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ESPN Announces Opening Weekend Schedule, and Vanderbilt's On It

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Nope, we didn't get relegated to the SEC Network. Hallelujah!

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN has announced its broadcast schedule for college football's opening weekend, and Vanderbilt will play in the first game of the season to be televised on the Mothership.

The kickoff time for the season opener against the South Carolina Gamecocks will be 7 PM CT.  The Commodores are coming off a 4-8 season, but that's better than the Gamecocks, who went 3-9 (and 1-7 in the Southeastern Conference) with a loss to The Citadel.  This will be the first game for new South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp.

While 2016 will mark the fifth consecutive Thursday night opener for the Commodores, this will be the first time since the launch of the SEC Network two years ago that the game will be carried on ESPN.  That's a salient fact in terms of national exposure, as relatively fewer households outside the Southeast have access to the SEC Network on their cable package.  Hopefully the Commodores can take advantage of the additional exposure by notching a win to open the season.