ESPN Events Releases Schedule for 2021 College Football Season

  • Five Kickoff Events and 17 Bowl Games Set for 2021
  • Celebrating HBCU Football with the Cricket MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff, Red Tails Classic and Cricket Celebration Bowl
  • Fenway Bowl Set to Make its Debut on Wednesday, Dec. 29

ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, has unveiled the schedule for its premier college football events, to be played throughout the 2021 season. The lineup features five kickoff games and 17 bowl games across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ABC.

As part of ESPN’s signature kickoff slate, the Cricket MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff, celebrating the tradition, legacy and values of HBCUs, will open the college football season on Saturday, Aug. 28, at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.

The Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Ala., will host two games in the first week of September on ESPN—the Montgomery Kickoff (Sept. 1, 7:30 p.m.), and the Red Tails Classic (Sept. 5, 7 p.m.). The Montgomery Kickoff will showcase a matchup between UAB and Jacksonville State, while the inaugural Red Tails Classic, launched to honor the Tuskegee Airmen, will feature Tuskegee University and Fort Valley State.

Labor Day weekend will also include the Vegas Kickoff Classic, as Arizona faces BYU at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. In-state rivals Texas Tech and Houston will go head-to-head in the Texas Kickoff.

The Bowl Season will begin Friday, Dec. 17, with the Bahamas Bowl (noon, ESPN), and the Cure Bowl (6 p.m., ESPN2). Following its postponement in 2020 due to the pandemic, the inaugural Fenway Bowl will debut on Wednesday, Dec. 29 (11 a.m., ESPN).

ESPN Events owns and operates 34 collegiate sporting events across the country.

Date Time (ET) Matchup Network
Sat, Aug 28 7 p.m. Cricket MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff (Atlanta)
Alcorn State vs. North Carolina Central
Wed, Sep 1 7:30 p.m. Montgomery Kickoff (Montgomery, Ala.)
UAB vs. Jacksonville State
Sat, Sep 4 7 p.m. Texas Kickoff (Houston)
Texas Tech vs. Houston
  10:30 p.m. Vegas Kickoff Classic
BYU vs. Arizona
Sun, Sep 5 7 p.m. Red Tails Classic (Montgomery, Ala.)
Fort Valley State vs. Tuskegee
Fri, Dec 17 Noon Bahamas Bowl ESPN
  6 p.m. Cure Bowl (Orlando, Fla.) ESPN2
Sat, Dec 18 11 a.m. Boca Raton Bowl ESPN
  Noon Cricket Celebration Bowl (Atlanta) ABC
  2:15 p.m. New Mexico Bowl ESPN
Mon, Dec 20 2:30 p.m. Myrtle Beach Bowl ESPN
Tue, Dec 21 3:30 p.m. Famous Idaho Potato Bowl ESPN
  7:30 p.m. Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl ESPN
Wed, Dec 22 TBD Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl ESPN
Thu, Dec 23 7 p.m. Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl ESPN
Fri, Dec 24 8 p.m. Hawai’i Bowl ESPN
Sat, Dec 25 2:30 p.m. Camellia Bowl ESPN
Tue, Dec 28 Noon TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl ESPN
  3:15 p.m. SERVPRO First Responder Bowl ESPN
Wed, Dec 29 11 a.m. Fenway Bowl ESPN
Thu, Dec 30 10:30 p.m. SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl ESPN
Tue, Jan 4 TBD Texas Bowl ESPN
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