USF Stadium Update, Big East Flux; News & Notes Around The Conference


The kickoff time for USF’s Sept. 8 game at Nevada has been set for 3:30 ET.

The Bulls were hoping for an earlier kickoff so they could get back to Tampa to start preparing for the Rutgers game the following week. That game, according to ESPN and the USF website, has been moved to Thursday night September 13th and has a 7:30pm kickoff. The 3:30pm kickoff is better than having a 7:30 ET kickoff, which is what was originally being discussed. Due to the time difference, kickoff more than likely won’t be moved up any earlier. Local kickoff time right now is 12:30 ET.

After the Thursday night match-up, USF will have eight days to prepare for their next game at Ball State, on Saturday September 22. No kickoff time has been announced for that game as of yet.

Rumors around Tampa are USF is once again exploring the option of building an on-campus football stadium. The Bulls currently share Raymond James Stadium with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and have for several years now.

USF has had several sell outs in the 65,000 plus seat stadium and it is one of the best in the NFL. Every year when NFL players are polled, Raymond James finishes in the top five favorite stadiums. Further, the pro venue is a great recruiting tool as the USF staff uses it to wow high school prospects.

An on-campus stadium would take away from that awe a high school player feels walking into an NFL stadium. Hardcore fans will go see the Bulls in action wherever they play but the experience would probably be better if things are kept as is. I don’t think they can afford to put together a stadium of the same quality as Ray Jay, which was constructed at a total cost of just over $168 million.

Unnamed sources are saying that USF may be thinking of leaving the Big East. No conferences have been mentioned but it makes sense. The Big East is so unstable right now that the Bulls would be foolish if they didn’t explore all possible options for their program’s future. The university would definitely want to stay in a BCS conference because they have worked too hard to build the program up now to play in a lower conference.

USF AD Doug Woolard called the current round of realignment “interesting times,” an ambiguous statement but one loaded with meaning.

ESPN has released its post-spring power rankings and USF was ranked No. 2 behind Louisville. The big reason is the play of JaQuez Jenkins. The senior safety had a breakout spring after posting 13 tackles and 2 interceptions in 2011.

Phil Steele released his 2012 All-Big East pre-season team and there were five USF players on the first team. Tackle Mark Popek, wide receiver Sterling Griffin, DE Ryne Giddins, LB DeDe Lattimore and placekicker Maikon Bonani were all named to the first team. Quarterback B.J. Daniels was named to the second team.


Pittsburgh announced kickoff time for its Sept. 1 match-up with Youngstown State is 6 ET.

Rutgers announced that season tickets for the 2012 season are now on sale. The Scarlet Knights’ home opener is Sept. 8 vs Howard, with kickoff at 1 ET. RU plays six home games, including three Big East conference games vs Uconn, Syracuse and Louisville.

RU senior linebacker Khaseem Greene was named a pre-season All-American by Phil Steele’s College Football Preview.

Connecticut has said goodbye to its former on-campus football home, Memorial Stadium. The stadium that the Huskies called home for 50 years will be torn down to make room for the Uconn Basketball Development Center. The stadium was opened in 1953 but has remained empty since Rentschler Field was built 10 years ago. Uconn had an overall record of 131-103-4 in its 50 year stay there.

Cincinnati is celebrating its 125th year of college football this fall. Season tickets are on sale now for the eight game 2012 home schedule. The Bearcats, who open the season with five straight home games, will host Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech, Rutgers and USF as their top home games this fall.

Louisville announced that the kickoff time for their season opener on Sept. 2 is 3:30 ET. The Cardinals will host their state rival the Kentucky Wildcats in what will be a loud, and more than likely sold out Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.

Ray Blanchette covers the USF Bulls and the Big East for the Saturday Blitz. He also covers NCAA football, the NFL and the NHL for Outside The Redzone. Follow along at Blanchette is the owner of Blanchette Sports Holdings. Follow along with them at or on Facebook at!/profile.php?id=100003521034703&sk=wall or on Twitter at!/BlanchettSports. ANYONE THAT WANTS TO OWN A FRANCHISE WITH US, THE TIME IS NOW. ALL THIS WEEK WE ARE HAVING A 50% OFF FRANCHISE FEES SALE!