This should have been the game last year until Cincinnati dashed the Bulls’ hopes with a win against East Carolina in the final week of the season. USF has already agreed to help sponsor the game and considering that ESPN Regional, which owns the game, has a branch on campus, this looks like a done deal. Hometown Warriors should bring a crowd and USF’s first bowl appearance is an attractive ingredient for drawing Bulls fans all the way to the island.
Student body president Omar Khan said he and vice president Ryan Morris have already begun discussing and working toward putting together travel packages so students could attend any possible USF bowl. Last season, Student Government allocated $50,000 for the outside chance of a bowl bid.
Khan does see logistical problems with a possible Hawaii Bowl bid, but feels USF’s fan base is strong.
“It would probably hurt us a little, but if I know our fans, they would get out there,” Khan said.
USF Athletic Director Lee Roy Selmon, with two games still to be played, was a bit more reserved about USF’s bowl opportunities.
“Any bowl opportunity would be welcome by us,” Selmon said. “But our focus right now is to win some football games.”
Speculation aside, one thing is for sure: The road to USF’s first bowl in school history won’t be easy. The Bulls must win their last two games against two teams that have been unpredictably good this year. UAB nearly knocked of No. 13 TCU and No. 5 Georgia, losing in successive weeks by three points. And last week, Memphis thrashed Louisville 37-7 in Kentucky.
Assistant Sports Editor Chris Wagenheim contributed to this report