Even more links to read about USF-UCF
Just a lot of stuff being written on USF this week, so I have even more links. Enjoy ...
-- Lots of good coverage from the Orlando Sentinel this week, and columnist Mike Bianchi throws out a smart poll, asking UCF and USF fans to say who their closest rival is. As expected, 85 percent of UCF fans say it's USF (c'mon, Southern Miss?), while only 53 percent of USF fans pointed to UCF. Again, the timing makes this hardly scientific: Ask Bulls nation that question any other week of the year and I don't know if UCF even wins the balloting. Still, proves what it means to the two sides, relatively speaking.
-- ESPN.com's Jemele Hill, who's known USF since her Sentinel days, writes that rooting for the Bulls is as easy as "believing in Superman": "If you hate the BCS, and love America and playoff systems, buy a USF Bulls T-shirt and pray to whoever you pray to that they finish the season 12-0." Nice from a rah-rah standpoint, but can I get an e-mail from an angry Communist?
-- SI.com has its Midseason All-America team, and national sack leader George Selvie made it. Is Tim Tebow really still a Heisman candidate after two losses? And Stewart Mandel has USF No. 6 in his new power rankings. It's a few clicks before you get to UCF, which he has No. 64. Stew's picking UConn to knock off Virginia; I just don't see it. Ty Hildenbrandt is picking a UCF upset.
-- Speaking of picks, where better to turn for insights on this game than rural Oklahoma, where the Pryor Daily Times likes UCF, 24-21. The pick touts "a Central Florida team that almost beat Texas;" sorry, but that was in Orlando, in the stadium debut, against a Texas team that's lost twice and is now ranked 23rd, so I'm not sure that says as much as it did a month ago. Here's the logic: "Since they almost beat a lesser team at home, they should beat a higher-ranked team on the road."
-- Joe Starkey, writing a midseason Big East report for ESPN.com, points out that the league's top three teams are actually ranked higher than Louisville, West Virginia and Rutgers were this time last year. Smart observation.
-- I link to this Miami Herald story from last week just because I thought it was funny the paper had to write "Tampa school" in the headline so as not to confuse their readers in South Florida.
-- Just so the David Whitley column doesn't have you thinking it's all "go UCF" from the Sentinel this week, Tania Ganguli writes about how Orlando area high schools are disappointed UCF doesn't notice more of their kids. For what it's worth, USF doesn't exactly live off Orange County kids, either.
-- Good writeup in the Palm Beach Post on USF and recruiting, and I'm reminded of what a great quote Carl Franks is. He's off the Spurrier tree that way, but his years at Duke also taught him how to tactfully say unpleasant things in the right way. Here's his response on the Nick Saban mess, which he called "laughable":
"That was somebody making a statement that was very ill-informed and that didn't have facts in front of them," Franks said. "Every school has their own admission standards. I don't know how in the world that number six was thrown out. A lot of our guys weren't recruited by other schools and it had nothing to do with academics."
That reminds me: the list of 153 semifinalists for the Graddy Trophy, known as college football's academic Heisman, is out, and USF is one of three Big East schools that doesn't have a player on the list, along with Connecticut and Pittsburgh. No Florida, Florida State or Miami players; the only Florida schools represented were Central Florida and Florida Atlantic. Shockingly, no Alabama players, either.
-- Had two readers point me to a story in the AJC, headlined "Make that Florida's Big 5." That right there is why USF doesn't want to play UCF every year: being on the same field with them means being in the same breath with them, which is great publicity for a UCF team that just gave up 52 points to an East Carolina team that scored seven in a bowl loss to USF in December. UCF's three wins are against teams that are 2-12 against I-A opponents this year, but they're getting national headlines putting them in the same company with the No. 5 team in the country. Saturday's game could absolutely validate that, and it's why USF doesn't want more games like that.
-- Full disclosure: So as not to forget before Monday's deadline, I submitted my four votes for the Lombardi Award, which cuts to 12 semifinalists next week. My picks: USF's George Selvie, Ohio State linebacker James Laurinaitis, Michigan tackle Jake Long and LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey. As long as LSU's No. 1, Dorsey's taking that one home. Best player on best team is a tough combo to beat.
-- For you USF students reading this: USF will hold a Town Hall meeting on the student-ticket dispersement issue on Monday night at 7:30 in the Big East room of the athletic facility. My favorite line from USF's release: " Total answer time should not exceed 15 minutes per question." Yeah, I'm no Town Hall expert, but that's a good idea.