Bulls picked fourth in Big East preseason poll
USF has been picked to finish fourth in the Big East preseason media football poll, getting three first-place votes but ranking below Pittsburgh, West Virginia and Cincinnati.
The Bulls, who were picked second a year ago but finished 2-5 in conference play, are one of four teams to get first-place votes, a first since USF joined the league in 2005.
Pittsburgh is the pick to win the league, getting eight first-place votes, just 10 vote-points ahead of West Virginia, which got five first-place votes. Defending champion Cincinnati, despite losing 10 starters on defense, was picked third, matching Pittsburgh's eight first-place votes.
Rutgers came in fifth, just four points behind USF, with Connecticut, Louisville and Syracuse rounding out the projected standings. What do you think of the rankings?
1. Pittsburgh (8) 161
2. West Virginia (5) 151
3. Cincinnati (8) 144
4. USF (3) 130
5. Rutgers 126
6. UConn 74
7. Louisville 51
8. Syracuse 26
-- 10:30 a.m. update ... We'll have notes from correspondent Mike Shalin in the next few hours. USF's players have worn polos in past trips to Newport, but Matt Grothe and George Selvie are both in suits today. Here are Twitpics of Matt and George from folks in Rhode Island ... Jim Leavitt, too.
-- ESPN.com is suggesting a new elite tier for college football, with only 40 teams in a new Division I-A. Does USF make the cut? ESPN.com columnists are "drafting" 40 programs at 1 p.m., but the fan balloting doesn't look good for the Bulls -- USF ranks 58th in those rankings ...