Phil Steele: Bulls will win at least 10 games
Another day, another countdown update: Phil Steele, whose preseason magazines are a summer staple of supermarket newsracks, is counting down his top 40 teams in the nation. And if you weren't happy with USF being ranked No. 43 in another countdown last week, you'll be more agreeable with Steele, who has the Bulls ranked No. 26 in his preseason list.
The No. 26 ranking doesn't necessarily mesh with his "forecast," which seems to point much higher than "also receiving votes." He writes: "I'll call for them to have their first ever double digit win season in FBS play and highest ever finish in the post season rankings." Gotta think 10 wins puts them in the top 20 -- only 13 BCS conference teams won 10 or more games last year and all finished the year ranked 19th or higher.
A few interesting wrinkles in his depth chart -- he has former FSU tackle Daron Rose making it to campus and starting, alongside junior college transfers Carlos Savala and Jamar Bass. Two more juco newcomers, defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and linebacker Jaquian Williams, are also in his starting lineup.
-- USF coach Jim Leavitt has been invited to vote in the USA Today coaches' poll again this fall and will have a ballot again, according to USF football's page on Twitter. Speaking of which, add men's soccer coach George Kiefer to the growing list of Bulls coaches on Twitter.
-- Softball coach Ken Eriksen has been selected for another stint coaching Team USA this summer. Eriksen, who has worked extensively with the national team, will help select and train this year's team, which will play in two tournaments in July: the Canada Cup and in the World Cup of Softball in Oklahoma City