Jake Gaither Classic to be season's first game
(STATS) - An extra spotlight is going to shine on the inaugural Jake Gaither Classic.
Later this week, Florida A&M is expected to announce its Aug. 26 home matchup against Texas Southern in Tallahassee will be moved to a noon ET kickoff on ESPNU, which would make it the first Division I game of the 2017 season.
Florida A&M announced the non-conference FCS game in January, and only last month set a 6 p.m. kickoff for a classic that is named after its late College Football Hall of Fame coach. Since the game is occurring in "Week Zero" of the season - held the weekend prior to the traditional Thursday opening night that leads into Labor Day Weekend - NCAA by-laws require a national TV broadcast.
Florida A&M assistant sports information director Alvin Hollins said Wednesday morning he is expecting an announcement about the game by Friday. A source involved in the game confirmed it has been given a noon kickoff on ESPNU.
Both teams had 4-7 records last season. Florida A&M is a member of the MEAC and Texas Southern plays in the SWAC - the two Division I conferences composed of historically black colleges and universities.
Seven other Division I games are scheduled for Aug. 26, but none before 2:30 p.m. ET