UConn, along with the rest of the Big East teams, released its 2011 football schedule this afternoon, and it's...well, it's the most UConn schedule ever.
Weird mid-week games? Check.
An oddly timed stretch of home games? Check.
Hot, steamy MAC-tion in the non-conference schedule? Oh, you better believe that's a check.
Paul Pasqualoni's first year will see the Huskies play seven home games, and four in the Big East, including a three-game homestand that lasts the entire month of November. The school's official release can be viewed here.
To check out some brief thoughts, as well as the entire slate, click the jump:
|Sept. 1 (Thu)||H Fordham||tbd||tbd
|Sept. 10 (Sat)||A Vanderbilt||tbd||tbd
|Sept. 16 (Fri)||H Iowa State||8 p.m.||ESPN/ESPN2|
|Sept. 24 (Sat)||A Buffalo||tbd||tbd|
|Oct. 1 (Sat)||H Western Michigan||tbd||tbd|
|Oct. 8 (Sat)||A West Virginia||tbd||tbd|
|Oct. 15 (Sat)||H South Florida (homecoming)||tbd||tbd|
|Oct. 26 (Wed)||A Pittsburgh||8 p.m.||ESPN|
|Nov. 5 (Sat)||H Syracuse||tbd||tbd|
|Nov. 19 (Sat)
|Nov. 26 (Sat)
|Dec. 3 (Sat)
Let's run this down, one-liner style, game-by-game:
Fordham: A game for those who thought Texas Southern was too terrible to justify actually playing in a regular-season game, but thought Hofstra wasn't terrible enough.
Vanderbilt: You don't just walk onto Dudley Field and walk out with a victory.
Iowa State: A chance for ESPN to educate its viewers that UConn has a new coach. Their head man is no longer "that weird guy who pumps his fist and thought Maryland was a dream job." It is now "that orange guy who coached McNabb."
Buffalo: Jeff Hathaway lost a bet one year, and a road trip to mighty Buffalo is the result. Still, the Bulls are probably the best football team within their city's limits.
Western Michigan: Tickets still available. (This one-liner courtesy of the Oct. 1, 2011 Hartford Courant.)
West Virginia: A program that sucks so much, they couldn't even beat UConn last year.
South Florida: I know it's eight months out, but I have a hunch it will be raining and/or snowing at the Rent on Oct. 15.
Pittsburgh: Wednesday night UConn football: think of it like we're in the UEFA Champions League, only boring.
Louisville: Any time you can get a rugged Big East coaching veteran like Charlie Strong (tied for second-longest-tenured in the entire league!) into the Rent, it's a big-game atmosphere.
Rutgers: Hey, we're finally playing a rival on rivalry weekend! Now just make it a Friday at noon game and we're set.
Cincinnati: At this point, we will probably be too drunk and depressed about the team to care much about football. How about that Ryan Boatright? Ain't he something?
There you have it. As you can tell, I'm extremely excited for the prospects of both UConn and the Big East next season.
Since we have basically no idea who's going to be a star on this team next year, or who the quarterback is going to be, or who the running back is going to be, or if this whole Paul P thing is going to work out, I think I speak for us all when I say BEEF OR BUST BABY!