The SEC on CBS announced its 2013 schedule today. And you can rest assured that Verne Lundquist will be chortling and Gary Danielson will be doing whatever it is Gary Danielson does when CBS Sports’ SEC “Game of the Week” kicks off on Sept. 14 as the Alabama Crimson Tide travel to College Station to take on the Texas A&M Aggies. You can ship in all the chips that Johnny Manziel is the center of attention, too.
The SEC and CBS will partner to air 16 games during their 13-week season, including two doubleheaders and the SEC Championship Game on Dec. 7. In addition to their partnership with the SEC, CBS will also air Air Force at Navy on Oct. 5, the Army vs. Navy game on Dec. 14 and the Sun Bowl on New Years Eve.
This marks the 13th consecutive season of the SEC on CBS, and Saturday afternoons with Uncle Verne and Cousin Gary have become tradition in the South. From Lundquist confusing names to Danielson’s God-awful jokes, we’ve embraced even the flaws of CBS’ coverage and accepted CBS as the SEC’s personal national stage.
Bama vs. A&M and the SEC Championship Game join the two service academy games and the Sun Bowl as the only announced matchups on CBS’ schedule. The rest of the season is flex scheduled and usually gets announced a few weeks in advance of the actual game.
However, when an SEC fan does see his team crop up on the SEC on CBS schedule, Saturday often takes on new meaning. It means a large national audience in what is undoubtedly a huge game for both schools, and for those in attendance it means an early wakeup call and the rowdiest morning crowd you’ll ever see. Oh, and don’t forget breakfast barbecue… lots and lots of barbecue.
Of course, 2013 fires out of the starting gates like a rocket, as Bama at A&M may be the most heavily anticipated game on the SEC schedule. The story lines will be abundant, and per CBS regulations, you can expect hundreds of anecdotes about Johnny Manziel, AJ McCarron and Nick Saban.
Manziel is already in that rarefied air of recent SEC Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks that includes Cam Newton and Tim Tebow, and you can be certain that he’s the focus of the cameras on Sept. 14. Meanwhile, McCarron has spent quite a bit of time in the limelight as well.
Then, of course, you have Alabama coming off their third national championship in four years with Nick Saban looking to avenge their only loss of 2012. Kevin Sumlin and the Aggies, on the other hand, will try to cement themselves in the upper-echelon of the SEC West.
The SEC on CBS figures to have another exciting season in 2013, and I won’t be surprised if it culminates with another national semifinal on Dec. 7 in the SEC Championship Game. And despite how much I enjoy poking fun at them, it only seems fitting that the two biggest games on the schedule this season in the SEC start and end the season with Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson on the mic.
Update: CBS has announced that the Florida vs. Georgia game in Jacksonville on Nov. 2 will air on CBS at 3:30 with Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson on the call. Tracy Wolfson will be on the sidelines.