The Southeastern Conference has been one of the most, if not the most, dominate conference in the history of college football. For many fans, the SEC is college football. With this thought in mind, the SEC could do something that no one else does, or for that matter, could do. The SEC should air 14 straight college football games, with some recap shows added in, to open up the 2016 season.
College basketball always gets a big kickoff because midnight madness tips and games being played all day and night. There is not much of a reason that the SEC could not make the same thing happen to open up the college football season. From 12:01 am on Labor Day Weekend Saturday until some time in the early hours of Monday morning, there should be an SEC game on TV or an SEC studio show. ESPN can still College Game Day because it would be opposite of Fox Sports 1 programming.
Would this be very easy logistically? Maybe not, especially with all of the games in the eastern or central time zones. Would some fans be upset? Yes. Would it be awesome? No doubt.
So here is how 2015 could have looked for our opening weekend.
September 5, 12:01 am: Georgia vs. Louisiana-Monroe: You would need a game with a regional and/or national appeal, but not too big of a game to kick things off.
3:30 am: Western Kentucky at Vanderbilt: No one had much in the way of high hopes for this game, so this spot will work out ok.
7:00 am: Mississippi State at Southern Miss: In this slot, you have to show ESPNs College Game Day. It may not be negotiable with ESPN, so one of the games not televised by ESPN or CBS has to go here. This takes care of that late night game this year, right MSU fans?
11:00 am: Louisiana vs. Kentucky: This is not the most exciting of games, but it gets the job done to start the Saturday morning (daylight hours) slate of games.
2:30pm: Arizona vs. Texas A&M: This contest features a matchup we do not get enough of--The SEC vs. PAC-12.
6:00pm: Alabama vs. Wisconsin: This is the marquee matchup of the SEC weekend, so it gets the best slot.
9:30pm: Tennessee vs. Bowling Green: The Volunteers bring they eyes of people looking to see the rebuilding process in Knoxville to television screens across the Southeast.
September 6, 1:00 am: Studio Show to Recap Day 1, Set Day 2
2:00am: Ole Miss vs. UT-Martin: If you play an FCS team to open the season, you get moved to late night television
5:30 am: Arkansas vs. UTEP: The Miners take some of the appeal out of this game, so it goes to the early morning.
9:00 am: This would be a perfect place for a one hour studio show to reboot for the rest of the weekend.
10:00 am: Florida vs. New Mexico State: The Gators have gotten accustomed to morning kickoffs, so they will be ready for it again.
1:30 pm: LSU vs. McNeese State: The Tigers carry pretty strong name recognition, so they can carry the middle of the day for the SEC.
4:00 pm: North Carolina at South Carolina: Yes, this game has been starting off the college football season, but it shouldn't. Now, it doesn't.
7:30 pm: Louisville vs. Auburn: Another neutral site, season opening game. It should fit in nicely in this time slot.
11:00 pm: Missouri vs. Southeast Missouri State: Everyone will be pretty tired. This game gives fans the option to call it a night if needed.
All in all, we walk away with a little over 36 hours of SEC, or almost all-SEC, dedicated programing. Would it be tough on fans? Some, but it would also be a cool game experience. Maybe one year, the SEC can give it a try.