Three weeknight games for Bulls in '09
The Big East has announced its 2009 conference football schedule, and USF has three nationally televised weeknight games, including home games against Cincinnati and West Virginia.
The Bulls open conference play Oct. 3 at Syracuse, then have a bye week before a Thursday home game against Big East champion CIncinnati on ESPN. The Bulls travel to Pittsburgh on Oct. 24, then have a short turnaround, coming home to play West Virginia on Friday, Oct. 30, on ESPN2. Then another bye before playing Thursday, Nov. 12 at Rutgers on ESPN, the last home game Nov. 21 against Louisville, then what should be a chilly regular-season finale Dec. 5 at Connecticut on either ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.
It's a schedule that shows how much ESPN likes the Bulls -- only Pittsburgh and West Virginia with five each have more games on ESPN or ESPN2 -- but the weeknight appearances will make for uneven preparation times. The conference opener against Syracuse and the finale against Connecticut will be the only games in which USF has the standard seven-day cycle to prepare for its next game, though the Bulls will have the benefit of nine days or more to prepare for four of their conference games.
The Big East is clearly choosing its marquee teams for weeknight games, with West Virginia (4), USF (3), Rutgers (3) and Pittsburgh (3), all ranked in the past two seasons, getting the most appearances. Cincinnati has two weeknight games, with Louisville getting one and Syracuse and Connecticut not playing any this season.
Here's the full 2009 schedule:
Sat., Sept. 5 Wofford
Sat., Sept. 12 at Western Kentucky
Sat., Sept. 19 Charleston Southern
Sat., Sept. 26 at Florida State
Sat., Oct. 3 at SYRACUSE
Thu., Oct. 15 CINCINNATI (7:30 p.m., ESPN)
Sat., Oct. 24 at PITTSBURGH
Fri., Oct. 30 WEST VIRGINIA (8 p.m., ESPN2)
Thu., Nov. 12 at RUTGERS (7:30 p.m., ESPN)
Sat., Nov. 21 LOUISVILLE
Sat., Nov. 28 Miami (Fla.)
Sat., Dec. 5 at CONNECTICUT (ABC/ESPN/ESPN2)