More Notre Dame football talk ...
It's still just talk, but it's fresh talk: the possibility of USF playing Notre Dame in football down the road has been brought up in another newspaper report.
The Charleston Daily Mail of West Virginia, in a story on upgraded nonconference football scheduling in the Big East, quotes the conference's associate commissioner Nick Carparelli as naming USF as one of four league schools in ongoing discussions with Notre Dame, in addition to scheduled games with Pittsburgh and Syracuse.
Again, there are two possibilities for this: as part of Notre Dame's commitment to playing three Big East opponents a year, starting in 2011, and as part of Notre Dame's "off-site" games, which include dates in Tampa, Orlando or Jacksonville, also still years off. Notre Dame associate athletic director John Heisler has said that the thrust of the Big East games is to better reach large markets in the Northeast, making the off-site games a more likely option for USF.
The story also has a handy PDF graphic showing the upcoming nonconference schedules for all eight Big East teams. No surprises on the USF schedule, but you can compare the number of games each school has scheduled, and how many of those are against BCS conference opponents.
The toughest schedules belong to Pittsburgh (18 of 23 games are BCS) and Syracuse (19 of 24). Louisville has the least games booked with 13, but nine of those are against BCS teams. USF and Connecticut are next, each with 13 BCS opponents in 20 scheduled games. West Virginia's next, with 10 out of 18, and then it drops off, with Cincinnati getting 12 BCS games out of a league-high 29 scheduled. Rutgers has 16 games scheduled, but only four of them are against BCS opponents, with the other 12 split between Army and Navy.