More bashing of '09 USF football schedule
I've been saying this for months: Nationally, people aren't going to care about the circumstances that led to USF football having two I-AA opponents on its 2009 schedule. They won't know and probably won't care that USF had its schedule complete, with only one I-AA opponent, and then upgraded that schedule by trading a game with Indiana for one at Florida State before the whole mess started.
They're just going to see two I-AAs and rip the Bulls just like any other team in that position. Take Doug Smock of the Charleston (W.Va.) Gazette, who writes that he's pulling for Rutgers and USF to finish at 6-6, knowing that only one of their I-AA wins would count toward bowl eligibility, sending the Bulls home.
Again, if USF can only win six games with this schedule, I don't think you'll hear them pleading that the Bulls are bowl-worthy. At least USF has Florida State and Miami on the schedule -- the best two nonconference opponents on Rutgers' schedule are Maryland and Army, and Army went 3-9 last year, including wins against Tulane (2-10) and Eastern Michigan (3-9).
I'm going to be very curious to see how Jim Leavitt handles questions about his schedule at the preseason media gatherings -- will he take a shot at Rutgers, which plucked a I-A opponent directly off USF's schedule and still has two I-AAs coming to New Jersey this fall? He might wait until after the Rutgers game, but I wouldn't be surprised if he says something then.