USF football learns Big East schedule for 2012
The Big East released its 2012 conference football schedule on Tuesday, with USF tentatively opening Big East play on Sept. 15 against Rutgers and serving as Temple's first conference opponent in the Owls' return to the league on Oct. 6.
The seven dates are as follows -- Rutgers, Sept. 15; at Temple, Oct. 6; at Louisville, Oct. 20; vs. Syracuse, Oct. 27; vs. Connecticut, Nov. 3; at Cincinnati on Friday, Nov. 23; and vs. Pittsburgh on Dec. 1.
The Rutgers game could still be tweaked and has been mentioned as a potential Thursday night game, but that would come just five days after USF's Sept. 8 game at Nevada. The Bulls have another short week for a key road game, with a game at Cincinnati just six days after a Nov. 17 game at Miami.
What's more, three of USF's seven Big East games have uneven prep time -- Temple and UConn both have bye weeks before facing the Bulls, who have games the previous weekends; USF gets the same advantage in its favor with a bye leading into Louisville, which is at Pittsburgh right before hosting the Bulls. Syracuse gets a bonus day before its USF game because it plays UConn on a Friday the week before.
The Bulls do get three of their final four Big East games at home, including the regular-season finale against Pittsburgh on Dec. 1. The Bulls have their bye weeks well into the season, with no games the weekends of Oct. 13 and Nov. 10, giving the Bulls an extra week before key games at Louisville and Miami.
Three games will be nationally televised -- FSU, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh -- and all three could be on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.
Sept. 1: vs. Chattanooga
Sept. 8: at Nevada
Sept. 15*: vs. Rutgers (tentative)
Sept. 22: at Ball State
Sept. 29: vs. Florida State
Oct. 6: at Temple
Oct. 20: at Louisville
Oct. 27: vs. Syracuse
Nov. 3: vs. Connecticut
Nov. 17: at Miami
Nov. 23: at Cincinnati
Dec. 1: vs. Pittsburgh