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Week 1 college football Thursday TV schedule and open thread: SEC East action

Vanderbilt v South Carolina Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

College football has finally returned! (Yes, I know there was already one game played in Australia last week - but now the full slate of games is upon us. Don’t ruin my narrative.)

The wait is over, the season is here, and you (and I) are so starved for college football that we will gladly watch a hated rival or whatever kind of mess South Carolina and Vanderbilt are probably about to put on the field.

Here are our picks for tonight’s viewing window:

Evening (7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Eastern)

Appalachian State at Tennessee (7:30 p.m., SECN): The No. 9 Volunteers open their season with the somewhat recently FBS-ascended Mountaineers, who are of course most famous for their season opening victory at Michigan to start 2007. If you are hoping for our friends on Rocky Top to suffer a similar fate – it probably won’t happen – while the Mountaineers are considered favorites to win the Sun Belt, Tennessee also enters the season with considerable hype and high expectations.

South Carolina at Vanderbilt (8:00 p.m., ESPN): This battle of inept SEC East offenses (No. 12 and No. 13 in the conference last season) is not likely to feature much scoring. Vanderbilt had a quality defense last year but an abysmal offense while South Carolina had an abysmal everything. Will Muschamp should be able to shore up South Carolina’s defense, eventually, but I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect dramatic improvements in the first game. This game might be a little painful to watch, particularly if you enjoy offense.

Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016
Matchup Time (ET) TV / Streaming
Charlotte at (19) Louisville 7:00 p.m. FSN / WatchESPN
UT Martin at Cincinnati 7:00 p.m. ESPN3
Tulane at Wake Forest 7:00 p.m. WatchESPN
Maine at UConn 7:00 p.m. ASN / ESPN3
Presbyterian at Central Michigan 7:00 p.m. ESPN3
Appalachian State at (9) Tennessee 7:30 p.m. SECN / WatchESPN
Indiana at FIU 7:30 p.m. ESPNU / WatchESPN
William & Mary at NC State 7:30 p.m. WatchESPN
South Carolina at Vanderbilt 8:00 p.m. ESPN / WatchESPN
Southern Utah at Utah 8:00 p.m. Pac-12N /
Jackson State at UNLV 8:00 p.m. MWN
Rice at WKU 8:00 p.m. CBSSN
Oregon State at Minnesota 9:00 p.m. BTN / BTN2Go
South Dakota at New Mexico 9:00 p.m. ROOT Sports
Montana State at Idaho 9:00 p.m. ALT / ESPN3
Weber State at Utah State 10:00 p.m. MWN