Links: USF football season previews all over ...
To help get through the long slog of summer for college football fans, many sites have taken to those one-a-day countdowns from 120 clear to No. 1, and it's getting to be that time of summer when USF starts checking in on those previews.
Where should USF check in? My initial guess was somewhere in the low 40s, given the significant losses the Bulls have taken on defense. (CBS Sports put them No. 44 in its final 2009 rankings.) I have to turn in my ballot in the next day or two for the Big East's preseason media poll, and this is easily the toughest to figure out from top to bottom. Having tossed out that tease, I'll get to the links of where other summer countdowns have the Bulls ...
-- Rivals.com has the Bulls at No. 45, with a good writeup from writer David Fox. He correctly points out the defensive holes to fill and the inconsistency that has plagued USF in recent years. Their countdown has USF sixth in the Big East (Syracuse is 85, Louisville 91) and ahead of two other opponents, Florida Atlantic (81) and Western Kentucky (120).
-- The Sporting News is only at No. 59, but they'll have USF at No. 52 -- that's five spots lower than Central Florida. Again, that's sixth in the Big East, with Cincinnati (41) and Rutgers (44) the closest ahead of the Bulls.
-- The Orlando Sentinel is ambitiously doing its own countdown, and just unveiled USF at No. 58 -- they haven't gotten to UCF yet, either. Iliana Limon has a good writeup, pointing out the depth issues at running back and wide receiver. Using the Sentinel's rankings, five of UCF's seven wins against I-A teams last year came against teams ranking 84th or lower (Marshall, UAB, Buffalo, Rice, Memphis) with a sixth in No. 66 Tulane.
-- The New York Times' Quad blog has done a similar countdown in summers past, and they're having Paul Myerberg start the countdown at Pre-Snap Read -- he hasn't gotten to USF yet and are at No. 59, with Syracuse (80) and Louisville (84) the only Big East teams accounted for.
-- And, yes, Bleacher Report checks in, with a feature titled "43 BCS Teams that Won't Win Conference Titles in 2010." We learn that "Matt Groethe" is gone, but the good news is that Mike Ford returns, apparently. (He's not. Don't mean to get you excited. They just don't know what they're writing about.)