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Should Bulls still be in the hunt?



Should USF still have national title hopes? The Bulls were generally written off after Thursday’s 30-27 loss to then-unranked Rutgers. Even if USF wins its remaining five games, it would certainly take more chaos atop the polls to get the Bulls, ranked 10th in the BCS standings, back into the top two. But you don’t have to go far to find a precedent: In the Week 8 Associated Press Top 25 last year, Florida was ranked ninth before winning the title; in 2003, LSU was ranked 10th in Week 8 and won the BCS.

Are upsets more likely in the second half of a season? You’d think rankings would be more likely to hold true as elite teams establish themselves, but last year, the opposite was true. In 2006, there were nine losses by Top 10 teams in the first eight weeks; there were twice as many (18) in the final five weeks and conference championship games and bowls. The Top 5 was even more volatile in the second half; only four Top 5 teams lost in the first eight weeks of ’06; after that came 10 such losses.

Losses by Top 10 teams (by weeks)

           1-4  5-8 9-12  13-

2006    5    4    10    8

2007    4   15    ?    ?

Losses by Top 5 teams (by weeks)

           1-4   5-8   9-12  13-

2006    2    2    6    4

2007    1    8    ?    ?

[Last modified: Thursday, May 27, 2010 11:45am]


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