Kickoff times for Mississippi State Football's first three games in 2024 announced

We know know the schedule for Mississippi State football's first three games of the 2024 season.
Mississippi State Spring Football Game
Mississippi State Spring Football Game / Justin Ford/GettyImages

Thursday marked an important day on the college football offseason calendar. Kickoff times for SEC teams, and much of college football, have been announced for the first three weeks of the 2024 season.

That means Mississippi State football fans can finally start to plan out their Saturdays for this fall, and they should prepare to watch the Bulldogs playing in primetime early in 2024.

State's first three games will all be at night. Their season-opener against Eastern Kentucky will kickoff at 5:00 pm CT. Their week two trip to the desert against Arizona State will be a late night kick at 9:30 pm CT. And in week three, State will host Toledo at 6:30 pm CT.

We also learned that the Egg Bowl is making the move off on Thanksgiving night and into the Black Friday afternoon slot for 2024.

Jeff Lebby makes his debut under the lights

The Bulldogs will kick off the 2024 season Saturday night, August 31, at 5:30 pm CT against FCS Eastern Kentucky. Jeff Lebby will get to make his debut as the MSU head man under the lights as he looks to showcase his high-powered offense to an eager crowd. The game will be exclusively broadcast through streaming on SEC Network+.

State battles power conference foe in "the artist formerly known as the Pac-12 After Dark" action

Two years ago State got to participate in "Pac-12 After Dark" action on a road trip to Arizona, winning a fun game over the Wildcats. This year they'll again head out west, but this time, they'll face Zona's rivals in Arizona State. And even though it's another late kick, it won't technically be "Pac-12 After Dark".

That's because the Sun Devils (and Zona for that matter) are now members of the Big 12! That doesn't change anything for State fans, as they'll still have to stay up late for this one. The game will kick at 9:30 pm CT on Saturday, September 7 and will be broadcast on ESPN.

We'll see if "Big 12 After Dark" has the same shenanigans that it's West Coast predecessor frequently displayed.

Bulldogs get another night game to beat the September heat

The biggest pitfall of the opening weeks of the college football season is day games during the blazing September heat that plagues the Southeast. Luckily for State, they're getting some relief this season.

The Bulldogs will kickoff their week three game with Toledo at 6:30 pm CT on Saturday, September 14. The game will be shown on either ESPN2 or ESPNU. This is the first time State's first two home games kicked off at night since 2018.

There's a decent chance that if the SEC is giving State night games early in the year, they're less likely to get home night games in conference play. But I think most fans would take that trade to avoid the heat as much as possible.

Timeslots for State's remaining schedule will be announced soon

The SEC is making a major change from their usual method for selecting kickoff times. Previously, kickoff times for games played after week three would be announced during the season, about two weeks before those games were played.

Though exact kickoff times will still be announced in a similar matter, fans will soon have a good idea of when each game will be played. The SEC will announce television windows for each game of the 2024 season on June 11.

Those windows are: Morning (11 AM - Noon CT), Afternoon (2:30 - 3:30 PM), and Night (5 - 7 PM). There is also a "Flex" window for games that could kick in either the afternoon or at night. The precise game times and broadcast designations won't come until later, but we'll have a general idea of when games will be played in a little over a week.

The positive? Fans will have a much better idea of when games will be played to go ahead and plan their fall Saturdays and make the appropriate accommodations for the games they want to attend.

The negative? There's less wiggle-room for games to be moved into appropriate timeslots based on actual results. There will likely be some duds locked into primetime action while games that become worthy of primetime get stuck in the morning slate.

Hopefully Mississippi State finds itself selected for mostly desirable timeslots for the rest of their schedule.