The Tommy Tuberville era at Cincinnati kicks off with a home game against the Purdue Boilermakers. The Bearcats are coming off their fifth 10-win campaign in the last six seasons and look to get off to a quick start with back-to-back games against Big Ten opponents (they visit Illinois next week).
SMU begins their first season in the American Athletic Conference after leaving Conference USA with a Friday night home game against Texas Tech. The Mustangs and Red Raiders are both coming off bowl victories in 2012 and meet for the 49th time, with Texas Tech holding a 32-16 record in the series.
Temple and new head coach Matt Rhule travel to South Bend to take on No. 11 Notre Dame for the first time in program history. Owls sophomore linebacker Tyler Matakevich was the 2012 Big East Rookie of the Year, leading the team with 101 tackles. Notre Dame is coming off an undefeated regular season that saw them make an appearance in the BCS National Championship Game.
Two strong quarterbacks take the field Sunday as No. 9 Louisville hosts Ohio to kick off the 2013 season. Ohio won nine games a year ago behind QB Tyler Tettleton’s 2800 passing yards, while Louisville returns 2012 Big East Offensive Player of the Year Teddy Bridgewater.
Rutgers travels west for a Thursday night matchup with Fresno State. Head Coach Kyle Flood enters year two at Rutgers after being named Big East Coach of the Year in his debut season. The two teams met to begin the 2008 season with Fresno State claiming a 24-7 victory at Rutgers.
UCF has won 10 games in three of the past six seasons, but also failed to make bowls in the seasons immediately following their past two 10-win campaigns. The Knights start 2013 by hosting an Akron team that failed to win a MAC game a year ago.
South Florida opens the season at home on Saturday vs. FCS foe McNeese State from the Southland Conference.
Connecticut begins the 2013 campaign with a Thursday night matchup vs. Towson. Towson’s head coach Rob Ambrose served as offensive coordinator at UConn from 2002-2009.
Houston welcomes Southern University on Friday night for their first game as an American Athletic Conference team.