South Florida’s search for a fifth non-conference opponent ended Tuesday when it announced a one-game agreement with Charleston Southern to complete the 2009
However, this could hurt USF’s chance at gaining a fifth consecutive bowl appearance.
Charleston Southern — which will come to Raymond James Stadium on Sept. 19 — is the second Football Championship Subdivision opponent on the Bulls’ schedule, which means one of the two games will not count toward bowl eligibility. The other, Wofford, will travel to Tampa for a game Sept. 5.
“Our staff was very thorough and diligent in its efforts to find another FBS opponent on Sept. 19,” said USF Director of Athletics Doug Woolard. “We contacted dozens of schools directly, conference commissioners from around the country and other college football officials in our effort to schedule an FBS opponent.
“Unfortunately, due to the position we were put in at this extremely late date, we were not able to achieve that objective.”
Florida International canceled its Sept. 19 game with a $200,000 buyout, which put the Bulls in a scramble to find a quality opponent. With USF facing Miami and Florida State — and a tough Big East schedule — it will be trickier to become bowl eligible next season.
Woolard said he was happy to find a team to schedule at this time.
“We feel fortunate that a quality opponent was available at this late date, and that Charleston Southern was willing to adjust its schedule,” he said. “We are happy that our fans will be able to see six home games at Raymond James Stadium this season — which was our primary consideration in filling the unexpected void in our 2009
USF is 4-0 all-time over the Buccaneers. Their last was a 55-7 win Oct. 18, 2003.
USF travels to Florida State on Sept. 26, hosts Miami on Nov. 28 and will play West Virginia, Cincinnati and Louisville at home in the Big East next season.