Catching up: Links to wrap up summer reading
Football season, from a coverage standpoint, has nearly arrived. Blink, and it'll be Monday in Newport for Big East preseason media gathering, and then it will be next weekend, when the Bulls report for preseason camp. Then Vero Beach, then the start of classes and before you know it, USF will be kicking off with Chattanooga on Sept. 1.
So there's lots to get to -- positional previews, notes and we won't have a new roster until USF shares its football media guide in Newport on Tuesday morning. Cleaning out the laptop with a bunch of links this morning. ...
-- Fans are correctly concerned about USF's Week 2 game at Nevada, which screams trap game with Rutgers just five days later. Reinforcing the idea that the Wolf Pack will be a solid team, Nevada was picked second behind Boise State in the Mountain West preseason media poll. If you do the math on the poll voting, the intriguing thing to me is that someone out of the 30 voters picked Boise to finish third.
-- Less concern about Ball State, which was picked fourth out of six teams in its MAC division. Yes, Central Michigan was picked to finish last in its division, and yet still got a pick to win that same division. This reminds me that my AP top 25 preseason ballot is due on Aug. 8, so I welcome your suggestions on teams that might be overlooked or underappreciated. ...
-- No link, but the Times is hiring a correspondent to help with our USF coverage this fall. Congrats to correspondent Ian Lanphier for landing a job as a sports copy editor in Palm Beach -- we certainly wish him well. Anyone interested can shoot me an e-mail at email@example.com.
-- Lots of sites do the daily countdown from 124 to No. 1, but few as thoroughly as Paul Myerberg at Presnapread.com, which has USF at No. 47 in their countdown. Did a radio interview with a Nebraska station last night that had USF at No. 20 in their preseason rankings. Again, that's impressively high for a program that dropped seven of its last eight games.
-- More lists: Athlon Sports ranks its top 50 players in the Big East, which is super-subjective, but a good conversation piece. USF has seven players make the list -- Ryne Giddins, DeDe Lattimore, Mark Popek, B.J. Daniels, Kayvon Webster, Sam Barrington and Sterling Griffin.
-- We say this every year, but getting a spot on USF's 105-man roster for Vero Beach is a competitive selection process. Skip Holtz can expand his roster to 115 players on the first day of school, and if there are transfers who can't play in the upcoming season, he usually holds them until that first day. That should be the case for walk-on kicker Michael Hill from Oklahoma, as well as one of the new walk-ons this spring, running back Kyle Peck. Didn't realize this in spring, but Peck played last year at tiny North Greenville University, a Division II school in South Carolina. Put up good numbers there -- 252 yards and three scores, average of 5.7 yards per carry. He'll be eligible in 2013.