Bucs - Bulls = 4,241 actual fans
Perhaps you didn't see the quote in the Times' coverage of Sunday's Bucs win against the Falcons, but here's what Bucs rookie Aqib Talib, who watched the USF-Kansas game Friday from the Jayhawks sideline, had to say:
"It's tough to win in here," Talib said of the Kansas defeat. "South Florida has great fans. It might have been louder on Friday than it was out here today."
Turns out, there almost were more people at Raymond James Stadium to see the Bulls. The announced attendance for the Bucs game was 63,611, while the USF game was announced at 58,755. The actual turnstile numbers, according to the Tampa Sports Authority, are even closer: the Bucs had an actual attendance of 56,868, while the Bulls were at 52,627, for a difference of just 4,241.
Granted, it's a big game for USF with a ranked opponent in town, but should it be close if it's the Bucs' season home opener with a division opponent coming to Tampa? The two teams don't go head-to-head at home on the same weekend again until Oct. 18-19, when the Bulls play host to Syracuse and the Bucs play host to Seattle in prime time. There's one more shared weekend in November when USF has Rutgers on Nov. 16 and the Bucs get the Vikings the next day.
-- Even my dad is forwarding me college football stuff, like last week's top 25 slideshow from Foxsports.com. Get to USF at No. 19 and the comment is "For the second straight year, the Bulls are the second-best team in Florida, and for the second straight year, nobody cares."
-- The Sporting News' Matt Hayes has his new bowl projections, and he has USF in the Orange Bowl against Wake Forest. "There is little doubt now that USF is the team to beat in the Big East," he writes.
-- The Times' Tom Jones led with USF in his weekend "Shooting from the Lip" roundup of the week's action on TV. I wrote down the same Kirk Herbstreit quote he used as well ...
-- Got to stop by the pregame event Friday for the new USF Gridiron Alumni Association, which got a good turnout of former Bulls players to gather before the Kansas game. Lots of familiar faces there -- you'd barely recognize Lee Roy Selmon Jr., who has dropped about 100 pounds since his playing days four years ago and is now around 190. Selmon, who now works in sales in Tampa, was pleased with the turnout, knowing that several former Bulls couldn't be there because they're now high school coaches with other things to attend to on a Friday night. Organizers are trying to reach out to more former players, both for fundraising and to get as large a collection of Bulls as they can get. Friday's gathering had everyone from Huey Whittaker and DeAndrew Rubin to Kevin Verpaele, along with organizers Jason Malouf, Shawn Hay, Jay Mize and Otis Dixon.