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USF Needs A Game For 2019

One of USF’s 2019 opponents quietly postponed. So who could they fill the slot with?

NCAA Football: Potato Bowl-Central Michigan vs Wyoming
Just think, we miss these great uniforms.
Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

Don’t know how we missed this, but: Central Michigan has postponed its home game against USF that was to be played on September 14, 2019.

About six weeks ago, CMU announced a new home-and-away series with New Mexico State, and mentioned in passing that “This deal replaces South Florida on the Chippewas’ schedule.” The 2021 game at USF is still on as far as we know, but when or if the Bulls visit Mount Pleasant, Michigan is to be determined.

Which means that USF needs to find a twelfth game for 2019. The Bulls already play Wisconsin (August 31), BYU (October 12), and at Georgia Tech (September 7). Who could USF find to play at this late date?

The obvious move is to simply book an FCS team. USF’s non-conference schedule is challenging enough already; hosting an FCS school would be inexpensive; and generate a seventh home game. But we’re a college football blog, so of course we’re looking for more grandiose solutions.

USF could look to move up a future road date. Texas, North Carolina State, Louisville, Western Kentucky, and Northern Illinois all seem to be booked for 2019, so they’re probably out. Florida is technically booked, but they play two FCS teams, which we’ll delve into later. But there is one future opponent it might make sense to move up:

Florida Atlantic needs a game for 2019. The Bulls are scheduled to go to FAU in 2020, so moving it up a year would buy both schools time to find a replacement opponent. There’s a date that works: September 21. The Owls were supposed to host Central Michigan on this date, but apparently CMU did something similar to them, as the CMU-FAU series is now scheduled for 2021 and 2024. The only possible drawback is, does FAU want to host both USF and UCF during the same year?

If that doesn’t excite you, let’s look at and see who’s got a workable off date. Surprisingly, there are a lot of local options:

  • Florida State needs a game in 2019, and only has five home games since they play Boise State in Jacksonville. We could play in Tallahassee next season and host them again in 2021.
  • Florida, as mentioned above, plays two FCS opponents: Tennessee-Martin (Sept. 7) and Towson (Sept. 28). They have multiple FCS or very low FBS teams booked most years going forward. If they ever decide this is a bit embarrassing, USF could conceivably go there on September 14th, 21st, or 28th, 2019 in place of Towson.
  • Miami needs a fourth OOC game. They play UF in Orlando, FIU in a yet-to-be-determined place, and guess who: Central Michigan. USF could play at Miami in 2019 as a one-off, or get a return game later.
  • FIU has hardly any future games booked. That school is just crazy.
  • Independent teams are a thing again. They have a constant need for opponents, especially home ones. Of those, the most likely option is Liberty, which is in its FBS transitional year now. USF played Liberty from 1998-2001, winning all four games. USF already has ongoing series with BYU and Massachusetts.
  • Louisiana, UAB, and UTSA all need an OOC game for 2019.
  • There is always the option of a payday game. Let’s face it, the USF athletic department isn’t flush with cash, and one-way games pay upwards of $1,000,000 nowadays.