What the schedule does is it removes any margin for error. If USF falters to a 'lesser' team in non conference play or even to a lesser conference team like Pepperdine then there will be ZERO chance for an at large bid to the dance. Even if the Dons win the WCC regular season crown but don't win the tournament they won't get an invite.
But what I think RW is doing... is setting himself up for his next job. He can take this year, maybe next and accumulate some eye popping win totals. 25+ wins per year. Then cash in with a BCS type program. He's a good coach and a smart guy. He knows what he's doing.
Just hope the Don's don't trip on Portland or Pepperdine along the way.