Football times announced
9/1 Kansas State, 6:45 (ESPN)
9/8 South Florida, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
9/15 Miss. State, 11:30 a.m. (LFS)
The surprise, at least to me, is that the Auburn-USF game is big enough to draw a national audience. The Bulls made progress last year, finishing 9-4 with a win against East Carolina in the Birmingham (Papa John's.com) Bowl. USF won at West Virginia, too, which gave the program a major dose of credibility.
Still, I'm surprised Auburn-USF is that significant on the national scale. I'm not convinced that Auburn is going to be all that good this year -- we'll talk more about that as the season approaches -- yet it appears that broadcast executives don't agree with me. So it goes.
The MSU game is always in the morning. Just like death and taxes. At least this one is in Auburn, which keeps me from staying the night in some Columbus, Miss., rat trap and cutting my Friday night debauchery short because of the traffic situation in Starkville.
While I'm talking about how Auburn's schedule affects my life, let me add that 8 o'clock kickoffs are not my friend. Best-case scenario is this: Game ends at 11:15 for a deadline of 11:30-ish. I've written a lot of stories, deadline stories, but situations like this never get easier. I'll be thinking about this one beginning ... now.
I still have nightmares about the Auburn-Syracuse overtime game from 2002. 9/22/02 to be exact. I was convinced that slugging a fifth of mercury would have been an easier way out of that mess. And that was a 7:45 kickoff.