When the 2011 football season opener was announced in 2008, Mark Vargas, a senior majoring in finance, said he immediately knew he wanted to be there to witness the possible history that could unfold when the Bulls face Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., on Saturday.
“I wanted to go ever since I found out that we were going to be playing them and I made the final decision in March,” Vargas said. “It is my senior year and the chance of getting to play Notre Dame probably won’t happen again for a long time, if ever.”
Vargas is one of a number of USF students who will be making the 1,127-mile trip to Indiana, where, together, they will don green and gold to support the Bulls. Although they might be scarcely scattered among the thousands of Fighting Irish fans, these students want to support the Bulls in a game that features the most storied opponent USF has faced in program history.
“A win against Notre Dame could do a lot of things – not only just for the athletics program, but for the entire school,” Vargas said. “More people could come here because they hear more about the University and that could do a lot of things for this school.”
Vargas is able to make the trip and attend games as a member of the Student Bulls Club, an organization that gives students and alumni the opportunity to attend all USF athletic events, including an annual football road game. According to Vargas, there is a $25 annual donation to join the club, with the money going toward USF Athletics.
“I have gotten to know so many friends through the Student Bulls Club who love USF and USF athletics,” Vargas said. “It has just been a great experience in my college life.”
Also looking forward to attending the Notre Dame game is Alex Day, a sophomore majoring in mass communications. He leaves Friday morning and said he is highly anticipating the trip.
“There is so much history in Notre Dame,” he said. “As a college football fan, it is cool to go to places that you have watched all the time.”
This will be the furthest Vargas and Day have traveled for a USF road game.
This year, the club will be staying at the Embassy Suites in Indianapolis, and making a three-hour bus trip to South Bend early Saturday morning. There, they will be provided with a “tailgate” breakfast at the College Football Hall of Fame and a tour of the Notre Dame campus. This is included in the $50 cost of the trip and a game day ticket is provided as well. The members of the club were only responsible for their transportation to Indianapolis.
“It helps the team, to begin with, because the team doesn’t like to look out into the stands and be outnumbered, and it is just a lot of fun,” Day said. “And you can’t beat the cost either. It is definitely worth it.”