The full schedule for the first week of college football continues to take form. Now both College GameDay and SEC Nation have Week 1 destinations.
SEC Nation announced on Thursday that their first trip of the college football season would be to Arlington, Texas for the neutral site game between Michigan and Florida. A popular fixture in addition to College GameDay, SEC Nation welcomes analyst Laura Rutledge as a cohost of the show this season. She joins returning analysts Paul Finebaum, Marcus Spears and Tim Tebow.
The south lives and breathes college football, so it’s not a surprise that the SEC Network is doing well enough to support its own Saturday morning show. Plus, it sets up nicely for a little bit of “home cooking” when it comes to reveling in their favorites teams.
Tom McCollum, ESPN coordinating producer, released this statement about the decision:
Like all SEC fans, we’ve been counting the days until the return of football, and we have a show worthy of bridging the final few hours until kickoff. We’re thrilled to be at one of the very best opening weekend games and excited to see Laura, Les, Lauren and our all-star set of analysts in action.
Florida and Michigan both enter the season with national title aspirations. Neither is the favorite to win their own conference and both have major hurdles to jump through if the College Football Playoff has a real chance of becoming a reality. That makes a win on opening weekend all the more important for each of these schools.
ESPN FPI lists the Gators as a slight favorite, but one thing is certain: it’s going to be a hard-nosed, physical game that fans have literally been waiting months to see.