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Where I Come From: Expectations For 2010

You might have noticed that we've written absolutely nothing about how the USF football team or individual players performed last year, and nothing about what to expect out of them this year. There's a very simple reason for that - we literally can't do it.

Sure, part of that is because we don't have enough games recorded from last year to make any intelligent statements, and we'd rather say nothing than look like total fools. But the big reason is because we honestly have no idea what is going to happen this year. Other than the very first season in 1997, I don't think there's been a year where we've headed into fall practice with so many fundamental questions about the team, and so few answers.

Consider all these things:

  • New head coach.
  • Two new coordinators.
  • New schemes on both sides of the ball.
  • New position coaches all over the field.
  • Gigantic question marks at running back and wide receiver.
  • Defense trying to replace four NFL draft picks and two other departing seniors.
  • Quarterback who, in spite of his immense talent, is used to creating plays on his own instead of running a standard offense.
  • Just a ton of young, talented, but unproven players.

Right now this team almost defies analysis. Even the spring game didn't help a whole lot, because while the first-team offense rolled it up to the tune of 59 points, it was against a defense that wasn't allowed to make adjustments or blitz or put extra defensive backs on the field.

In the end, it's hard to have any big expectations for this team. I think generally we're all hoping to reach another bowl game, and anything on top of that is gravy. If you offered me 8-5 right now with a bowl win, I think I would take it, even though that's the exact same record the Bulls finished with in 2008 and 2009. There are two nearly impossible games (at Florida, at Miami) and three very difficult games (at West Virginia, at Cincinnati, vs. Pittsburgh) on the schedule, to say nothing of Rutgers and UConn, who have always played USF tough.

2010 could be a rough year, relatively speaking. But just with the transfers Skip Holtz has pulled in and gone after thus far, we're already seeing that he shouldn't have too many problems bringing in enough talent to win this conference down the road. As has always been the case for USF football, even better days are ahead.