Saturday, November 15, 2008

USF looks to improve Bowl Ranking against Rutgers

By JC De La Torre

Barring a historic collapse of the five teams ahead of them in the Big East, the South Florida Bulls (6-3, 1-3)will not be BCS bowling this year. No, the Bulls right now are in New Years Day mode, trying to improve their record and status with bowl folks so they can play on New Years and not in the St. Pete "So Bad We Have No Sponsor" or Pappa Johns Bowls that are shown on ESPN and only draftniks or college football fanatics watch.

How the Bulls got to this point is a sordid tale of lack of defense, playing down to their competition, overconfidence, and just poor play overall. Quarterback Matt Grothe was supposed to supplant Florida QB Tim Tebow as THE QB in the state - but has hardly been that. Battling injuries and poor decision making through out the year Grothe has thrown for 2070 yds, 14 touchdowns and 8 ints (5 which have come in the last two losses). Surely, not terrible numbers but hardly the Heisman trophy level some fans unrealistically thought they would see.

Its not just Grothe, though, as the Wide Receiving core has done their share with bad drops at crucial times and the defense has been unspectacular, getting off to slow starts in their three losses and forcing the Bulls to abandon their game plan to rally. Undiscplined penalties and turnovers have made the Bulls seem like the Tampa Bay Lightning of college football.

South Florida rolled into Big East play a strong 5-0, including a big win against then top ten ranked Kansas. They've gone on to drop three of their last four games, all three to unranked schools.

The Bulls host Rutgers (4-5, 3-2) today trying to snap a two game skid. A victory would take them to 8-3 and may move them up a few notches in the Big East standings.

JC De La Torre is an author of Science Fiction/Fantasy and other realms of Speculative Fiction - check out his latest works at JC

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