SI preview has Bulls headed to Birmingham
We told you Wednesday that Sports Illustrated's college football preview has USF ranked No. 21 in the nation. The preview issue arrived in Thursday's mail, and it's hardly all rosy optimism for the Bulls.
The magazine does have USF ranked 21st, same as the preseason USA Today coaches poll, but it's muted praise for the Bulls. SI's bowl projections have USF going to the Papajohns.com Bowl in Birmingham, Ala. -- the sound you hear is thousands of fans groaning and I haven't even mentioned that Bulls' projected opponent is ... Troy. What's more, SI projects another year of massive parity in the Big East, with West Virginia winning the league with a 5-2 mark, with USF as one of four teams tied for second with a 4-3 league record. So the same magazine that thinks USF is No. 21 nationally has USF going 8-4 in the regular season.
Other projections? SI has Florida going 10-2 and finishing second in the SEC East behind Georgia, going to the Sugar Bowl against Oklahoma; Florida State goes 7-5 and plays Illinois in the Champs Bowl; Miami also goes 7-5 and plays Cal in the Emerald Bowl, and UCF goes 7-5 and meets Rutgers in the inaugural St. Petersburg Bowl. (I think organizers would gladly take that matchup for the first game ...)
-- I know why you guys aren't dropping in comments. You're voting your thumbs off on the ESPN.com helmet clash. There's more than 118,000 ballots cast online, with Florida State pulling ahead slightly in the past hour ... 45 minutes to go, FSU has 50.6 percent of the balloting ...