 PM ET
MWC Video
California-Davis at Nevada
10:00 PM ET
PAC12
Texas-San Antonio at (22) Arizona
Fri, Sept 4, 2015
1:00 AM ET
CBSS
Colorado at Hawaii

Here's Friday's schedule:

Fri, Sept 4, 2015
3:30 PM ET
ESPNU
Charlotte at Georgia State
6:00 PM ET
ESPN3
Rhode Island at Syracuse
7:00 PM ET
ESPNU
(5) Michigan State at Western Michigan
7:00 PM ET
CBSSN
Fordham at Army
7:00 PM ET
ESPN
(4) Baylor at SMU
8:00 PM ET
PAC12
Weber State at Oregon State
9:00 PM ET
BTN
Kent State at Illinois
10:15 PM ET
ESPN
Washington at (23) Boise State

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com