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College football opening weekend TV schedule already coming together

Like a canteen of ice cold water in the middle of the Mojave Desert, ESPN announced on Tuesday six college football telecasts here in the first week of March. 

Five of the games are on opening weekend, which ESPN has successfully turned into a five-day extravaganza lasting throughout Labor Day weekend.

For the fifth time in six years, South Carolina will get the college football season rolling on Thursday, Aug. 29, as the Gamecocks host North Carolina. Vanderbilt will once again play on opening night as well, this time hosting Ole Miss in the nightcap. Big Ten Network, Fox Sports Net and CBS Sports Network will get in on the opening night action as well, though those games have yet to be announced. 

On Saturday night, ESPN has staggered three heavyweight matchups with Alabama vs. Virginia Tech at the Georgia Dome, followed by Georgia at Clemson and closing with TCU vs. LSU from Cowboys Stadium.

It's now fair to start speculating where ESPN will sent Brent, Kirk and the College GameDay crew for opening weekend. Alabama-Virginia Tech is a safe bet, but here's hoping the crew is in Clemson for a rekindling of an old rivalry on what should be an electric campus. 

The telecast hasn't officially been set yet, but Florida State and Pittsburgh will close Labor Day weekend from Heinz Field on Monday night.

ESPN also announced that Kentucky will visit Mississippi State on Thursday, Oct. 24 at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Thursday, Aug. 29.

North Carolina at South Carolina - 6 p.m. ET, ESPN
Ole Miss at Vanderbilt - 9:15 p.m. ET, ESPN

Saturday, Aug. 31

Virginia Tech vs. Alabama (Atlanta) - 5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Georgia at Clemson - 8 p.m. ET, ABC
LSU vs. TCU (Arlington, Tex.) - 9 p.m. ET, ESPN

176 days.