USF hosting four-team tournament in November
Lots of notes to get to, and we'll start with men's basketball, where we have been able to learn three nonconference opponents for USF, coming to Tampa for a four-team round-robin tournament Nov. 16-18, the same weekend Bulls football is at Miami.
USF learned last week that it's playing host to Georgia in the Big East-SEC Challenge, and the new tournament will bring in Western Michigan, Loyola (Chicago) and Maryland-Eastern Shore, all but assuring the Bulls of three early wins in the second week of their season. Not sure which teams play on which days, but the tournament will have a doubleheader on each of three days.
Best stat for how easy a weekend it should be for the Bulls? Those three teams were a combined 8-48 last season away from home. Loyola and UMES each went 7-23 in 2011-12, with RPIs of 309 and 320 (out of 344 teams). WMU was a little bit better, going 14-20 with an RPI of 205, but they lost their top four scorers, with three graduating and 6-9 center Matt Stainbrook transferring to Xavier.
We'll try to get more answers on nonconference basketball opponents -- USF wants a strong team for the arena's basketball re-opening, likely a doubleheader with the women's team on Nov. 10.
-- Football announced two kickoff times for September games, with the home game against Chattanooga on Sept. 1 getting a 7 p.m. kickoff, and the road game at Ball State going at 4:30 p.m. -- both will be on ESPN3.com and Ball State at least should have a local presence like Bright House as part of the Big East Network broadcast.
-- One of the top quarterbacks USF was recruiting for 2013 has committed elsewhere, as Anthony Jennings, a dual-threat quarterback from Marietta, Ga., chose LSU on Thursday. The Bulls hope to sign two quarterbacks in this class, with Winter Park's Asiantii Woulard, once a Bulls commitment, continuing to draw interest from elite programs.
-- Mentioned this on Twitter, but former USF receiver A.J. Love has signed with the Vikings, a month after attending a rookie minicamp as a tryout player. That's three former Bulls in Minnesota, with Mistral Raymond and Tyrone McKenzie. If you watch this video from a Vikings OTA on Thursday, you'll see a brief glimpse of Love, wearing No. 87, right at the end. And here's a pic of Love from the Vikings' official site.