Bulls to play at Notre Dame in 2011
Since USF joined the Big East in 2005, athletic director Doug Woolard has said that schools in BCS conferences don't travel for football games without getting home games in return. If you're going to make an exception to that rule, it's for a chance at national exposure and a milestone victory.
The Bulls have agreed to play at Notre Dame on Nov. 19, 2011, traveling to South Bend, Ind., for a meeting of one of college football's youngest programs with perhaps its most historic. The Fighting Irish, who have won 11 national championships, will pay USF $850,000 for the one-game series; the Big East will pay USF $125,000 from its television revenues. The Bulls will play host to Miami at Raymond James Stadium the following week.
Notre Dame has made a commitment to play three Big East teams each year starting in 2011 and had extended an open invitation to all eight conference programs to play in South Bend. While the Bulls have signed nothing but home-and-home agreements since joining the Big East, they'll make an exception here. While Notre Dame's lucrative TV contract with NBC expires in 2010, there's a good chance this game will give the Bulls a national network TV audience, something they had for the first time last month on CBS in the Sun Bowl.
USF will announce the Notre Dame game Wednesday, along with a home-and-home series with Ball State in 2011 and 2012. The Bulls will host the Cardinals on Sept. 10, 2011, and will travel to Muncie, Ind., on Sept. 22, 2012. Along with the Notre Dame game and a trip to play Indiana in 2009, USF will play three games in the Hoosier State in a span of four seasons.
USF will be allotted 5,000 tickets for the Notre Dame game, which will be made available to Bulls Club members and season ticket holders.
USF has tried to schedule two games each year with non-BCS Division I-A teams, and the Mid-American Conference program will fill a slot more recently occupied by cross-state rival Central Florida. The Bulls now have two openings for nonconference games in 2011 and 2012, with one opening remaining (likely a non-BCS I-A opponent) in 2009 and 2010. Ball State has previously hosted BCS conference teams such as Missouri (2003) and Indiana (2006).
The home game against Indiana previously listed as being in 2016 is officially TBA, to be filled into a future schedule at a later point. USF has five nonconference games each season, and here are the Bulls' commitments for future games:
Year BCS opponents Non-BCS opp. I-AA opp.
2008 Kansas, @N.C. State @UCF, @Florida Int'l UT-Martin
2009 Miami, @Indiana Florida Int'l, TBA Wofford
2010 @Miami, @Florida Florida Atlantic, TBA Samford
2011 Miami, @Notre Dame Ball State, TBA TBA
2012 Mich. St., @Miami @Ball State, TBA TBA
2013 Miami, @Mich. St. Florida Atlantic, TBA TBA
2014 N.C. State, TBA TBA, TBA TBA
2015 @Florida, TBA TBA, TBA TBA