The huge early season battle between Alabama and Texas is one of the marquee dates on the 2022 college football schedule, and now we know where it will be.
Fox announced it will televise the big game between the Crimson Tide and Longhorns, and while the network is yet to confirm the kickoff time for the Sept. 10 matchup, many fans are already fearing the worst.
It's a near certainty that Fox will make this game their "Big Noon Kickoff" matchup for the Week 2 schedule, which means both teams will play the game under the scorching hot sun in Austin.
"A disgrace to the sport"
"That only increases the odds it'll be the Big Noon Kickoff game the week, sadly," said Austin American-Statesman writer Brian Davis.
"Texas vs Alabama most likely being an 11 AM kickoff is a disgrace to the sport. Find a way to make this a night time game Fox… Send big noon kickoff elsewhere," said one fan on Twitter.
"It's going to be SO hot," said Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic.
Why the early games?
While most college football fans, and athletes, prefer major games like this to be played at night, Fox has taken a different approach.
Instead, the network believes that by playing its biggest games early in the day, it can avoid competing with other TV networks like ESPN and ABC that are also playing important games after dark.
Hence, the creation of "Big Noon Kickoff," the Fox network's premier college football property.
Using viewership data, Fox determined that airing games early in the day has done the best for their ratings. For the players, however, early day games can be taxing.
Especially in Austin, where temperatures routinely reach the 90s in early September. Which means the on-field thermometers can easily surpass 100 degrees, in particular in the second half going into the afternoon as players are already growing more tired from the game.
Fox airing Big 12 games early in the day was such a problem that Oklahoma officials even cited the 11 a.m. kickoffs as a direct cause for their leaving for the SEC.
Despite the times being almost universally unpopular with fans, TV is king in college football and Fox is going with where the money is.