Trying to remain calm before the storm
For the USF football team to have any less distractions and play out a season without any extra adversity is probably impossible.
It’ll never be easy. It’s downright inconceivable.
At the beginning of the season, certain Web sites ranked the Bulls’ schedule as high as eighth hardest in the nation.
They, in essence, have faced four ranked teams: No. 12 Penn State, No. 6 Miami, then-No. 9 Louisville and, soon, No. 20 West Virginia.
No one said traveling nine years at the speed of light would be easy.
No one from any conference, especially the brand new Big East, did either.
So why is it that hurricanes seem out to get the Bay area?
The postponement of Saturday’s Homecoming game against the Mountaineers marks the second consecutive year a game has been affected by inclement weather.
I don’t want to say that’s as bad as what happened to the New Orleans Saints – the homeless and helpless – but this is the type of thing that kills momentum; the kind of thing that hurts worse than the loss to lowly Pittsburgh or the even lower Syracuse. (Yeah, that Carrier Dome is going to echo pretty loudly on Nov. 12.)
Last September, coach Jim Leavitt said he was glad his team didn’t face Pittsburgh to start off the season and got a non-conference 21-7 win over Tennessee Tech out of the way.
The game was rescheduled for a sooner-or-later game on Dec. 4 in which the Panthers ran away with an 11 a.m. debacle before sharing the Big East title with West Virginia. (Pittsburgh got theirs in the Fiesta Bowl; just ask Urban Meyer.)
Now it looks like an instant replay for the Bulls with the possibility of the Athletic Department announcing today that the game will be played on Dec. 3.
The Bulls, for all their hard work, don’t get off easy.
They have to dodge hurricanes – on the football field and off – and reschedule a script – their game plans – longer than Gettysburg’s.
It’s an unfair disadvantage on top of all the other things they have to worry about.
It’s tough to complain about this topic after everything Katrina did to people who don’t – or can’t afford to – give a damn about a football team in Florida, let alone football at all.
But weekends such as the one we are about to have break seasons beyond repair.
Just ask some fellow college peers.
Tulane: They don’t have a chance for the year. Their game with UCF may be rescheduled, but even the oh-so-wonderful Golden Knights will put down the Green Wave easily because they haven’t been able to get past Katrina and her stubbornness to ruin a great part of the country.
LSU: Already affected by two hurricanes – Katrina and Rita – the team suffered a loss Sept. 26 to Tennessee in a game where the Volunteers came back to win in overtime.
And the most outrageous stat probably unknown by many casual Bulls fans: The team has only played in three games in the rain. The third one happened just this year down in Miami.
What is it about Florida football that it has become so dangerous and rushed?
Games being pushed back like a top-heavy bookcase.
Teams playing home games away from home.
However, the Bulls had many things on the line this weekend: Homecoming; Big East dignity; a bowl bid.
Many things to overcome from here on, all while having to watch The Weather Channel more than any human can handle.
It’s never going to be easy.