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ESPN’s Phil Steele ranks USF’s football schedule No. 2 nationally

The Bulls face five teams that finished in the top 25 of the final 2019 Associated Press poll.
For now, new USF coach Jeff Scott is set to make his formal debut Sept. 5 at Texas.
For now, new USF coach Jeff Scott is set to make his formal debut Sept. 5 at Texas. [ Times ]
Published Apr. 22, 2020

If the 2020 college football season gets off the ground, USF will navigate the nation’s second-toughest schedule.

At least that’s the take of ESPN’s Phil Steele, the longtime college analyst whose comprehensive preview magazines are widely considered annual must-reads. Steele notes USF’s 2020 opponents went a combined 97-57 (.630) last season.

Similarly, we suggested on this very site the Bulls would have the American Athletic Conference’s most difficult slate this fall.

“I rated the AAC as the fifth-toughest conference in college football last year ahead of the ACC, so this makes sense,” wrote Steele, who ranked only South Carolina’s slate ahead of USF’s.

“New head coach Jeff Scott pulls Texas and Florida Atlantic in the non-conference schedule, and the Bulls face nine teams that had a winning record last season.”

Related: ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit: College football will do 'everything they can' for 2020 season

For now, the Bulls are set to open the Scott era at Texas on Sept. 5. In all, the Bulls are scheduled to face five teams (Memphis, Navy, Cincinnati, UCF, Texas) that finished in the top 25 of the final 2010 Associated Press poll.

No other AAC schedule made Steele’s top 20, though East Carolina (t-21st), Memphis (24th) and Houston (25th) cracked the top 25.

UCF’s schedule tied for 77th.

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