Updated October 13th, 2021.
These instructions are aimed at people using Apple’s Calendar apps on Macs, iPhones, and iPads but they’ll help you with Google Calendar, Outlook.com, and Office 365 calendars as well.
(You might also like my College Football Bowl Games calendar and my NFL Prime Time Schedule, for Macs, iPhones, and iPads. You also might like my round-up of the best online college football schedules.
I also have the 2020 NBA Playoffs Calendar, updated as games are announced.
ESPN.com provides schedules for the 2021 college football season and you can add any or all of them to your Mac, iPhone, and iPad calendars. (You can also add these schedules to your PC and Android phone, if that’s the way you want it.) ESPN does not make the schedules easy to find, but I found them and this article will not only show you where the calendars are but will also show you how to add them to your device.
Note: if all you want is a website with all of the college football games, and times, and TV channels, use this link. Very handy to have the TV stations listed. And the times are shown in your local time zone! Thanks, ESPN.
Assuming you want to add the schedules for your favorite teams into your Mac and iPhone calendars, you’ll want to read the rest of this article. You’ve come to the right place!
One more thing: we’re going to be subscribing to calendars, not just importing them. This is definitely the way to go as subscriptions are “live” and get updated. So, you’ll know who won games, and what the score was; you’ll also know whether a game’s time has been changed, and which network the game’s on. Subscribing is good. And, next year you won’t have to do this because you’ll already be subscribed.
How to add college football schedules to your Mac’s calendar
Step 1: Go to ESPN’s college football calendar page. (The link knows whether you’re using a computer or a phone).
If you scroll a little you’ll see a second set of tiles with the same conferences (in a different order) but with different icons. It looks like this:
I don’t know why there are two versions but I can tell you what you get with each. With the first version (the plain calendar icons) you get the chance to add these calendars to your iCloud account, which means you can add the calendar on your Mac and see it on your iPhone and iPad without doing any additional work. (You have to start on the Mac– if you start on the iPhone, you can’t add the calendar to your iCloud account.) If you use the second version of the calendars (the ones with the black shield icons) you have to add the calendar to each device individually, which doubles or triples the work. But… if you use the shield icon calendars, you get TV channel info. I think it’s worth the extra trouble of adding the calendar on each device, so I say use the shield icon versions.
Step 2: Find the Conference you’re interested in and tap it. (Starting in a Conference narrows things down so you can find your team faster. However, you could start with “FCS (1-AA)” or “FBS” or “FCS Independent” if you wanted to). I tapped the shield icon for the “Pac-12” and got this:
Step 3: Tap the red button that says “Add to Calendar.” You may be thinking that this will add the entire conference’s schedule, but it won’t. You’ll choose a single team in the next step.
Step 4: Scroll until you find the name of your team, then tap on it. Scroll all the way to the bottom so you can see the “NEXT” button, and then tap it. You’re almost there– keep going.
Step 5: Enter your zip code and tap the Search button. You do this so they can figure out who your TV provider might be, so they can figure out which channel your game will be on. Then choose your TV provider.
Special instructions if you got this far and want the calendar on your iPhone only
If your goal is to get this calendar onto your iPhone, and you don’t care about having it on your Mac, enter your phone number where is says to do it and then click the big red “Send” button.
Otherwise, skip to Step 6.
You’ll get a text message with a link, and when you click the link you’ll add the calendar to your iPhone’s calendar.
Tap the link, leading to this screen…
You’ll be asked whether you want to subscribe (the answer is “Subscribe”). Note that the name of the calendar won’t be what you’d expect: it’s going to be the name of whichever button you clicked on in Step 1. You can rename it later.
Tip: if the events don’t show up for you instantly, go to your Calendar app, tap “Calendars” at the bottom of the screen, and then do the “pull down” move (put your finger anywhere but the very top and pull down and let go, forcing the update). This is the same move you make in the Mail app’s List View to make Mail go out and refresh the list of Mail messages.
When you do the pull down move in Calendar, you’ll see a spinner at the top.
When the spinner stops, everything’s up to date.
This is a great time to customize the look of the calendar. Tap the red-circled “i” and change the name of the calendar to anything you want, and also the color.
Tap “Done” at top right to go back to viewing your list of calendars, and then “Done” again to start using them. Hopefully, you’ll see something like this:
Assuming you still want to put this onto your Mac, continue.
Step 6: Tap the Apple logo.
Step 7: You’ll be asked whether you’ll allow this ESPN page to open your Calendar app. Tap “Allow.”
You’ll see a message saying the subscription was successful, and that’s true, but you’re not done yet. You still need to do a few things to add it to your calendar.
Step 8: Your Calendar app will appear and you’ll get a box with a URL in it– don’t change anything, just click the Subscribe button. When you do, you’ll get a bigger box. You can change things in there (the refresh frequency should probably be one day, not one week). The name could be improved– by default, it’s the name of the conference (or whichever button you clicked to begin with in Step 1). You can change the color too, using the menu to the right of the calendar’s name. Make it match your school’s colors! Then click the OK button.
Change the name of the calendar, the color (school colors are good choices), maybe update it more frequently. I like a little mortarboard in front to show it’s a college calendar but you could use a football emoji or whatever works for you.
Of course the “Location” should be your iCloud address if you want the calendar to show on your iPhone and iPad automatically.
You’re done! You’ll see your team’s schedule in the Calendar app, with an event that says “You’ve successfully subscribed.” Here’s how it looks in Week view, and then how it looks in Month view.
And that’s all there is to it. If you’re showing the list of calendars (at the left) you can toggle this new calendar on and off by checking and unchecking the box next to its name. You can control-click on the calendar’s name in the calendar list to change its name and its color. You can also unsubscribe that way.
How to add college football calendars to your iPhone
If you’re working on a Mac, the steps above were all you need. But if you’re starting with an iPhone, and you want to add a calendar, you do things slightly differently.
Step 1: Using your iPhone, go to ESPN’s college football calendar page. (The link knows whether you’re using a computer or a phone.) You’ll see this screen, with a button for each football conference (plus one for all FBS 1-A teams, plus one for FCS (1-AA), plus one for FCS independents).
Note: the search box at the top isn’t going to work for you. Don’t bother.
Step 2: Tap the button for the conference that your team is in. You’ll see something like this (I picked the Big 12):
Step 3: Tap the button that says “Add to Calendar.” I know what you’re thinking: you don’t want to add an entire conference’s schedule to your iPhone. Don’t worry, that’s not going to happen. Just tap the “Add to Calendar” button. You’ll be rewarded with the following screen:
Step 4: Choose a team, then tap NEXT. You may have to scroll down to find the NEXT button.
Step 5: Tap the Apple logo to begin adding the calendar to your iPhone’s Calendar app. You’ll get a notification asking you whether it’s OK to open the link (the Apple button is a link) in the Calendar app. The answer is YES, so tap the “Open” button.
Step 6: Finally, you’ll be asked whether you really and truly want to subscribe to the calendar you chose. Of course the answer is YES, so tap the Subscribe button. You’ll get a confirmation.
Step 7: Tap the View Events button in that notification. You’ll see something like this:
You’re done! Repeat for as many calendars as you wish.
If you tap one of the events you will see additional info– TV station, links to tickets, links to shopping for fan gear, etc. If all you want to do is temporarily turn off the calendar, just tap the “Calendars” button at the bottom center in the Calendar app, then uncheck the box next to the calendar in question. If you want to unsubscribe, you have to go to Settings, Passwords & Accounts, Subscribed Calendars, and unsubscribe there. Sort of a pain but that’s how it works. On the Mac it’s easier: control-click the calendar name in the list of calendars at the left, and choose Unsubscribe.
If the NFL is more your thing, I have an article for you too! Check out 2021 NFL Prime Time Schedule for your Mac, iPhone, and iPad Calendars.Copyright 2008-2021 Christian Boyce. All rights reserved.