WSJ grid plots USF as 'admirable' but 'weakling'
I'm a sucker for those faux-math grids that plot things visually on two criteria -- Esquire usually does them pretty well, and today's Wall Street Journal has an outstanding graphic (outstanding for conversation, at least) that plots all 125 I-A college football programs -- one axis ranges from "powerhouse" to "weakling" and the other, from "admirable" to "embarrassing."
Where does USF fall? You want to be in the top right of any of these graphics -- or at least in the far lower left corner, where FIU is nearly quarantined from the rest of college football. USF lines up as "admirable" and "weakling" -- you knew the Bulls weren't going to be a powerhouse given their 3-9 record in 2012, so perhaps fans can take some solace in the "admirable" side of things. As it cast as a foil to the Bulls, UCF is on the opposite corner of the grid, tagged as "embarrassing" and "powerhouse."
We even like the explainer at the bottom of the graphic, which gives the Orlando Sentinel's exhaustive 1-125 rankings a shoutout and admits that the admirable/embarrassing value is "somewhat subjective," with five factors that include, specifically, the "ick factor." Oh, and thanks to loyal reader Chuck in Bradenton for the heads-up ...