Now that USF has added another proverbial prime cut (Florida) to its non-conference football slate, one can only ponder how much beefier it can get.
We know you've tossed around a few tantalizing matchups in your head, and truth be told, so have we.
Just bear in mind, the next marquee non-conference series likely will be a bit farther down the road. As it stands, the non-conference schedules for 2019, '22 and '24 are set, and only one non-conference vacancy each remains in the '20 and '21 slates.
But if the college football landscape doesn't experience a seismic shift in, say, the next half-decade, here are some marquee foes we'd love to see the Bulls schedule.
(But only if Willie Taggart remains the 'Noles coach)
This is too darn delicious. While Bulls fans can't reasonably bedgrude Taggart for bolting USF for the money and cachet offered in the Power Five stratosphere, they can question the sincerity of some of his statements while at USF ("Who's got it better than us? Noooo-body"). Such proclamations remain stuck in Bulls' fans collective craw; they'd love to stick it to Taggart.
As a former (and perhaps future) Big 12 aspirant, USF proved it can defeat the middling teams in that conference (see Birmingham Bowl win vs. Texas Tech). But don't you believe the Bulls want to prove they can topple the Big 12 heavyweights? The endearing image of 60,000 in the Raymond James Stadium seats for a Bulls-Sooners tilt likely would sway Big 12 honchos if/when expansion is considered again.
(But only if Scott Frost remains the Cornhuskers coach)
The Huskers would assure USF of another massive home gate, and you know Bulls fans would like nothing better than to drop an 'L' on UCF's "national championship" coach.
In their 21-year history, the Bulls have played only one team (Oregon, 2007 Sun Bowl) that was a member of the Pac-12 at the time of the contest. The Bruins would represent some fresh blood, and we'd love to see Chip Kelly and Charlie Strong match wits (though it's a long shot either coach still would be at their respective school in a half-decade).
We know, we know — USF has played the Orange 10 times already. Just follow along: Schedule the game for RayJay for some time in 2025, which would mark the 10-year anniversary of the Bulls' 45-24 home romp of Syracuse, when the program's fortunes turned on a dime. Bring back Quinton Flowers to do the coin toss, then while he's there, retire his jersey at halftime.