Three of the most nationally prominent college football preview magazines are on newsstands, and all concur on at least two things pertaining to USF.
Redshirt junior Marcus Norman is a first-team All-American Athletic Conference candidate, and the Bulls still are looking up at UCF in the East Division race.
All three publications — Athlon, Lindy's and Street & Smith — peg UCF as the best team in the AAC in 2018. Street & Smith and Lindy's pick the Bulls to finish second in the East, while Athlon has USF at third behind the Knights and Temple.
Athlon and Street & Smith both project USF to play in the Gasparilla Bowl against Army and Marshall, respectively.
"The obvious question: How do you replace (QB Quinton Flowers)?" reads the Athlon team profile of the Bulls. "The obvious answer: You don't."
None of the magazines mention the Bulls' recent signing of former Alabama/Arizona State QB Blake Barnett, whose arrival in Tampa clearly occurred well after the publications went to press.
Lindy's and Street & Smith project fourth-year junior Brett Kean as the Bulls' starter; Athlon puts third-year sophomore Chris Oladokun atop its depth chart.
All, however, have Norman as a first-teamer on their respective preseason all-conference squads. DE Greg Reaves also is a first-teamer according to Athlon, while MLB Nico Sawtelle makes the Lindy's first team.
Other magazine excerpts:
"The Bulls don't go into 2018 with quite the same attitude as a year ago when they had an undefeated season as their goal, but if they find the answer at quarterback, they aren't going to be an easy out." — Lindy's
"Strong's first season at USF was a bumpy adjustment at times from Willie Taggart's Gulf Coast Offense. But now there's more of a blank slate to implement Strong's preferred style. The running game will have increased importance, especially while a new quarterback develops." — Athlon