The 2021 season will be here before you know it, and the kickoff times for a select handful of college football games have already been locked in for the new year. But we are still waiting to find out the exact start times for every game on Penn State’s 2021 schedule, which should be a challenging one.
So, let’s call our shots. Here is a prediction for when every game on Penn State’s schedule will be played in the first month of the season. Feel free to plan accordingly now because this will surely not backfire on anyone.
All times are eastern. And a reminder that we have the fully up-to-date 2021 Penn State football schedule available, and it will be updated as needed.
Week 1: Penn State at Wisconsin
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Date: September 4, 2021 Kickoff Prediction: 3:30 p.m. FOX has already claimed Ohio State and Minnesota for Week 1 and moved it to Thursday night. And with Maryland and West Virginia scheduled to play that same day, FOX could use the opportunity for a Big Noon Kickoff featuring the Big Ten and Big 12. Penn State and Wisconsin are enough to carry the midafternoon slate of Big Ten programming, so we'll go ahead and pencil the season opener in for a 3:30 eastern kickoff in Madison. And while we're at it, we'll give the game to ABC, as FOX will take the Kansas State-Stanford game for their midafternoon slate.
Week 2: Penn State vs. Ball State
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Date: September 11, 2021 Kickoff Prediction: 12:00 p.m. This game has Big Ten Network noon game written all over it. FOX has already claimed this week's Ohio State-Oregon game for a Big Noon Kickoff, and the other spotlight games around the conference sure to take network preference will include Michigan-Washington and Iowa-Iowa State. There is a chance Big Ten Network could take advantage of the Penn State brand to slide this game to a later kickoff time, perhaps even in primetime, but we'll keep this game slotted in the earlier timeslot for now.
Week 3: Penn State vs. Auburn
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Date: September 18, 2021 Kickoff Prediction: 8:00 p.m. Get ready for the first whiteout of the season with whatever number of fans will be allowed into Beaver Stadium. This is going to be a fun one and the national primetime spotlight could very well be focused on Happy Valley. Let's consider the realistic possibility that CBS locks in Alabama-Florida in The Swamp for its SEC Game of the Week at 3:30p.m. and it almost feels like a guarantee ESPN will put this matchup in primetime on ABC. Georgia Tech visiting Clemson is probably the only game that could change that given Clemson's place in college football. But a chance to broadcast a whiteout is too good to pass up for ESPN.
Week 4: Penn State vs. Villanova
Photo: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Date: September 25, 2021 Kickoff Prediction: 12:00 p.m. Penn State's matchup with an in-state FCS program probably won't attract too many eyeballs no matter where the game is placed on the schedule. But this is the classic recipe for a Big Ten Network noon kickoff. The only thing that might alter that plan is if Penn State is 4-0, which is a realistic possibility. That could elevate the game to 3:30 p.m. consideration, but a noon kickoff feels the most likely no matter the scenario. Follow Nittany Lions Wire on Twitter and like us on Facebook for continuing Penn State coverage and discussion.