KB Posted July 15, 2008 Group: Member Topic Count: 0 Content Count: 3,596 Reputation: 181 Days Won: 2 Joined: 09/08/2004 Share Posted July 15, 2008 http://floridafb.blogspot.com/2008/07/bull-backlash-begins.html...even though I've been strapped with this magazine for the past 60 days, I've kept my eye on the internet and I've had the opportunity to digest what a lot of the state's fans of college and high school footbal are talking about.One thing that constantly intrigues me in the situation at USF. This program has been making the right decisions from the very beginning that allowed the program to surpass UCF and transform the big three into the big four. It's also the least talked about program in the state by the other major coaches. Bobby Bowden, Urban Meyer or Randy Shannon rarely talk about the Bulls. They don't want to acknowledge them as equals or competition.-- FSU hasn't scheduled the Bulls and it doesn't appear as if they will in the near future.-- Florida only has scheduled one game against the Bulls: Sept 11, 2010, which was pushed back from 2008 I believe.-- Miami, as they did with UCF, has been more receptive to the Bulls' overtures, signing a six-game deal with a 3-3 home split that is to be renewed next year and played during Thanksgiving week until 2014. I am hoping they play on Black Friday afternoon so I can watch them, catch a region playoff game that night and catch the annual FSU-Florida clash the next day. Yes that would rule.Well fans of the "Big 3" have always sort of dismissed the Bulls, brushing them off like cookie crumbs and treating them as if they were some directional school from the Midwest. But things have changed...yes things have changed..The Bulls are getting backlash.First, a day after their big Saturday rush of a couple of weeks ago, this thread popped up on Miami's popular Scout.com website. Typical homer fans, dismissing a school and the recruits that they get and ignoring the "UM-type" kids they've been recruiting that lost 48-0 to Virginia in their home finale. (Don't get mad at me Miami fans, I wasn't on the field)So fan backlash, no big deal, but webmaster backlash...different story. Warchant's Gene Williams is the most successful Rivals.com webmaster in the network. He's also a good guy that I have a good relationship with and in spite of his position as the head of Warchant and a die-hard supporter of all things FSU I've always found him to be very objective and honest about his opinions on FSU or otherwise.A few weeks ago he did a magazine review on Phil Steele's publication (always highly reccomended) and he took a few sentences to disagree with Steele's assessment on USF."At No. 1 he picks USF but I call Bull on this one. As soon as USF cracked the top five they suffered three straight setbacks including embarrassing losses to Connecticut and Cincinnati. Every year there is at least one Cinderella team that ESPN touts as a new football powerhouse when they win a few games and pull off a couple upsets, but nine times out of ten these teams are a in the pan. The Bulls return several players from last year's squad but my guess is that the magic won't return in 2008 and they will be slightly better than a .500 team."Whoa!That's pretty bold statement although the three losses are something to considered even though I wouldn't call any of the losses embarassing since Cincy and UConn were also bowl teams.Of course he, like the Miami fans, are probably sick of hearing people like me and Larry Blustein say that USF would have beaten FSU or Miami last year by at least a touchdown (there's no doubt in my mind that would have happened).There used to be a "Big 3" and that was that. UCF always knew their spot in the pecking order and even though they've matured as a program, it's been a slow maturation.USF, on the other hand, has hit everyone a little unprepared. Like the SNL skit, FSU and Miami fans have been blindsided while eating those "Big 3" sandwiches. And there's no reason to think USF won't continue to improve. Every recruiting class is being followed up by a better one and Jim Leavitt has established himself as one of the top coaches in the nation and one of the best at assembling staffs that fit his philosophy.So beware Bull fans, as your team gets better, the backlash will get louder and expand from the state to the rest of the region. That's the price of success and I'm sure it's a price USF fans are willing to pay.Labels: USF footballposted by Florida Football Magazine @ 4:40 PM Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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