Believe it or not, the 2017 season is just around the corner. We've crossed the 100-day barrier to opening kickoff. SEC spring meetings are next week. Satellite camps will eat up most of June, and before we know it everyone will try to manufacture stories at SEC Media Week in mid-July.
Another offseason milestone arrived Thursday: the release of ESPN's early-season schedule.
While this year's slate can't match up with last year's historic opening weekend, the 2017 edition is still pretty doggone good: Florida-Michigan, LSU-BYU, A&M-UCLA, Georgia Tech-Tennessee, West Virginia-Virginia Tech and Alabama-Florida State, quite possibly the single biggest opening weekend game ever. Oh, and Oklahoma-Ohio State and Auburn-Clemson follow the next week, and Miami-Florida State and Texas-USC in Week 3.
Not bad, right?
Thursday, Aug. 31
Ohio State at Indiana -- 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
Friday, Sept. 1
Utah State at Wisconsin -- 9 p.m. ET, ESPN
Saturday, Sept. 2
Akron at Penn State -- noon ET, ABC
Kent State at Clemson -- noon ET, ESPN
NC State vs. South Carolina (at Charlotte) -- 3 p.m. ET, ESPN
Florida vs. Michigan (at Arlington, Texas) -- 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC
Appalachian State at Georgia -- 6:15 p.m. ET, ESPN
Alabama vs. Florida State (at Atlanta) -- 8 p.m. ET, ABC
LSU vs. BYU (at Houston) -- 9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Sunday, Sept. 3
South Carolina State at Southern -- 2:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2
Texas A&M at UCLA -- 7:30/8 p.m. ET, FOX/FOX Sports 1 (previously announced)
Virginia Tech vs. West Virginia (at Landover, Md.) -- 7:30 p.m. ET, ABC
Monday, Sept. 4
Georgia Tech vs. Tennessee (at Atlanta) -- 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
Saturday, Sept. 9
Oklahoma at Ohio State -- 7:30 p.m. ET, ABC
Saturday, Sept. 16
Miami at Florida State -- 8 p.m. ET, ABC
The confirmation of Alabama-Florida State all but confirms that College GameDay will be in Atlanta in Week 1, but OU-Ohio State and Miami-FSU grabbing ABC's Saturday Night Football designations in Weeks 2 and 3 blow up my GameDay projections from earlier this month.
Another noteworthy move here: South Carolina's opener against NC State falls on Saturday, Sept. 2, the first time since 2011 and the second time in the last 10 seasons the Gamecocks have not opened on the Thursday before Kickoff Saturday.