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Polls leave USF at the bottom of the rankings

South Florida football is predicted to finish ninth in the conference this season above Navy and Temple. USF ATHLETICS PHOTO

With the USF football season fast approaching, preseason polls are beginning to make their way to publication with South Florida predicted to do poorly.

Athlon Sports ranks USF No. 100 out of all DI-A teams and Lindy’s Sports has the Bulls as No. 102. This isn’t much different from how they ended last season — at the 101st spot.

The publications, along with Phil Steele’s predictions, expect the team to finish the season ninth out of 11 in the conference. At the end of the 2021 season, USF finished in 10th.

USF finished its 2021 season 2-10, only winning one conference game against Temple. Since coach Jeff Scott took over the program in 2020, the Bulls have only won three out of 18 games. In January, he received a contract renewal good through the 2026 season.

The team is currently projected to finish its season with a 4-8 record, but a lot needs to be done in order to meet that as well as hit an upward trend moving forward.

One of the issues USF currently has is the retention of players, with 20 entering the transfer portal since the start of the 2021 season. If the program can’t retain its talent, it will constantly be looking to fill empty holes within its roster.

A repeating tale that was told in the 2021 season was the inconsistency throughout games as well. South Florida had the opportunity in a few games to claim a win, but could not play a whole game with persistent effort.

USF could have declared two more victories in its games against Tulsa (L, 32-31) and Central Florida (L,17-13) if they attempted to dominate through every quarter, especially in conference matchups that could have boosted their rankings.