SI Preview: USF No. 25, Meineke-bound
Just about all the college football previews are out now, but Sports Illustrated's preview issue hits newstands and mailboxes today, with more high expectations for the Bulls. It's all online here.
USF is 25th in the magazine's 1-119 rankings of all Division I-A teams, picked to finish fourth in the Big East, with an 8-4 record, 4-3 in conference play. And -- try to rein in your excitement, Bulls fans -- the magazine predicts USF will return to the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte, N.C., to play Wake Forest.
SI thinks highly of the Big East, ranking West Virginia fourth, Louisville fifth and Rutgers 12th. They tab the Bulls as the league's "sleeper" team, saying "Coach Jim Leavitt's start-up program (the Bulls are beginning just their seventh season in Division I-A) has knocked off Louisville and West Virginia in the past two seasons."
Rest of the Big East? Cincy's 56th, Pitt 62, Connecticut 89 and Syracuse 95. Other rankings on USF's schedule? Auburn is 16th, Central Florida 82, North Carolina 84 and Florida Atlantic 108.
I just saved you SI non-subscribers five minutes of time on the magazine aisle in Publix. Use that time wisely, and as a reminder: only one sample. A little restraint, people.