HuskerOnline - Here are some takes on the early Nebraska kickoff times released today
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Here are some takes on the early Nebraska kickoff times released today

Here are some takes on the early Nebraska kickoff times released today, as we now know the kickoff time and channels for five of NU's 12 games this season.

The 11 am ESPN opener means something 

I'm sure your first reaction on seeing the 11 am kickoff time for Nebraska's season opener with South Alabama was not good.

However, look again. NU's game with South Alabama was selected for ESPN at 11 am, which means it will have the highly-watched College Game Day as a lead-in. To put it in perspective, last year's 11 am window on Week 1 following Game Day was the second-highest rated game of the day in the time slot, drawing 1.93 million viewers. In comparison, the FOX 11 am game drew just 1.385 million viewers. Only the Oregon State vs. Ohio State game on ABC had a higher rating than the ESPN game in the 11 am window.

So take it as a sign of respect. Sure most of you would like to have a 7 pm kickoff on BTN, but being picked up for the ESPN window tells you just how much the perception of Nebraska football has improved in the eyes of the TV networks.

Huskers catch a break with 2:30 kick at Colorado 

When I saw the Pac-12 had games with USC/Stanford and Cal/Washington on the same day as Nebraska/Colorado, my initial thought is it could be a late night in Boulder.

However, ESPN took the USC/Stanford game at 5:30 pm and the Cal/Washington game will be in the late 9:30 pm window on FS1.

The Huskers are the big winner here, getting the CU game for a traditional 2:30 pm kickoff on FOX. This should be a perfect stage for college football in Boulder.

Northern Illinois will come into Lincoln on Week 3 for a night game kickoff on FS1.
Northern Illinois will come into Lincoln on Week 3 for a night game kickoff on FS1. (Associated Press)

Northern Illinois game takes the place of the normal night opener

Most people were probably hoping for a 7 pm season opener, and instead NU got stuck with an 11 am kick on ESPN.

I feel like the 7 pm kickoff time though for the Northern Illinois game on FS1 almost takes the place of the normal night opener. I'm sure this will be a big weekend to bring in official visitors.

My thought all along was NU would have a 7 pm and 11 am kick for its first two home games. The only surprise is the South Alabama game got one of the best 11 am windows on the schedule, and the Northern Illinois game slid into a FS1 night game window.

Play it safe with Northwestern as the 2:30 homecoming game

Nebraska is able to designate it's kickoff time for their homecoming game each year. They chose Northwestern, meaning it will be a 2:30 pm or 3 pm kickoff. Smart move.

With Wisconsin and Ohio State on the schedule, there's really no need to burn your homecoming spot on either one of these games.

By selecting the Northwestern game, you eliminate a likely 11 am window off the home schedule and play the odds that Ohio State and Wisconsin will be afternoon or evening kicks.

BTN used one of their prime selections to snag up the Iowa game

The Big Ten has said that the Nebraska vs. Iowa game will always be an early kickoff selection.

The way the early picks fell for each conference, FOX chose Texas Tech vs. Texas at 11 am and Washington State vs. Washington at 3 pm. ABC chose Virginia vs. Virginia Tech and South Florida vs. Central Florida for their two selections.

This allowed BTN to come in and take the Nebraska vs. Iowa game. It's hard saying how the picks fell for each conference and network here, as each TV deal is different, but the BTN is the big winner here.

This could be a game that decides the West. If that's the case, there will be a lot of eyeballs watching the BTN. The fans are also the big winner here, as the 1:30 pm kickoff is ideal for all parties involved. It's when all college football games should be kicked.