Schedule to feature top matchups, conference games

Tennessee at California will kick off the new season of ESPN on ABC's "Saturday Night Football Presented by Southwest Airlines" on Sept. 1.

Every telecast, beginning Sept. 1 and concluding Dec. 1 with the Dr Pepper Big 12 Championship, will kick off at 8 p.m. ET and be offered in high definition on ABC HD.

Other matchups confirmed include: USC at Nebraska (Sept. 15), Washington State at USC and Iowa at Wisconsin (Sept. 22), and Notre Dame at UCLA (Oct. 6).

The schedule does not include games on Sept. 8 and Oct. 13 when ESPN on ABC will televise NASCAR Nextel Cup races from Richmond and Charlotte, respectively.

Every "Saturday Night Football" window from Sept. 29 to Nov. 24 will feature game selections on a six- or 12-day basis (except Notre Dame at UCLA on Oct. 6).

In addition to the confirmed games on the schedule, four Big Ten and three Pac-10 matchups have been designated for a primetime telecast on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2. Network assignments for those contests will be determined six or 12 days before the date of the game.

Schedule highlights of announced primetime games include:

• USC, last year's Rose Bowl winner and a consensus pre-season National Championship contender, will be televised five times: at Nebraska (Sept. 15), Washington State (Sept. 22), at Washington (Sept. 29), Oregon State (Nov. 3) and at California (Nov. 10).

• Last year's National Championship game participant and defending Big Ten conference champion Ohio State will appear three times: at Minnesota (Sept. 29), at Purdue (Oct. 6) and at Penn State (Oct. 27).

• Michigan, led by potential Heisman Trophy candidates Mike Hart and Chad Henne, at Big Ten rival Illinois Oct. 20.

• UCLA, which upset USC in last year's final regular-season game, will host Notre Dame Oct. 6.