Just when you thought USF’s football scheduling couldn’t get any bigger...
That’s right, USF wanted Bama, and the two schools have agreed to play a three-game series beginning in 2023. The first game will be in Tampa, with the next two in Tuscaloosa in 2024 and 2026.
By now the initial shock, excitement, and giddiness is wearing off from the biggest scheduling announcement USF has ever made. Now let’s ask why both sides would agree to the deal:
What’s in it for USF?
- It’s Bama.
- Call us crazy, but USF might be able to sell some tickets here!
- USF has chosen to schedule very aggressively out of conference to try and earn respect on the field. Even if some might complain about the terms of the deals they are making, they’re willing to put it on the line and try to do some giant killing.
- With how much the College Football Playoff committee values strength of schedule, it’s possible that a G5 team going 11-2 with a conference title and some not-embarrassing losses to top teams is just as good a New Year’s Six profile as someone mowing through a bunch of stiffs. We haven’t had a definitive answer to this question yet, but who is more likely to know the answer than former CFP COO Michael Kelly?
- Hey, maybe Saban retires by then and the Tide are merely very good instead of a death machine! (note: this point shall be null and void if Dabo takes over)
- Again... it’s FREAKING BAMA.
- YOU GOT BAMA TO TRAVEL ARE YOU KIDDING ME WHO EVEN DOES THAT MICHAEL KELLY YOU LEGEND
What’s in it for Bama?
- I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but recently out-of-state powers have done a better job recruiting top Florida prospects than the Florida schools have. Visiting Tampa gives the Bama coaching staff and whoever else might be in tow some valuable time to recruit local targets.
- Is this really that much different than playing Duke or Georgia Southern or someone like that? Bama typically has their one marquee neutral-site event game, eight SEC games, the worst team they can possibly find for homecoming, and two other non-conference games they are very likely to win. USF fits their scheduling philosophy just fine.
- Going to Tampa is surely a neutral site game in reality. It’s not like going to Penn State or Texas.
- It also might be a good troll, but that’s not our concern.
In conclusion, let’s give Collin the last couple words:
When we said that we've never been more excited about the future of USF Athletics, things like this are why. All the right people and pieces are in place, and they're going to get it right. It starts with elite leadership, and we've got that in @MKellyUSF.— Collin Sherwin (@CollinSherwin) May 23, 2019