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Question No. 9 for USF Bulls: Can they pull off upset at Florida?

Posted Jul 29, 2010 by Scott Carter

Updated Jul 29, 2010 at 09:41 AM

One of USF’s strengths in recent seasons is that the Bulls have shown an ability to charge out of the gate fast. USF is the only Division I team in the nation to start each of the past three seasons 5-0.

In 2007, the fast start gained USF national notoriety when the Bulls climbed to No. 2 in the polls. In 2008, USF knocked off UCF in overtime and won a thriller against Kansas early in the season. And last season, a historic win at Florida State highlighted the Bulls’ early season success.

To serve as an official countdown to the start of football season here in out little corner of the blogosphere, I’m throwing out the 10 most important questions the Bulls face heading into the season.

USF opens practice Aug. 6. You can check out the blog each morning for the latest question. After I give my take, I’d like to hear what your take is on the question of the day.

With that said, let’s take a look today at Question No. 9: Can the Bulls upset Florida to have chance at another 5-0 start?

First-year coach Skip Holtz sure hopes so. If the Bulls start 5-0 this season, Holtz will likely receive an automatic raise and a lifetime pass to Busch Gardens. That’s because USF’s second game is in The Swamp in the first game in school history against Florida.

While last season’s win at FSU was meaningful, beating the Gators in Gainesville would be the biggest win in school history hands down and might even prompt a sellout at Raymond James Stadium on Sept. 25 when USF hosts Western Kentucky – USF’s next game following its trip to Florida.

While the Bulls will be double-digit underdogs at Florida, they should have a strong chance to get off to another quick start with their first five games, in order: vs. Division I-AA Stony Brook, at Florida, and then three consecutive home games against Western Kentucky, Florida Atlantic and Syracuse.

After that, the schedule gets more difficult starting with back-to-back Big East games at West Virginia and Cincinnati.

With a fourth consecutive 5-0 start unlikely with that Florida game looming, a quick start will be important as Holtz tries to place his stamp on the program and mold a young team. However, with four of the first five games at Raymond James Stadium, the Bulls appear in position to kick off Holtz’s first season with more wins than losses.

What’s your take? Do you see any potential losses in USF’s first five games other than at Florida?