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Bulls set to fight the Irish in 2011

To be a big-name college football program, a team has to not only compete against other big names, but beat them. That is exactly what South Florida is setting out to do.

On Wednesday, USF Athletic Director Doug Woolard and coach Jim Leavitt said the Bulls will travel to South Bend, Ind., on Nov. 19, 2011, to play Notre Dame.

“I’m humbled and excited about adding Notre Dame to our schedule,” said Leavitt in a press release. “Games like this are what you work so hard for. They help further the image of this program, and they present a great opportunity for our fans and players. We play in one of the toughest conferences in college football and we continue to build one of the best non-conference schedules year in and year out.”

In the past few years, USF defeated West Virginia, Louisville and Pittsburgh, which are all tough conference foes. The wins have helped bring the program national recognition.

When it comes to playing a notable, non-conference opponent, the Bulls have also been successful, such as last year’s victory against then-ranked Auburn.

“Wins like we had at Auburn (last) year have a positive impact on our football program and assist in continuing to brand the University of South Florida,” said Woolard.

According to Leavitt, “the future of USF football is bright.”

If the Bulls can win, then the schedule laid out so far is set up for the team to achieve national status again.

This season has the Bulls playing host to last season’s Orange Bowl Champion – Kansas.

Starting in 2009, USF will play the University of Miami each year through 2013. There are also two match ups at the University of Florida – one in 2010 and the other in 2015.

All these match-ups are noteworthy, but a victory against the Fighting Irish has a certain ring to it.

“Our football program and fans deserve this type of match up,” said Woolard. “It features one of the most storied programs in college football history against a young program that has risen to prominence at a record pace.”

SOFTBALLThe softball team did not have the usual end to its season last year, as it was not invited to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2002. However, the beginning to this season has the team on a high note.

This year, the Bulls received three votes in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Preseason Poll.

Furthermore, the coaches in the Big East picked the Bulls to finish second in the league behind Louisville, which also got three votes.

USF finished second in the conference last year with a 44-22 record and 15-5 in the Big East.

The season starts with the Bulls playing host to Illinois, Memphis, Bethune-Cookman, Florida Gulf Coast and Florida from Feb. 8-10 in the USF Wilson Tournament. Last year, the Bulls faced and lost to Florida twice.