Early season primetime games is big for the Illinois football program

Some of the early 2024 season games have set times now, and the Illinois football program will be playing in primetime
Chattanooga v Illinois
Chattanooga v Illinois / Michael Hickey/GettyImages

Don’t look now, but the start of the Illinois football season is right around the corner.

Okay, look, it is exciting! I have missed the Illini on the field. We are literally less than three months out from the kickoff of the 2024 season, and on Thursday, we got more information on when some of the early games will start.

The first three games of the season are at home for the Orange and Blue. Memorial Stadium should be rocking, as this could be a pretty solid year for the Fighting Bret Bielema’s.

It is exciting that the first two games of the season will be in primetime too. The first game of the season is against Eastern Illinois. It will be on Thursday, August 29, and the kickoff is at 8:00 p.m. CT/9:00 p.m. ET on the Big Ten Network.

The second game of the season against Kansas will be on Saturday, September 7 at 6:00 p.m. CT/7:00 p.m. ET on FS1. Illinois then welcomes Central Michigan on Saturday, September 14 at 11:00 a.m. CT/12:00 p.m. EST on Peacock.

The final time that has been set is Friday, September 20 against Nebraska. Illinois travels to Lincoln and the game is another primetime affair at 7:00 p.m. CT/8:00 p.m. ET on FOX.

Illinois football getting primetime games for the 2024 season should be beneficial to the program

Whoever is scheduling the Illinois football games for the 2024 season is knocking it out of the park. We are getting primetime night games, and this should help build our brand a little more.

When Illinois, or any team for that matter, plays around noon, the game can get lost. There are so many other teams kicking off at the same time, so attention is not paid as much to the Illini.

Illinois gets some great time slots for the first month of the season. I love having a Thursday night game because there isn’t much competition for eyes. The matchup with Kansas on primetime on FS1 will hopefully be a statement game against a tough Jayhawks program.

Nebraska is an up-and-coming team right now too. That game on the road in primetime on FOX is exciting. We get big games in big time slots. That is exactly what this program needs.

The more eyes and the more attention Illinois gets, the more the program benefits. This is a great television schedule to start the 2024 season, and I can’t wait to see how things play out.

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