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Athlon has Bulls headed to ... bowl formerly known as the Motor City Bowl

Posted May 26, 2010 by Scott Carter

Updated May 26, 2010 at 05:21 PM

The season opener against those mighty Seawolves from Stony Brook University is still more than three months away, but it’s never too early to talk about football season, right?

The folks at Athlon Magazine don’t think so. Athlon’s preseason college football issue is on store shelves around town, and while Skip Holtz’s hiring at USF has boosted enthusiam for USF football among the locals, Athlon isn’t as kind to the Bulls.

Athlon has USF finishing 6-6 and facing Temple in the Little Caesars Bowl—tickets are still available according to my Tribune colleague Joey Johnston.

As for the Big East race, Athlon picks the Bulls to finish sixth in the conference and 45th nationally.

Quoting from the summary: “Skip Holtz was a terrific hire and should have the Bulls in contention for a Big East title sooner rather than later. The success of the offense hinges on quarterback B.J. Daniels, who must stay healthy with no proven depth behind him. There are significant losses at each defensive level, most notably defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. The Bulls catch a break with four conference home games, and if everything comes together, finishing in the top half of the league isn’t out of the question. However, USF is likely a year away.’‘

Big East picks from Athlon

1. Pittsburgh
2. Connecticut
3. West Virginia
4. Rutgers
5. Cincinnati
6. USF
7. Syracuse
8. Louisville

OK, we’ve only got about 100 more days to debate this topic before the season opener, so let’s get started. Give me your conference predictions in order of finish.

Oh, and by the way, the Little Caesars Bowl is Dec. 26 in Detroit in case Athlon is right.

Reader Comments

Por (Brian) on May 26, 2010 (Suggest removal)

1. UConn (Hardest working team in the BE)
2. WVU (Noel Devine and improved defense)
3. Pitt (Will have QB issues all year)
4. USF (Discipline and improved special teams)
5. RU (Will get everyone’s best game)
6. Louisville (Much improved)
7. SU (Long way to go)

Suggest removal

Por (Scott Carter) on May 26, 2010 (Suggest removal)

Brian, if you sneak Cincinnati in there somewhere, your picks sound about right to me.

Suggest removal

Por (Brian) on May 26, 2010 (Suggest removal)

Oops.  I don’t build my lists top to bottom or bottom to top.  Just work a little on the top and a little on the bottom. . . . and fill in the middle last.

Such a strategy makes it easy to leave a team out altogether.


1. UConn (Hardest working team in the BE)
2. WVU (Noel Devine and improved defense)
3. Pitt (Will have QB issues all year)
4. Cincy (hard to predict, could finish anywhere from 2nd to 6th)
5. USF (Discipline and improved special teams)
6. RU (Will get everyone’s best game)
7. Louisville (Much improved)
8. SU (Long way to go)

Suggest removal

Por (Hector Jimenez) on May 27, 2010 (Suggest removal)

1. PITT (run game too strong - will take pressure off QB)
2. UConn (big heavies up front, toughest team in league)
3. UC (great talent but Butch Jones is no Brian Kelly)
4. WVU (will defense improve enough to help one-dimensional offense)
5. USF (good offense but defense, unlike in the past, cannot be counted on this season)
6. RU (soft OCC schedule will hurt them against conference)
7. UofL (change in leadership will make every game a possibility…at least for a while)
8. SU (not enough depth)

Suggest removal

Por (Don G) on May 29, 2010 (Suggest removal)

Basic perception about 2010 USF team is probably pretty close.  Yeah, 6-6 season is a good bet, but with 4 home games and the normal one big game where Bulls play out of their minds, 7-5 is likely.  Anything less than 6-6 will not bode well for Holtz.  Of course, 6-6 or 7-5 hinges on whether Daniels can stay healthy.  If Daniels is injuried, then that changes everything.  It’s apparent that Leavitt and staff didn’t get the job done for having an adequate backup at QB for this coming season.  Maybe they knew it would just be a rebuilding year? Developing a solid running game will be huge this year.

Suggest removal

Por (KoozeeKingdom) on June 03, 2010 (Suggest removal)

Brace yourselves for a rough season.  USF will finish 4-8…5-7 with some lucky bounces.  Only one or possibly two Big East wins this year.

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