ABC/ESPN to Televise Nebraska Football Games Against Miami and Michigan State in Primetime

Eric Francis

Networks to be determined at a later time, and the door may be opening for a potential prime time game at Wisconsin on November 15.

ESPN has announced their 2014 schedule of primetime Big Ten football games:

Sept. 6: Virginia Tech at Ohio State, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN

Sept. 20: Miami at Nebraska, 8 p.m. ET, ABC or ESPN or ESPN2

Oct. 4: Nebraska at Michigan State, 8 p.m. ET, ABC or ESPN or ESPN2

Oct. 11: Penn State at Michigan, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN or ESPN2

Oct. 25: Ohio State at Penn State, 8 p.m. ET, ABC or ESPN or ESPN2

Nov. 1: Illinois at Ohio State, 8 p.m. ET, ABC or ESPN or ESPN2

ESPN will pick the networks at a later time.  On September 20, the main competition for the ABC primetime slot (and presumably, ESPN College Gameday) is Clemson at Florida State.  I suspect that the Huskers game against Miami will probably end up on ESPN, and GameDay will go to Tallahassee.

On October 4, the biggest games nationally appear to be Baylor at Texas and LSU at Auburn. Since ABC doesn't have rights to SEC games, look for the Spartan game to be selected for ABC, though Gameday would probably be at Auburn if ESPN televises the LSU/Auburn game in primetime.

BTN apparently will announce their prime time games next week; look for the Huskers' games against Florida Atlantic and McNeese State to be primetime kickoffs on August 30 and September 6 respectively.  No television plans have been announced for the September 13 game against Fresno State.  Rumors in February discussed the possibility of moving the game to Friday night, but last week, the Mountain West announced a Friday night schedule of games that omited the Huskers.  I suspect that the game will probably end up on an ESPN network with a late night (9 pm or later) kickoff, though the CBS Sports Network cable channel is a possibility.  (CBSSN has already selected Northern Illinois at UNLV as their choice for that week, so I suspect that ESPN has already claimed the Huskers at Fresno.)

ESPN also reports that other Big Ten games will be announced for prime time in November at a later time.  That opens the possibility that the Huskers game at Wisconsin could be an ABC prime time game on November 15, if this game were setting up to determine the West division champion.  The only other games that appear to be of similar stature in April are Auburn/Georgia (CBS or ESPN), Florida State/Miami (ABC or ESPN), Missouri/Texas A&M (CBS or ESPN), or Texas/Oklahoma State (ABC, Fox, or ESPN).

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