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Toby Keith, Lady Antebellum Team Up for CMT’s Ultimate Kickoff Party

Big & Rich, Brett Eldredge Also Set for College Football Celebration in Dallas

In a match made in football heaven, country music and college football collide at CMT Ultimate Kickoff Party Live From the College Football Playoff National Championship. Featuring performances from Toby Keith, Lady Antebellum, Big & Rich and Brett Eldredge, the 90-minute concert will air live on CMT from the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas on Jan. 9 at 9 p.m. ET.

This is the first year for the College Football Playoff, and it determines who will ultimately play in the national championship game. Before that happens, though, we have the semifinals. On Dec. 7, the College Football Playoff Selection Committee will announce the four semifinal teams who will head to either the Rose Bowl Game or the Allstate Sugar Bowl. The No. 1 and No. 4 teams will play each other, while the No. 2 and No. 3 teams go head-to-head. The winners from those two games will then meet in the national championship game at AT&T Stadium in nearby Arlington on Jan. 12.

CMT will help get the party started for the biggest college football weekend of the year, and the network’s venture into the sporting world is sure to be a fun one. Country artists are always popping up at sporting events or talking about their favorite teams, and no football tailgate is complete without a little country music blaring from your speakers.

And the performers for this party make perfect sense when you consider their love of the game. It’s widely known Keith is a huge University of Oklahoma fan. Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood are University of Georgia grads and all three members are Bulldog fans. Big & Rich provide the soundtrack to college football every Saturday with a version of their 2005 hit, “Comin’ to Your City” which kicks off ESPN’s College GameDay. And Eldredge, an Illinois native, grew up a big sports fan and stays in the know on his beloved Chicago teams.

Heck, the performers even incorporate football into their music and daily lives.

Toby Keith’s quintessential kiss-off song , “How Do You Like Me Know?!” takes place on the gridiron.

Life’s a beach for Lady A’s Charles Kelly, but it’s even better in his UGA gear.

this is what we call redneck beach tailgating. -ck

A photo posted by Lady Antebellum (@ladyantebellum) on

Plus, no football Saturday is complete without Big & Rich adding “a little bang in your yin yang,” right?

And Eldredge got in touch with his inner Rudy when he toured Notre Dame’s sports facility last year. Jealous?

Slap the sign for good luck! #Rudy

A video posted by Brett Eldredge (@bretteldredge) on

The latest College Football Playoff rankings were released Tuesday (Nov. 18), with the University of Alabama jumping to the top spot. The University of Oregon is currently No. 2. The only undefeated team in the group — Florida State University — is No. 3. And after their loss to Alabama, Mississippi State University slides to No. 4.