USF is close to completing its football schedules through the 2013 season, which the Bulls will open against I-AA McNeese State.
USF, responding to a public records request from the Times, has a signed contract to open the 2013 season at Raymond James Stadium against the Cowboys, who came to Tampa for the 2006 opener, losing 41-10. With the addition of TCU as an eighth Big East opponent starting in 2012, the Bulls have filled their next three schedules in terms of I-A opponents.
The only remaining opening in the next three years is the 2012 opener, and USF has sent a contract to I-AA Tennessee-Chattanooga for that game and is awaiting a signature from the Moccasins. In exchange for McNeese State coming to Raymond James Stadium in 2013, USF will pay a "guarantee" of $400,000 to the Cowboys, a relatively low figure in today's college football economy. (USF is paying this year's I-AA opponent, Florida A&M, $400,000 as well; Florida State is paying Louisiana-Monroe $1.3 million to play in Tallahassee this fall.)
Here is a link to all of USF's future football schedules from the Bulls' official site. USF opens this upcoming season at Notre Dame, with September home games against Ball State, FAMU and UTEP, as well as a Nov. 19 home game against Miami. The Bulls have kept a pattern of playing two nonconference games against BCS conference opponents -- Notre Dame and Miami this fall, Florida State and Miami in 2012 and Michigan State and Miami in 2013. The next opening for a BCS opponent would be in 2014, when N.C. State is scheduled to play in Tampa.