#61 South Florida Bulls: College Basketball 111 in 111

usf cheerleaders

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

The South Florida Bulls one-upped their conference mates, Notre Dame in becoming the most boring team in college basketball last season.  Rarely would they top the 60-point plateau but they used their stifling defense to epitomize the phrase, “Winning Ugly”and nearly advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.  Can lightning strike for a second straight year at USF?

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#51 South Florida Bulls: College Football 77 in 77

south-florida

Last year was supposed to be the season that South Florida was going to be a Big East title contender, possibly winning the whole thing. And after the improbable upset over Notre Dame kicked off the season into a 4-0 start, it seemed very legit. Then conference play began where they were a pathetic 1-6.

All bowl prospects, let alone BCS bowls, over. This year some of the band might be back together, and have more seasoning under their belt, but it doesn’t mean we’re going to be high on the Bulls.

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South Florida’s Skip Holtz Gets Marquee Program Victory over Notre Dame

For the South Florida Bulls, yesterday’s 23-20 win at #16 Notre Dame was a “program win.” They haven’t been playing at the highest level of college football for very long, so beating the most storied program in the entire sport, at their place, is quite a feat.

“We talked about what a great challenge this was for us coming in here as a young program being that only 13 years ago we didn’t own a pair of cleats or a helmet or football at South Florida,” Skip Holtz told the media after the game.

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#16 Notre Dame Loses Long and Bizarre Opener to South Florida

Leprechaun Logo

Murphy’s law is an epigram typically stated as: “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” And it pretty much summed up the season opener for the #16 Notre Dame Fighting Irish, as they dropped a 23-20 decision to the South Florida Bulls. USF came in ten point underdogs, despite being a Big East conference favorite by many college football experts.

I guess it’s fitting that a law with an Irish name was in effect for a team nicknamed the Irish. Here are just a few things that went wrong for ND: they turned it over three times inside the USF five yard line; finished the game -5 in turnover differential, had -2 punt return yards, entered the red zone six times, but scored just twice, their kicker who had a perfect season last fall missed a chip shot field goal, and the loss came despite perfectly doubling their opponent yardage (508-254).

However, in spite of all that; the weather was the real story.

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College Football 77 in 77: #41 South Florida Bulls

south florida sun dolls

Wow the Big East is one broke conference in college football. Metaphorically speaking, not financially of course. The South Florida Bulls are a solid team; as are the West Virginia Mountaineers. And they’re the only two teams in conference that have a chance of cracking the national rankings this year. Everyone else is kind of….uhhhh….Last year’s UConn BcS appearance gave us the worst team in BcS history.

Maybe the Bulls can make an appearance this year? And perform much better than the Huskies did. Since joining the conference in 2005, USF has made use of the top-level recruiting area right in their backyard. With six straight bowl bids (one of just four programs nationally to win their last three postseason appearances) they have a lighter version of the early 1980s Miami Hurricanes thing going on right.

Indeed, they are mid-majors no more.

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