The 2012 NCAA football season will kick off in a few weeks, and the action is going to be intense from all the conference realigning. Nearly a dozen teams are in the National Championship picture, and the SEC has two with LSU and Alabama. SEC fans will be treated to games on ESPN and CBS for many years to come, as the powerhouse conference struck a deal with both networks that pays each school north of 20 million dollars per season.
The intensity in the SEC will reach a boiling point early into a long and demanding season when the Alabama Crimson Tide square off against the Michigan Wolverines at "The Big House" in Ann Arbor on Saturday, September 1st. The Tide will certainly need to start the year with a victory to keep their title train on the tracks, but getting one at Michigan Stadium will be a difficult task.
The Tide and Wolverines won’t be the only set of teams aiming for the title. At the center of the table in the first weekend, the Boise State Broncos will lock horns with the Michigan State Spartans in East Lansing on Friday, August 30th. Big Ten fans have grown accustomed to watching their gritty and talented teams on the Big Ten Network, which has grown in breadth and profitability with each passing year since its inception.
Ohio State fans are anxious to see how new Head Coach Urban Meyer will be able to impact a team that has under-performed in the wake of scandal in recent years, and the first month of the Buckeye schedule will allow them to warm up for big games against Michigan State on September 29th and Wisconsin on November 17th.
The Big 12 will be competitive as always, and many of the teams have offenses that are built to race up and down the field. Big 12 games will also be televised by ESPN and Fox. Games from all major conferences can be seen all year long with ESPN Gameplan. Direct TV in Louisville offers ESPN Gameplan for those of us in Kentucky. The Big 12 will be led by the Oklahoma Sooners and senior quarterback Landry Jones, who will face his toughest tests against teams such as Texas, Notre Dame, West Virginia and TCU.
The Pac-12 is expected to be one of the toughest conferences in all of NCAA football this year, and with USC being free from sanctions, fans can expect them to make a run at the National Championship. The Pac-12 is in the midst of sorting out the final details of a 12-year television contract with ESPN and Fox that would guarantee each school a huge chunk of annual revenue and give fans the best action from out west every single weekend.
The Oregon Ducks may have something to say about the National Championship picture before all is said and done, and a November 3rd showdown between the Trojans and the Ducks could likely be the biggest Pac-12 game of the 2012 season. Between now and the beginning of next January, folks that love watching college football on television are waiting with anxious anticipation.