Dave Brown's college football season opens every spring.
Brown is ESPN's vice president of college football programming. His most important job is to sit in his Bristol, Conn., office and play matchmaker for schools in search of big-time games.
"Really what I am trying to do is improve our schedule," he said Friday from Stillwater, Okla., where one of his matchups -- Georgia-Oklahoma State -- played on Saturday on ABC, part of the ESPN empire.
The groundwork for the game was laid in 2006 when Georgia called Brown in search of a BCS opponent for the 2007 season. Brown knew that Oklahoma State was also looking for an opponent. A couple of phone calls later, the Cowboys were on their way to Athens, Ga.
Saturday's game is the payback.
"Any time you put together two BCS teams, home-and-home becomes part of the equation," Brown said. "That this year it turned out we got a No. 9 (Oklahoma State) vs. a No. 13 (Georgia) is a bonus."
Brown is in his 11th season of mixing and matching. What began as a relatively part-time job has evolved into a year-round mission. ESPN had 70 college games in Brown's first year. This season, there are 130 games scheduled.
"We have gotten more aggressive over the years simply because we do more games," he said. "When people have openings, we want to talk to them and they know it."
In addition to Georgia-Oklahoma State on this opening week of the season, Brown was responsible for Thursday night's South Carolina-North Carolina State matchup on ESPN as well as the games featuring Alabama-Virginia Tech and LSU-Washington.
And, oh yes, he is also the father of Oklahoma-BYU at Cowboys Stadium.
It seems Oklahoma couldn't find a BCS team willing to visit Norman in a home-and-home series.
"I said, 'Why not try for a neutral site game?"' Brown said. "Neutral site games are one and done."
Brown suggested Dallas. And then he threw out the Cowboys' new stadium as a potential site.
All he needed was an opponent. He knew Arizona State, which is playing at Georgia the third week of the season, was looking to dump its second-week game against BYU.
By the time Brown was finished talking to all the schools involved last October, BYU was off Arizona State's schedule, replaced by Louisiana-Monroe, and the Cougars were headed to Cowboys Stadium to play Oklahoma.
"All I am trying to do is improve our schedule every week of the season," Brown said. "I'm looking for the most compelling possible matchups. We were lucky to kick off the season this Labor Day weekend with what I think are some good games. That makes my job fun."
Not to mention rewarding for viewers on the other side of the TV screen.