Preseason mags give little love to Bulls
Guesswork's in full bloom. Venture to your nearest supermarket or superstore magazine rack, and you'll notice an array of preseason college football magazines have sprouted amid the Rolling Stones and Reader's Digests. This time of year, they're as profuse as crabgrass.
And for USF fans, almost as annoying.
A trip down the aisle of my neighborhood Wal-Mart revealed three college football annuals -- Athlon, Lindy's and Sporting News -- already on the shelves. Of those, Athlon's assessment of the 2014 Bulls is the most optimistic, projecting USF to finish fifth in the American Athletic Conference.
The other two pick the Bulls to finish ninth, with Lindy's ranking them 99th of 128 Division I teams.
"The road to success is simple: USF needs more offensive production," says an excerpt from Sporting News' one-page USF preview. "It won't be easy in a more competitive conference."
On the optimistic side, all three deem returning Lou Groza Award finalist Marvin "Money" Kloss a preseason first-team all-conference kicker, with Athlon naming him a third-team All-American. P Mattias Ciabatti (Athlon), C Austin Reiter (Athlon) and TE Mike McFarland (Sporting News, Lindy's) also get first-team all-conference hype.
Additionally, Kloss is named the American's "Best Under Pressure," while Coach Willie Taggart is named its "Best Coach as a Recruiter" by Sporting News.
Not consoling enough? Don't brood too long; the magazines' respective shelf lives are brief.
USF's season opener is only 89 days away.