Although USF coach Jim Leavitt remains doubtful of the Bulls’ chances of getting an invitation to a bowl game, one person thinks the USF football team has what it takes.
Stewart Mandel of CNNSI.com posted his bowl predictions Tuesday, and the Bulls were among the 56 teams slotted to play in a bowl game. Mandel only considered teams with winning records for his predictions.
With only six teams from the Big 10 Conference currently at or above .500, Mandel picked the Bulls to fill the Motor City Bowl. The game, which takes place Dec. 26 in Detroit, pits the champion of the Mid-American Conference vs. the seventh-place team from the Big 10.
However, there’s a possibility that the Big 10 will have seven bowl-eligible teams.
Purdue is currently 4-5 with No. 3 Ohio State this week. But if the Boilermakers could defeat 3-6 Michigan State and 3-6 Indiana in their final two contests, they would be bowl eligible.
Both Michigan State and Indiana would have to run the table in their final three games to become bowl eligible.
Mandel is predicting that four bowls (San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Seattle and Motor City) won’t be able to fill one of their slots. Ironically, Mandel has USF slotted to play Bowling Green.
The Bulls and the No. 16 Falcons (8-0) meet Nov. 16 at Raymond James Stadium.
USF also is still ranked in ESPN.com’s Mid-Major Top 10.
The Bulls (6-2) are No. 7 in the ranking of teams not from BCS conferences.
USF women’s golf shines in Puerto Rico
The USF women’s golf team capped its fall season with its second spectacular outing in a row by winning the Pat Bradley Invitational Sunday.
The Bulls made their trip to Fajardo, Puerto Rico, more than a relaxing vacation by shooting an 899 through the three-round event to easily best Nebraska. The Cornhuskers fired a 920 during the three-day tournament, led by Sarah Sasse’s first-place finish.
Fany Schaeffer and Jill Crowe led the Bulls’ rout by sliding in behind Sasse at second and third. Schaeffer had the individual lead after two rounds, but her final-round 78 allowed Sasse to swoop in and take the crown with a 216.
Schaeffer wrapped up with a 220 on the Wyndham El Conquistador Resort course. Crowe was five back of Schaeffer with rounds of 72, 79 and 74.
Senior Katie Ruhe started off the tournament slowly with a first-round 80, but roared into a tie for sixth place with her final-round 71, the lowest score of the round.
Fellow senior Kelly Martin gave USF four top-10 finishers by sneaking into ninth with a 230.
USF’s next tournament is the Green Wave Invitational in February, which means the Bulls will have a tough time sustaining their momentum from the past month.
USF’s championship at the Pat Bradley was a fine follow-up to the Bulls’ runner-up finish as the host of the Beacon Woods Invitational Oct. 13, which was won by Tulane.
Bulls bank 10that the Beach
The USF’s men’s golf team concluded its fall campaign with a 10th-place finish at the Fall Beach Classic Tuesday.
The Bulls finished in a tie for the 10th position with Tulane at 871. The 13-team tourney in Gulf Shores, Ala., was won by the Kentucky Wildcats, who fired a 19-under-par 845 for the three-round tournament.
USF’s highest finisher was Ryan Shears, whose even-par 216 tied him for 27th.
The Bulls’ team finish was hurt by the decision not to include Jeremy Sims. The junior stroked a one-under-par 71 in the final round to finish in a tie for 30th.
However, since Sims was not picked as one of the Bulls’ five scorers, he competed in the tournament as an individual, meaning his total wasn’t calculated in the team score.
Sims had the second-best tally of any USF player. Sophomore Brad Quiri had the second-lowest total among the Bulls’ top five, shooting a three-round 218 for a 34th-place finish.
Gareth Maybin of host South Alabama won the individual title with a 12-under-par 204.
Contact Oracle Sports Editor Anthony Gagliano at firstname.lastname@example.org