With USF hosting Alabama this week, we dug into the archives to share this story from May 2019 about why the Crimson Tide wanted a two-for-one series with the Bulls. The original story is below.
So why did the Crimson Tide want a two-for-one series with the Bulls?
“A couple different reasons,” Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne said Wednesday morning during the SEC’s spring meetings at the Hilton Sandestin. “One, we’ll get two games in Tuscaloosa. South Florida’s an excellent program. They’ve had a lot of success. It’s an area we recruit a lot, so go playing a game in Tampa made sense for us, too, to play in an NFL stadium.
“It checked a lot of boxes for us and what we’re doing.”
Byrne mentioned a few other boxes the series checked. The Tide has a lot of fans in the Panhandle within easy driving distance of Raymond James Stadium. ’Bama wants to schedule more games fans want to see, and the Bulls are a more attractive opponent than some other Group of Five options.
And the two-for-one series (including a trip to Tampa in 2023) makes financial sense as the guaranteed paydays for Group of Five games rise.
’Bama will pay New Mexico State $1.7 million for the Aggies’ trip to Tuscaloosa in September and another $1.9 million for their matchup in 2021. That figure is comparable to what the Tide will pay to host Utah State in 2022.
And that makes USF’s $1 million paycheck after its second trip to Tuscaloosa in 2026 a bargain.
“We got it below market rate to say we’re going to go down to Tampa and play at their university,” Byrne said. “It just made a ton of sense for us.”
Contact Matt Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @MBakerTBTimes