USF falls nine spots in latest BCS rankings

Two weeks after premiering at No. 2 in the initial Bowl Championship Series rankings of 2007, consecutive conference losses have dropped the South Florida Bulls to No. 18 in the BCS rankings for this week.

The Associated Press Poll and the USA Today coaches’ poll have the Bulls ranked No. 20 and No. 21, respectively.

Following its 22-15 loss to Big East leader Connecticut, which jumped 10 spots to No. 13 this week, USF might have fallen out of the rankings completely had it not been for another week of upsets around the nation, a trend that has epitomized college football this season.

This weekend featured 10 losses by teams ranked in the BCS standings, including five upsets.

Ranked South Florida, Florida, Kentucky, Virginia and South Carolina teams all lost to lower- or unranked opponents, while Virginia Tech, Southern California, Penn State and California were all defeated by higher-ranked schools.

After a 42-30 loss to Georgia in Jacksonville, Florida dropped from No. 11 to No. 20 in the BCS rankings, placing them two spots below USF. The Bulls are still the highest-ranked team in the state.

Along with the high number of losses by ranked teams, the BCS computers’ fondness for South Florida helped the Bulls in this week’s rankings as well.

The computers, which calculate rankings for teams based on record and strength of schedule, have USF ranked No. 12, ahead of Missouri, Michigan, Hawaii, Texas, Auburn and Alabama, all of which are ranked higher than the Bulls in the BCS standings. The BCS standings are compiled by averaging the percent totals from the Harris Interactive and USA Today polls and the computer rankings.

Despite dropping eight spots in the rankings, the biggest hit the Bulls took Saturday was to its conference record.

After consecutive Big East losses to Rutgers and Connecticut, the Bulls are now tied with Syracuse and Pittsburgh for last in the conference. West Virginia helped USF with its 31-3 rout of the Scarlet Knights on Saturday, but after losing to the Huskies, the Bulls will need three more losses by Connecticut and one each by West Virginia and Rutgers to have a chance at winning the Big East Championship.