Four seasons ago, the University of South Florida took a huge step, a step up the rankings that has now earned them a bit of respect. The climb actually took them to a no. 2 ranking in the BCS and a distinction that they had never been labeled with before; a contender. Even with all of the success, the Bulls have yet to hurdle their conference rivals and earn a trip to a BCS game. Each Bulls season seems to be a repeat of the last, which is heartbreaking because each team is also better than the last. The game plan seems to stay the same, start the year off with a huge win against a ranked opponent, then enter Big East play and forget how to play ball. In 2007, the Bulls defeated no. 17 Auburn and no. 5 West Virginia only to finish 4-3 in the Big East. In 2008, the Bulls defeated no. 13 Kansas only to finish 2-5 in the Big East. In 2009, it was no. 18 Florida State, the Bulls closed out that season 3-4 in the Big East. 2010 was the exception with the Bulls losing to no. 8 Florida, but the Big East did not seem to follow as the Bulls finished 3-4. What is it about the Big East that seems to give the Bulls so much trouble?
Here are some not so fun facts:
- The Bulls are a combined 3-8 in November/December games for the last three years.
- USF is 2-6 in away cold weather November/December games in the last three years.
- Last season was the first year since 2006 that the Bulls had a better record in their final six games than the first six games.
- Leaving once pathetic Syracuse out of the equation, USF went 3-12 in Big East play under Jim Levitt
- USF has never won their first two Big East games.
Now it is 2011, the Bulls have once again pulled off an upset defeating no. 16 Notre Dame in South Bend, but what does that mean for their Big East chances. Well, their schedule will help. The Bulls only have one away game in the cold, November 5th when they travel to Piscataway to play Rutgers. The other five games are either at home or indoors. The Bulls start their quest for their first Big East championship tonight against Pittsburgh. My key to the game is keeping the offense on the field and extending drives. B.J Daniels is having an incredible start to the season, his quarterback rating is a staggering 158.4. Daniels has thrown for over 1000 yards, tossed eight touchdown passes, ran in two and his most impressive statistic, only one interception. That is the type of performance the Bulls will need out of him game in and game out if they want to capture their first ever Big East championship. Game time is set for 8 pm in Pittsburgh on ESPN.