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Aloha: Lots of catching up to do ...



Sorry for the extended absence from the blog -- my wife and I were in Hawaii for nine days celebrating our 10th anniversary, so I've been out of the loop on all things USF for some time. Catching up now, so we'll have lots of notes in the next day or two to get caught up on loose ends and other things as USF gets ready for Saturday's game against Syracuse ...

-- Monday was the deadline for initial voting for the Lombardi Award, which honors the top lineman/linebacker in college football. This voting is used to name 12 semifinalists for the award, and I don't know that USF defensive end George Selvie, a semifinalist in 2007, will be among those 12. Selvie has been limited by injuries and his numbers are way down from last season, though he's faced consistent double-teams from opposing offenses. I have a ballot in the Lombardi voting, and did not include Selvie among my four nominees.

-- Speaking of awards, USF sophomore Carlton Mitchell is on the Watch List for the Biletnikoff Award, which honors college football's top receiver. I have a Biletnikoff ballot, and the watch list was sent to balloters late last week. Mitchell, who led the Bulls with 37 catches for 537 yards and four touchdowns last season, has had a slow start to his 2008 season, with 11 catches for 131 yards and one score in six games. If there should be a USF player on the list, it might be Jessie Hester, who leads the team with 25 catches and three touchdowns. In A.J. Love, Taurus Johnson and Hester, the Bulls have three of the Big East's top seven receivers in terms of receiving yards.

Florida, for the record, has four players on the Biletnikoff list -- Percy Harvin, Louis Murphy, Cornelius Ingram and Carl Moore -- though Ingram is out for the season with injury. FSU's Greg Carr and Preston Parker are also on the list, as are UCF's Rocky Ross and Kamar Aiken and Florida Atlantic's Cortez Gent and Jason Harmon. (Again, Harmon will miss the entire season with injury, so the list is largely compiled from 2007 stats.)

-- FIU has run off three straight wins since giving USF a scare in Miami last month, most recently a 31-21 win against Middle Tennessee State. The wins are against three teams who are a combined 4-14 this season. ... Speaking of state teams that played the Bulls close, UCF's only win against a I-A opponent is against 1-6 SMU, but the Knights played Miami close, losing 20-14 on the road despite mustering 78 yards of total offense. ... Even Tennessee-Martin, USF's opening opponent, is 5-2, its only loss coming in overtime to Tennessee State ... If you're still wondering about USF's strength of schedule, it'd get a considerable lift if Kansas can fare well at Oklahoma this weekend.

[Last modified: Thursday, May 27, 2010 1:02pm]


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