Joe Christensen covered Major League Baseball for 15 years, including three seasons at the Baltimore Sun and eight at the Star Tribune, before switching to the college football beat. He’s a Faribault, Minn., native who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1996. He covered Jim Wacker’s Gophers for the Minnesota Daily and also wrote about USC, UCLA and the Rose Bowl for the Riverside Press-Enterprise before getting this chance to cover football again.
Email Joe to talk about the Gophers.
Better get used to those 11 a.m. kickoffs again.
BTN announced its TV schedule for September on Thursday, and the Gophers' home games against New Hampshire on Sept. 8 and Western Michigan on Sept. 15 are morning starts, something the Gophers avoided at TCF Bank Stadium last season.
Along with the Oct. 13 game against Northwestern, that means Minnesota has been relegated to the early starts in three of the four home games announced so far. The exception is Sept. 22 against Syracuse, which will kick off at 7 p.m.
Last season, six of Minnesota's seven home games began at 2:30 p.m., a result of Gophers athletic director Joel Maturi lobbying the conference and its network for relief from the morning starts, which make it more difficult for fans to tailgate. But the policy only lasted one season.
In addition to a pair of road games -- a 10 p.m. CDT kickoff at UNLV on Aug. 30 and an 11 a.m. start at Iowa on Sept. 29 -- the Gophers now know the start times for the first half of their 12-game schedule. Most of the remaining games will not be assigned kickoff times until 10 days before each game, as the Big Ten's TV partners slot the games into their schedule. Minnesota's opener in Las Vegas will be televised by CBS College Sports, and the next three games will air live on BTN.
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