TAMPA — With the season reaching a disappointing end in Thursday's 30-27 home loss to West Virginia, USF fans are faced with an offseason littered with uncertainties, at least until the Big East can announce a new lineup.
Coach Skip Holtz continues to be linked in speculation to the opening at North Carolina, though he has consistently said he isn't looking to leave USF. The biggest difference between USF and UNC would be the lack of solid footing in the future of the Big East as an automatic-qualifier BCS conference.
The conference continues to work on finalizing plans for a new 12-team lineup. But until that's set, it's something that could impact everything from recruiting to coaching stability.
Still, Friday brought positive news for 2012 in the oral commitment of Winter Park High receiver D'Vario Montgomery, rated as one of the state's top recruits. Other commitments due to enroll next month are making visits to other schools, but Holtz was optimistic enough that he did a radio interview with 1010-AM on Friday, telling fans that he feels their disappointment and is motivated for 2012.
"I understand everybody's frustration, I certainly do," Holtz said. "Believe me, it's felt on the inside as much as it is from the outside. When you've got players like (receiver) Sterling Griffin (returning from two major injuries) and he's still out there on the field, when I look at his attitude and how excited he is about the future … it's easy for me to look at it and be very encouraged for the future. I know it's hard for a lot of people that maybe can't see that far inside the program and just see the results and wins and losses. … We're going to get it straight."
Attendance UP: Based on announced attendance, USF averaged 44,549 fans in its seven home games this season, an increase of 9 percent from last season (40,849).