Bulls picked to finish seventh in new conference

The USF football team was given news that didn’t seem all that shocking at the Big East Conference Media Day on Tuesday. The Bulls were picked to finish seventh out of the eight teams making up the relatively new conference in 2005.

Just below USF, which finished last season with a 4-7 record, was Cincinnati (7-5) which ended up beating the Bulls 45-23 on Nov. 20 at Nippert Stadium.

The remaining six teams, ranked in order from first to sixth, are Louisville (11-1), Pittsburgh (8-4), West Virginia (8-4) Syracuse (6-6), UConn (8-4) and Rutgers (4-7).

The Bulls return 17 starters from last season — eight on offense, including Andre Hall coming off a record- breaking rushing season with 1,357 yards, and nine on defense, including a healthy Johnnie Jones at safety — but the 4-7 finish, the blowouts to UAB (45-20), ECU (41-17), Cincinnati, Memphis (31-15), Pittsburgh (43-14) and USC (34-3) apparently didn’t help.

Louisville received 23 out of 24 first place votes, while Pittsburgh nabbed the one elusive vote from the Cardinals.

Women’s golfers win academic honor

USF women’s golfers Daniella Ronderos, Fernanda Rivera and Christina Jones have all been named to the National Golf Coaches Association All-Scholar Team.

The honor is presented to intercollegiate golfers who maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 and compete in at least 2/3 of the team’s tournaments.

Ronderos, a Columbian sophomore who is majoring in international business, had six top-10 finishes in her 10 tournaments last season, led the team with a 75.6 stroke average and also earned first team all-conference honors.

Rivera, a junior from Puebla, Mexico, who is majoring in business, played in eight tournaments, finished the season with a 78.3 stroke average, while her best finish was fourth place in the Beacon Woods Invitational.

Jones, a freshman from Jensen Beach, Fla., finished third in the Conference USA Championship and was named the C-USA Freshman of the Year. She had four top-10 finishes in 10 tournaments and averaged 77.5 strokes. Jones is also a business major.

The three golfers helped USF women’s golf team earn an entry in the 2005 NCAA Central Regional.