The American Athletic Conference announced kickoff times and tv designations for a number of early season games Wednesday afternoon and we now have crystallized what time and where you can watch USF during the first month of the regular season.
As it shapes out:
- USF’s August 26 “week zero” opener at San Jose State is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network (Now streamable on Hulu! Yay!).
- The Bulls’ September 2 home opener versus Stony Brook is slated for 4 p.m. on ESPN3/WatchESPN app.
- USF’s September 9 conference opener at UConn will kickoff at noon on ESPNews.
- As expected, the Bulls’ Friday, September 15 non-conference home game versus Illinois will be at 7 p.m. on ESPN.
- Also expected, USF’s two home Thursday night games versus Temple on September 21 and Tulsa on November 16 will kick off at 7:30/8 p.m. ET on ESPN.
So here’s a problem: Recruitment Week for USF sororities is going to conflict with the home opener now. Because with the 4pm kickoff, it’s going to be right in the middle of Sisterhood Day. And the sororities even saw this coming, but couldn’t get anyone at USF Housing to let those going through Recruitment come on campus a week earlier, as it’s done on basically every other large Southern campus.
Nothing like coming off an 11-2 football season to your home opener as a ranked team in front of a mildly barren student section. And now so many freshmen also miss their first football game and will think going to USF games is something you only do “when they’re playing somebody good.” And this is why the culture of USF must change. Immediately.
There are seven home football games this season, and two more within driving distance from Tampa (you can get to NOLA in a car for a weekend, some of us on this here blog have done it). Getting every student possible to those games has to become the raison d’etre of every administrator that interacts with student life at the University of South Florida. The institution is never going to create the campus culture it seeks without it.
And it starts here and now, with a team that is getting national attention and buzz while starting a legitimate Heisman candidate at quarterback.
Folks from 2007 will remember the lines around the Sun Dome and past the Campus Recreation Center with students camping out overnight for football tickets. Overwhelming enthusiasm has been a part of the recent past, but The Holtz New Era killed tons of momentum of new USF students. So did conference realignment. But for a school with one of the Top 15 student populations in America, the excuses must end now.
Athletics and USF’s 300-plus student organizations need to work together year-round to make sure things like this don’t happen. I went with an Associate AD last year to find out why students don’t go to games, and the inability to schedule around conflicts doesn’t help.
So what say you, USF: can you cut through the red tape and find a way to get all those students to the first home game of what could be a magical season?