New South Florida Athletic Director Mark Harlan has been quite busy with the football program over the past week. On top of traveling with the team to Madison for their matchup with Wisconsin, he’s also announced a series of games against three new opponents for the Bulls in the upcoming future: Northern Illinois, BYU, and Texas.
USF will square off in a home and home series against NIU in 2016 and 2017. The Huskies have had recent success as a college football mid-major, taking home two out of the last four MAC conference titles and even crashing the Orange Bowl in 2012 behind dynamic QB Jordan Lynch.
In 2021 and 2022, the Bulls will have the opportunity to play a home and home against BYU. The Cougars for decades have been an independent power within the college football ranks and are currently in the midst of a nine year streak of being bowl eligible.
The most notable series announced was the three future dates with Texas, where USF will travel to Austin in 2019 and 2024, while the Longhorns will visit Tampa in 2022. It goes without saying the history and tradition of UT football as one of college football’s greatest powers.
Combining these games with future matchups against Florida State, Syracuse, and Maryland, Harlan has put USF in a prime opportunity for national recognition and to be showcased as the program progresses and improves. Drawing quality non-conference opponents for the Bulls to play creates excitement amongst the students and fan base.
With him revealing plans of researching the probability of building an on campus stadium, Harlan has fully displayed that he has a long term vision for the football program down the road. Who knows, by the time these games come around to be played, the outlook of USF football could be completely different.