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2007: Southern Florida, Right?


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USF
 

2007: Southern Florida, Right?

July 13, 2016

On Sept. 3, the Bulls will start their 20th season of football.  This summer we’ll take a look back at 20 moments, one for each season, including the “practice but no games” year of 1996.  These may not be the biggest moments in USF history; they may not even be moments where things went right for the Bulls.  But they help define the program, remind us where the time has gone, and show how our Bulls have progressed as season 20 gets closer and closer.

20 Seasons, 20 Memories: 12th Edition (2007)

Story Archive

First Edition (1996)

Second Edition (1997)

Third Edition (1998)

Fourth Edition (1999)

Fifth Edition (2000)

Sixth Edition (2001)

Seventh Edition (2002)

Eighth Edition (2003)

Ninth Edition (2004)

10th Edition (2005)

11th Edition (2006)

 

 

By JIM LOUK

Voice of the Bulls

TAMPA, JULY 13, 2016 – No. 2 in the nation.

People saying we should be No. 1.

The skunks in the BCS Garden.

64-12 over UCF.

6-0.

Illegal forward propulsion. (Has any human being other than angry Bulls fans used those words in that order since 2007)?

Cincinnati scoring 31 on us in the first quarter.

Oregon putting up 56, while playing their 117th-string quarterback.

Nearly a decade later and it still wears me out to think about that year.  Four years removed from it, I tried to summarize it all for this website.  Looking back at that article, I think all of the facts are right, but it still doesn’t capture the highs, the lows, the pride, the outright joy, and the frustration of the 122 days that made up the 2007 USF Football season.  I wouldn’t change it for the world.  But I think I’m glad not every year is like it. Read about the 2007 Bulls HERE.

I touched briefly in the 2011 article about how a good portion of the college football world thought about the University of South Florida being No. 2 in the nation midway through the season.

Most people didn’t like it very much. Didn’t know us, didn’t know the league, didn’t respect our schedule. No business being ranked that highly.  Only been playing 10 years. Don’t know what to make of these guys.  Southern Florida, right?  Bulldogs?

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In the new Athletics building (now the Lee Roy Selmon Center), we just laughed about that. We knew the team was good and we knew the league was good. We were having a great time. I remember walking through the halls that special week and greeting co-workers by saying “We’re the No. 2 team in the nation.” Nobody needed to be reminded of that. It was just really, really fun to say it out loud. And as I’ve often said, however emotional you are about a team, a game, or a season, magnify it 10 times to understand how the players and coaches feel. What a joy it was for them.

The highs were high and the lows were low. Keep your hands and feet inside the vehicle as we look at the week-by-week USF Associated Press rankings for Sept. 8 through Nov. 24, 2007. 

Unranked

23

18

6

5

2

11

20

Unranked

Unranked

23

I can tell you for a fact that whether it was No. 2, unranked, or anywhere in between, I was pretty proud to be associated with that team. And yes, they were worthy of that No. 2 ranking. You go 6-0 with wins over Auburn, West Virginia and North Carolina and you deserve some respect, probably a little more than that team ultimately got.

Even though the bowl game was lost and there was a three-game losing streak, USF still won nine times. No Bulls team has matched that since.

The 2007 season creates a little of a dividing line between the Bulls’ faithful that were following the program then, and those that have come later.  There’s never been a season like it, and when it happens again, it will be different because it probably won’t be as completely out of the blue.  Whether you were a Bulls fan back then or not, enjoy the accomplishment.  There are programs that have been playing for 100 years that have never had a year like our Bulls did in 2007.

Not Southern Florida. Not the Bulldogs. As we turned the calendar to 2008, people certainly had learned our name.

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That was my senior year at USF -- what a send-off. Went to the Auburn game and the Sun Bowl -- they felt so different. I was scared but hopeful about the Auburn game - left the stadium feeling like I could take on the world. After the Sun Bowl, I felt tired from the roller coaster of a season. Didn't even make it to midnight (it was New Years Eve), went to bed early.

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Soph in 2007. I had never been to a USF football game until that year. It created a huge amount of pride for me and I ended up attending many sporting events thereafter and support the program since. That year cemented me as a USFer in a lot ways, even academically. What an epic time to be around.

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That was a great year and I still hate those calls in the Rutgers game.  There is no telling what would have happened if we won that game.

The skunk in the BCS garden quote inspired Mutt to make the graphic that I stole for my identity on this board.  I even bought some skunk hats that resembled a coonskin cap and wore one to the West Virginia game.  I still have some lying around somewhere in storage.

It is true that most college teams have never been ranked number 2 or higher in their history.  We were there for such a short time, but it was fun.  I hope we can get there again but stay a while and maybe even move up a notch.

Opportunity is so rare that I hope this year's team doesn't ever mail in a performance.  Each week is your only chance ever to win that game.

 

Go Bulls!

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On assignment in Anchorage AK that year. Still managed to find the Bulls playing on cable up there, and most people knew I was a Bulls fan. So when we hit #2, I was like a celebrity around our little squadron world. The squadron commander was from the same HS that Grothe came from, so he & I talked about that dream year. Great year but oh that Rutgers call...I could have melted all the snow in my back yard with my rage.:FIREdevil:

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That Rutgers loss probably saved my career. I was here, SP times, trib, and anywhere else that had any info on the Bulls while I should have been working. I was also "studying" for the professional engineer's exam in late October. I went to Auburn, WVU and many other games that year. The home game against WVU still gives me chills to think about.

Walking out of Auburn, a student grabbed me and said "good win, congrats" I said "thanks, I really wish we had this type of atmosphere every week", he replied "ha, I wish we had your football team". Little did I know that the WVU game would have an even better atmosphere and something that I don't know will ever return to a Bulls game. Electric, loud, crazy.

Anyway, we lost to Rutgers, I snapped out of my trance and actually studied for my test, got some work done and life goes on. I can still remember the exact moments in that 3-game skid that could have gone different and we could have been undefeated.

Rutgers - you know... the thing with the ref and the ball

Cincy - horrible game, I think all of our receivers were hurt, Grothe threw 46 INTs I think (maybe because receivers weren't in the right spot, but, who cares). We were on the 20ish at the end and he hit Carlton Mitchell in the end zone. Defender may have gotten a piece of it, but, 2-years later, Mitchell would have caught that one for the win. Just wasn't ready to do it as a freshman. Next play, Hester gets mugged, game over.

UConn - stupid naked bootleg

We had our chances in all of those games. God, if I could just wipe El Paso out of my memory forever! Oregon fans were cool though, at least the ones I encountered.

I'll always remember the feeling of that year, it was so captivating, so easy to get completely wrapped up in as a Bulls fan.

Edited by Orlando Bull
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