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Orlando media says USF is part of Big 4, ucIf is not


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http://whitwatson.sunsportstv.com/2007/09/welcome-to-party.html

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Welcome To The PartyOn behalf of the Committee -- which is pretty much just me -- it is my pleasure to welcome the University of South Florida's football program into the Big Four.

Granted, we were banking on a Big Five. That day may still come. The University of Central Florida -- aptly located in Orlando, which is indeed central Florida, as opposed to USF, which is in Tampa, and could therefore never be confused with "south Florida" -- was and remains the final piece of this theoretical puzzle. UCF, despite its inexplicable step backwards last season after a bowl trip two years ago, remains alive in this race for a Big Five thanks to a season-opening win over North Carolina State on the road. But UCF didn't beat Auburn.

USF did.

Not only did USF beat Auburn, the Bulls did it on the road, at night, on national freaking television, in overtime. They preceded this win with a victory over West Virginia last year, and with a win over Louisville the year before. You're in. The Committee is mildly concerned about the fact that USF has never won its own conference title, but then The Committee realized that Miami has never won the ACC, either. For that matter, the Hurricanes have failed to reach the ACC Championship Game thus far, which places them one step behind UCF in that regard. The Knights at least played for the Conference USA title two years ago.

But never mind that. We're talking about the University of South Florida, the one in Tampa. The newest member of the Big Four.

Look, Miami just got smoked by Oklahoma. Florida State had to dig deep to beat the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Florida -- Florida, for gawdsake -- gave up 17 unanswered in the third quarter against Troy at the Swamp. The bottom line is the bottom line.

Is there any team in the state of Florida not currently considered a "Big" program that has a better claim to membership than USF?

Enough already. The past is history. Don't bore me with tales of how great you used to be -- tell me instead what you have done for me lately. South Florida just beat Auburn. Anybody else got anything better than that?

Didn't think so.

Welcome to the party, Coach Jim Leavitt. You deserve it. You've been wooed by Lord knows how many elite programs over the last few years -- Alabama and Kansas State among them, if we are to believe the message boards -- and yet, you stayed. You had a vision, or at least, a feeling. You figured that something special might be brewing at this commuter school in a top-10 media market, the one that some of its own alumni refer to as "Drive-Thru U." You stayed in Tampa, because you grew up in Tampa, and because you saw the value in being a big fish in an untapped pond, one with over 34,000 undergrads and over 200,000 alumni living in all 50 states.

You saw an opportunity to play in an NFL stadium, something that never hurt Southern Cal back when Los Angeles still had pro football, something that mighty Miami will try next year in lieu of the decrepit Orange Bowl. You knew you had a rich vein of Florida high school talent from which to draw, and you carpe'd that diem to the tune of a staggering 90 players, walk-on and scholarship, from right here in the Sunshine State. You recognized the commitment from your university, the often politically incorrect willingness to raise money and cheerlead and build facilities and retain staff, the drive among your employers to make USF -- USF, for gawdsake -- into a legitimate football contender. So you stayed.

For over ten years, you stayed. The first football coach in USF history, and the only football coach in USF history. You came to USF the same year that Alvin Wyatt returned to coach at his alma mater, Bethune-Cookman. Together, you two are the second-longest tenured head football coaches at Florida schools.

Number one? Bobby Bowden, of course. He's got a statue on the outside of Doak S. Campbell Stadium, and a field named for him on the inside. When you get to 32 years, Coach Leavitt, you should expect the same treatment.

We'll worry about that when we get there.

For now, welcome to the party. If any of those Gators, Seminoles, or Hurricanes give you any guff about including your program in the Big Four, point to the scoreboard. In the case of Miami, you've got them on your schedule for five years starting in '09, so there's your chance to take care of business directly. You're also playing Florida in 2010 and 2015. In the meantime, a Big East title, and the BCS bowl berth that follows, would make an even more compelling argument in your favor.

And for those UCF Knights that wish to make it a true "Big Five" -- well, The Committee will be happy to process your application this Saturday night, provided you open your new on-campus stadium appropriately. Yeah, I know, it's Texas. But it can be done.

You don't have to go very far to find the proof. About 90 miles west, in fact.

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Yeah, he said similar on his show about USF being in the Big 4 and many on the show agreed we're the second best team in the state right now.  Also, they passed on props to the USF Fans that traveled en masse to Auburn.

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I didn't really like the article...he took a few cheap shots at us.  The article would have been nice without those.

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I didn't really like the article...he took a few cheap shots at us.  The article would have been nice without those.

I was thinking the same thing

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I didn't really like the article...he took a few cheap shots at us.  The article would have been nice without those.

Plus, I hope he wasn't intimating by his second to last paragraph that if UCF beats Texas they suddenly reach USF status ..... That's bogus.

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I didn't really like the article...he took a few cheap shots at us.  The article would have been nice without those.

Plus, I hope he wasn't intimating by his second to last paragraph that if UCF beats Texas they suddenly reach USF status ..... That's bogus.

It's an Orlando paper.  He said they would process the application.  I think it would be denied unless they beat us as well, at least.  They need some hope when he's anointing USF to the big 4.

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usf is better than fsu and miami at this point in time

usf is #2 in state

Wow.

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smazza, didn't you make a bunch of comments well before the game like:

the game will be won in the trenches

it would be nice if we kept it close to the third quarter

if we win i will admit i am wrong about how good this team is (or something like that)

i think you should explicity state that you were wrong and we were right. granted you said we are 2nd in the state but those other programs aren't very good right now

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I didn't really like the article...he took a few cheap shots at us.  The article would have been nice without those.

What a schmuck...Sounds to me like someone is a little jealous of our accomplishments.  We [bulls Country] knows what the record states. All I have to say is, we'll [bulls Country] keep doing what we have been doing and be more successful than ever this year.

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