Warrior! Warrior! Couple of quick thoughts ...
Again, if you read our game preview story Saturday, you'd know that it's not surprising USF would lose a second game in a row. If you count South Carolina's last two losses, there have been eight teams now that were in the top 10, lost, then lost their next game as well. It's just hard to right the ship this year.
-- USF is still going to be ranked, I think, just because lots of other teams lost as well. USC and Florida, who were ahead in the AP but behind in the BCS, lost to ranked teams, so USF will be below them. But No. 14 Kentucky, No. 15 South Carolina, No. 21 Virginia, No. 24 Penn State and No. 25 Rutgers all lost; I'm not going to stay up to see if Cal loses again, albeit against undefeated Arizona State. You'll see the Bulls somewhere between 20-25, and I think that's probably an accurate ranking.
-- Crazy as it seems, you can't really count USF out of the Big East race yet. The Bulls are technically tied for last with a 1-2 record, but they're only two games out of first. Connecticut still has Rutgers and games at Cincinnati and West Virginia, so there could be two losses there. The Bulls would need a third team they've beaten to finish with two losses for a three-way tie, but that means West Virginia would have to lose again; they still have Louisville (W. Va. scores at least 40 there), Cincinnati and UConn. Of course, these scenarios also require USF to stop losing.
-- Just in case you missed the line from the game story: Offense had five trips that got inside the Connecticut 5-yard line, and came away with 10 points from that. You can't do that and have any expectations of beating a good team. You could say that marching down the field, only to come to a screeching halt at the end zone, is kinda like blocking a punt in the end zone, but letting the other team fall on the loose ball. Either way, you're averaging about two points each time you're inside the 5.
-- We'll probably be hind-sighting the goal-line play calls all week, but I'm still amazed, even with an injury, USF brings in Mo Plancher -- with one carry all season -- for a crucial play on second-and-goal at the 1. Nothing against Plancher, but it'd be like needing a third out with the bases loaded in the ninth and turning to the kid you just called up from Triple-A. He may be great, but he's coming in completely cold. If you're going to go to the bench, heck, give freshman Richard Kelly a shot. He's never carried the ball, but he's 55 pounds heavier than Plancher, which is worth something on the 1-yard line. Or maybe, just maybe, let Grothe -- the guy with 146 rushing yards -- dive forward over your best linemen. He can get 1 yard in two shots, right?
-- Obviously, there are a lot of more important criteria to judge a coach by than how they conduct themselves in the media. UConn coach Randy Edsall's postgame comments Saturday night included an apology: "ABC had me on to talk. I used some language, one word that I shouldn't have used on TV, but you get caught up in the excitement. I apologized." The objectionable word? Hell.
I've got a 7 a.m. flight and have to drop off a correspondent at a bus station before I drop off my rental, so I'm going to sleep. Behave with the comments ...