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San Francisco Chronicle: South Florida still getting overlooked


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South Florida still getting overlooked

Upset of Auburn not enough to earn Bulls Top 25 ranking

Jake Curtis

Monday, September 10, 2007

Maybe South Florida needs to hire some Madison Avenue guys to dress up its football image, because winning games does not seem to be enough.

The Tampa Tribune reported Sunday that South Florida's 26-23 overtime road victory over then-No. 17 Auburn "all but guaranteed USF of its first Associated Press ranking." But when the polls were released, the Bulls were not among the Top 25 in either the AP or the coaches' polls. In the coaches' poll, in fact, Auburn received more votes than South Florida.

So we begin our eight Rs with a short Retrospective of the underappreciated South Florida football program.

-- USF played its first football game in 1997, as a Division I-AA program. Just before kickoff of its initial game, it was discovered it had no kicking tee, prompting motorcycle police officers to rush to a nearby sporting-goods store to pick one up. The Bulls proceeded to beat Kentucky Wesleyan 80-3 in that opener, but the ESPN College Football Encyclopedia states Kentucky Wesleyan won that game.

-- In that first season 10 years ago, the Bulls had losses to The Citadel, Drake and Elon, the last by a score of 41-13.

-- South Florida lost to Hofstra in 1998 and again in 1999.

-- South Florida became a Division I-A program in 2001, and joined the Big East in 2005.

-- Jim Leavitt has been the Bulls' head coach from the beginning, and he rejected an offer to coach at Alabama in 2003 to stay at South Florida, his first head-coaching job.

-- South Florida has the ninth-largest student enrollment in the country and is located in Tampa, which is actually closer to Florida's northern border than its southern tip.

-- South Florida has won its last four games, including an upset of No. 7 West Virginia and a bowl win in its final two games last season.

-- South Florida beat Elon in its 2007 opener.

-- South Florida has not been ranked.

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I wonder if he was one the A/P writers that got to vote ?

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