ESPN America will be the live and exclusive television home of NCAA Football this season as the top young players in the United States represent their universities in one of the most popular and passionate sporting competitions in America.
Online, the streaming servicewill provide access to hundreds of games, live and on demand, over the course of the season.
The action starts on ESPN America at midnight on Thursday 30th August with a double bill featuring South Carolina at Vanderbilt, followed by Washington State at BYU. Live coverage continues on Saturday 1st September with five games in a row, kicked off by live telecast from the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, where the Notre Dame “Fighting Irish” take on Navy. Other key early-season games include a clash between 2nd–ranked Alabama and 8th-ranked Michigan, and pre-season favourites USC in action against Syracuse on 8th September.
Live games will be broadcast every weekend from September through to December as teams compete to earn a spot in a prestigious bowl game during the season-ending Bowl Season. Top teams will earn a place in the Bowl Championship Series games and a chance at the National Championship. Throughout the season top young players look to shine, drawing the attention of professional scouts, with the possibility of entering the NFL Draft in the spring.
Last season saw Alabama win the BCS Championship game over SEC rivals LSU. Both teams will be among the favourites again this year – LSU are likely to feature one of the best defences in the nation, while Alabama will look to quarterback AJ McCarron for leadership and offensive fire power. Also tipped to shine this year are USC, who begin the season as the top-ranked team in the country and welcome back quarterback Matt Barkley for his senior year. Barkley would likely have been a top pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, and is among the early favourites to win this year’s Heisman Trophy for the best player in college football.
Several English players are set to compete in the NCAA this year, with Tom Wort, who is originally from Crawley, tipped to make a big impact at linebacker in his junior year for Oklahoma. Meanwhile, Londoner Francis Kallon has joined Georgia Tech, having only taken up the sport when he moved to the US aged 17. The defensive end could feature as his team travel to face Virginia Tech live on ESPN America at 1am on Monday 3rd September.
Throughout the season, viewers will be able to keep up with all the latest news and highlights from the NCAA with regular programming such as ESPN College GameDay – now in its 26th season. The show is live from a different stadium around the nation each week, capturing the unique atmosphere of the biggest games in NCAA football and bringing it to European viewers direct from the US. In addition College Football Live, airing weekdays on ESPN America, is the destination for college football news and updates.