This could get ugly, John.
Because I already know what you’re going to say.
Something along the lines of “USF beat Louisville really badly,” “the Bulls’ schedule is soft,” and possibly “the Big East is down.”
You’ll probably do something amateurish such as take me down the schedule, arguing that USF can beat this team and that team. With five games left, the Bulls will need more than your “unique observations” of Connecticut’s offensive line or your dissection of the Rutgers-USF matchup.
Here’s the problem: The Bulls are just not good on the road.
These seasoned, well-practiced, redshirted players, the ones Jim Leavitt saved just for this inaugural season in the Big East, lack the experience it takes to play on the road. For the last four years, including this season, the Bulls are 8-10 away from home.
But that doesn’t even matter. In fact, I’ll give you three out of five games. Now the Bulls are bowl eligible.
The Big East has ties to four bowls, the BCS, Gator, Meineke Car Care and the Insight.
The Bulls – possibly due to their short history – do not travel well. It’s hard work for the Bulls just to get 30,000 fans to Ray-Jay, so the Bulls would have to count on some national recognition. Keep in mind that most people outside of the Southeast didn’t even know that South Florida is in Tampa, and that was after the Louisville win. I’m convinced some still don’t know.
Unless the Bulls do something miraculous, such as win out, people will still think that a Ricky Ponton is a poorly-made boat, that the University of South Florida’s Andre Hall is a dormitory and that Julmiste is a brand of air freshener.
The lack of national attention leaves the Insight in Arizona out.
Perhaps before you make fun of Rutgers you should take a look at the records in the Big East.
Every team – with the exception of Syracuse (1-5) and Pittsburgh (3-4) – boasts a record of .500 or better. That means Rutgers (4-2), Connecticut (4-2) and Cincinnati (3-3) are in the same position, or an even better one, as the Bulls.
With the BCS grabbing WVU or Louisville, that leaves the Meineke Car Care or an at-large berth in other bowls.
The Motor City Bowl, which has a contractual obligation to take a Big East team if there is not a seventh bowl-eligible Big Ten team, was scouting the USF Pittsburgh game Saturday. I’m sure they were impressed by the way the Bulls played against the equally crummy Panthers.
If Pitt – with a 3-4 record – manages to get to 6-5, which team do you think the Motor City folks would rather have?
I hope the Bulls prove me wrong; I could use a vacation.