Unconventional schedule plays to USF’s favor

Commentary

By Josh Fiallo, Sports Editor
On August 20, 2017


Quinton Flowers’ odds to win the Heisman trophy are 30-1, according to sportsbook.org SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE

USF’s 2017 game day scheduling is more unorthodox then the rest of college football, but that’s not a bad thing.

If anything, the Bulls schedule that features two Friday night games, two Thursday night games and a week-zero matchup at San Jose State, will give the program the extra exposure it needs to potentially squeak into a college football playoff position, should the Bulls go undefeated. Or, at the least, give Quinton Flowers an extra spotlight to showcase why he’s a legitimate Heisman candidate.

While schools throughout the country play every Saturday starting on Sept. 2, USF’s scheduling will draw the national spotlight to them five different times throughout the year for playing when the others don’t. The first of the five games begin this Saturday when USF travels to face San Jose State a week before all but nine other schools start their seasons.

This season USF only plays one road game against a team that won more than four games in 2016. No 2017 opponent of USF is in the preseason AP top 25. On paper, critics will say the Bulls simply don’t have the resume to make it into the College Football Playoff because “They didn’t play anybody.” The same statement will be made of Flower’s Heisman hopes. 

However, the more USF is the lone ranked team playing on national TV certain nights, the more the country, Playoff and Heisman voters will begin to see for themselves – USF’s offense is one of the best in the country.

In 2016, Flowers ran for the 12th most rushing yards in the country and the second most for a QB with 1,530. The only QB with more yards: Heisman trophy winner Lamar Jackson (1571 yards).

The more eyes watching, the better his chances.

When USF takes on Illinois on Friday, Sept. 15, every college football playoff selection committee members eyes will be on the Bulls.

The following Thursday, those same eyes will be fixated on Flowers and the Bulls once again when they take on Temple at Raymond James Stadium. Why? Because it’s the only college football on TV that night.

Flowers and the Bulls - who are already favored to win every regular season game they play this season – will then play on Saturday for five straight games before closing out the season with two weeknight matchups against Tulsa and UCF. These games are two more chances to show the whole country what they’re capable of. 

Even as attendance is sure to take a hit due to the 8:00 ET start time to the Thursday night games, the positives of gaining national exposure (and some extra TV revenue) outweigh the negatives.

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