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2010: The More Things Change...

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2010: The More Things Change...

July 22, 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: 15th Edition (2010)

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)

12th Edition (2007)

13th Edition (2008)

14th Edition (2009)



Voice of the Bulls

TAMPA, JULY 22, 2016 – One day in the summer of 2010, I came back from lunch and found that one of the marketing people had placed a few of the brand new football schedule cards on my desk.

By that time Skip Holtz had been in the building for weeks, I had already interviewed him a few times and of course we had been through spring practices. But somehow that schedule card, with Coach Holtz looking at me from the cover, brought it all home.

No turning back. We had a new guy running the Bulls.


When a new coach takes over, a lot of things change.  Most times it’s not necessarily better or worse, it’s just different. Practice times are adjusted.  In my world, the coach’s radio show often changes, and interview schedules move around, too. Often for the staff, it’s the little routine things that add up to make a much different atmosphere. For the players, the adjustment is usually much more pronounced.

Skip Holtz lived up to his reputation right away; he was affable, intelligent, and easy to work with. He won the staff over pretty quickly, but the bigger task was on the field, where he inherited a veteran team that had been through quite a bit in the last few months.

As worried as some might have been about the transition, the tone seemed to be set against Stony Brook in the Sept. 4 opener. On the very first play from scrimmage of the new season, B.J. Daniels hit Dontavia Bogan for a 59-yard score. One play, one touchdown. Not a bad way to begin.

A look back at that 2010 season shows a lot of USF Football characteristics of the time still in place, even with a new coaching staff.  There were overtime wins (Louisville and Miami), mystifying losses (Syracuse), and another bowl game. Most telling of all, for the third consecutive year, the Bulls finished 8-5. It marked the fifth straight year the Bulls had won at least eight games.

But USF never hit the top 25 in 2010, and there wasn’t really the standard fast start (the Bulls were 3-3 after six games).

There was something that had eluded the Bulls in recent seasons; a strong second half. USF was 5-2 in its last seven games. When the Bulls finished up by beating Clemson in the Meineke Car Care Bowl on Dec. 31, 2010, it seemed like we had turned the corner, survived all the upheaval, and would just go on putting up winning seasons forever. We had six straight bowl appearances, four of them victories. 

What could stop us now?

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and now we can look back at 2010 and see some depth issues starting to pop up. When B.J. Daniels got hurt, we had to play a true freshman walk-on quarterback. But Bobby Eveld led us to a win at Miami, so we didn’t worry. A total of 19 seniors graduated that year; seniors who had won a combined 33 games in the last four years. But there were key players coming back, so we didn’t worry.

Clemson, Louisville, Miami, Rutgers, Cincinnati. They all lost to USF in 2010. 

Eight wins and a bowl again. We’d be right around that in 2011, too. Nearly all the preseason publications said so.

We were still OK. And we’d continue to be, even for a short while after tragedy struck in 2011.  

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It was hard not sitting in the stadium and watching the product on the field.  Remember how close we were to being good?  We seem to get closer every week according to the head coach at the time.  Don't recall his name. 

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24 minutes ago, mark_my_words said:

It was hard not sitting in the stadium and watching the product on the field.  Remember how close we were to being good?  We seem to get closer every week according to the head coach at the time.  Don't recall his name. 


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Man, those two seasons in 2010 & 2011...I don't think I've ever seen so many losses by a touchdown or less. As heartbreaking as all that was, at least it wasn't ball-breaking like losing to McNeese would be just a couple years later. Happy Friday.

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