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Top-Ranked Or Not, USF Is Big Time


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This is a pretty good article with lots of good points in it.  I like his perspective.

Top-Ranked Or Not, USF Is Big Time

By Rick Brown

When the University of South Florida started college football 11 years ago, the goal was simple: It wanted to build a big-time program. USF wanted to build a program that eventually would be mentioned in the conversation when people talk about the schools in Florida. USF wanted the talk to change from "The Big Three" to "The Big Four."

Despite losing its last two games, South Florida has made it to the big time.

Sure, critics will call USF a fraud that was finally found out. But there are a lot of things that have happened that say otherwise.

One, fans of opposing teams don't storm the field after beating a fraud.

Why do you think Georgia coach Mark Richt pushed and shoved his players to stop them from dancing at midfield after his team recently beat Vanderbilt? No offense, but Richt knew beating Vandy should not be a defining moment in a team's season.

Still, this has happened to South Florida not once, but twice, at Rutgers and again Saturday at Connecticut.

Two, there's a reason why USF games have high ratings on ESPN this season.

Fans want to see what this team is about. That's called respect, and you don't get respect if you're not big time.

Getting there and staying there, however, will be the true test of this program.

From beating its first Division I-A opponent to winning its first bowl game to climbing up to No. 2 in the BCS standings, South Florida's program has risen faster than the homemade rolls your grandmother bakes in the oven every Sunday.

When you do everything at a fast pace, is it any wonder when the climb ends, the fall seems even quicker?

If you haven't done something before, you can be told how to do it, but there is still doubt, still apprehension. It has to experienced firsthand to get a grasp of the situation.

South Florida has learned a lot this year. It learned about the joys of being on top and learned how to deal with both the accolades and distractions of being the team on top.

It learned how it is to be the team everyone wants to beat. USF now is a measuring stick for programs. That is big time.

Now, USF is learning how to deal with failure and disappointment.

All big-time schools go through it. Remember, Miami during its probation period? How about Florida pre-Spurrier and during the Ron Zook era? FSU has been dealing with disappointment since Chris Weinke took his social security check to the NFL.

What the Bulls have to do is continue to learn from these experiences and continue to grow. That is what big-time programs do.

There are a lot of sad people around the Tampa Bay area after USF's last two losses. That too is good because that means their expectations were not met.

You don't have lofty goals if you're just an average team. You don't sell out an NFL stadium if you're a fad.

USF is a big-time program. But a word of caution: Temple was once a member of the Big East and now look at that program.

If USF wants to remain big time, there has to be consistency and longevity.

That begins Saturday against Cincinnati.

http://www.theledger.com/article/20071029/COLUMNISTS0614/710290434/1341/SPORTS

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Until we're in the top 25 in merchandise sales or have at least one BCS bowl win I think it's ridiculous to call us big time. Anything else is just speculation and sel-gratification. While getting ranked has been huge, it's bound to happen when you're in a BCS conference, everyone in the Big East cept Syracuse has been ranked at some point this season now. We're making strides but so far we've been nothing but a spoiler unless we can finish this season out strong.

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We are the biggest of the new programs.

USF > Boise State

Yeah they had that great game vs. Oklahoma but... they are in freakin Boise. US Americans can't point to Boise on a map.

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We could still have one helluva season...  I'm ok with 10 - 2 . 

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everyone in the Big East cept Syracuse has been ranked at some point this season now.

Pitt hasn't been ranked either.

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Pitt hasn't been ranked either.

I stand corrected. I still feel we haven't seperated ourselves from the other 'surprise' teams this season. If we finish out we look good but Boston College didn't fall on the road like we did and UCONN hasn't lost like they were supposed to to better teams. The few weeks of NC speculation were great for the fans but unless we capitalize on those moments in either recruiting this year or in making a run for the big game they're just footnotes in an unspectacular media guide. Not something you brag about.

That being said if we finish out we'll still look good and be in good position to make noise again next season.

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What a fantastic article.

Yeah, that's what I thought.  It's a good positive spin with all the negativity going on around here.

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I'm amazed that more of our fans do not see this.

This team is much better than the 2006 squad.

And there is no reason to think the 2008 team will be even better. Our recruiting will continue to get better. Our ratings have been great and this will lead to more ESPN games.

Most of our fans know how successful this season is so far. 4 More games to continue this successful season and show we belong in the Top 25.

We are 6-2 and ranked #18  :o

Go BULLS !!!

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