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Colorado State game set for 9 PM kickoff on CBS Sports

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Your first sign that football is approaching.

NCAA Football: New Mexico at Colorado State Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN and the SEC are going to drag their feet about announcing kickoff times and TV network assignments for the first few games of the season, but thanks to playing a road game against a Mountain West team, we have our first official kickoff time of football season and, uh, it’s gonna be a late one for most Vanderbilt fans (h/t DoreonthePlains):

So, first of all, Colorado State is opening its season with the most Anchor of Gold set of opponents possible, with the Week 2 matchup against our Commodores preceded by a visit from the South Dakota State Jackrabbits. Anyway, Vanderbilt-Colorado State will kick off at 9 PM Central time (or 8 PM Mountain time, as the people in Fort Collins put it in that graphic.) My money is that this is going to be the latest kickoff for a Vanderbilt football game since probably the Temple game in 2014, and that only happened because of weather delays. In terms of games that were actually supposed to kick off that late, well, I can find exactly three games in Vanderbilt’s entire history of playing football that were played in the Mountain or Pacific time zones: visits to Air Force in 1977 and 1979, and a 1951 game at UCLA, all three of which came well before television started dictating that games should kick off at weird hours.

In other words, there is a very good chance that this will be the latest time that a Vanderbilt game has ever been scheduled to kick off, a record that will probably stand until the Commodores visit Hawaii to open the 2022 season.

In terms of this game, I think it’s going to be tricky, not because Colorado State is any good (they went 1-3 last season, and 4-8 and 3-9 in the two seasons before that) but because Fort Collins is freaking 5000 feet above sea level.