OK, everyone, here we go. The championship of the USF Things bracket has arrived. Your votes will decide which of our final two thing is the most USF Thing of all.
Let's meet our finalists:
LEE ROY SELMON
After a Hall of Fame playing career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Selmon came to USF in 1993, as the university made the decision to pursue a football program. He became the face of the push for football and headed up the group's fundraising efforts, rallying individual and corporate support for what at that time was nothing more than an idea. When the community bought in, and the Board of Regents gave their approval in September 1995, USF had a football team.
Later, in 2000, after Paul Griffin departed as athletic director, a search began for his replacement. Ultimately, the search group concluded that the ideal successor was already in the building, and Selmon took over. When USF had an opportunity to make its case to move up to the Big East in 2003, it was Selmon and Judy Genshaft who made the trip to the secret meeting in Newark to present the university's sales pitch. Again, Selmon came through, and USF moved into the conference in 2005, gaining a new level of prestige along with access to the Bowl Championship Series.
Selmon was forced to step down as athletic director in 2003, but he remained with USF Athletics in a fundraising role until his untimely passing in September 2011.
USF-WEST VIRGINIA 2007
We've written about the particulars of this football game a few times. The first football sellout in USF history, the first (and only) win over a top-five team, and the spectacular individual efforts from Ben Moffitt, Matt Grothe, and others. It was the first wide national exposure USF football had ever received, and no Bulls fan who was at the game or watched it on TV will forget it any time soon.
Over time, the game has become sort of a high-water mark for the football team, the athletic department, and USF fandom in general. Collin was standing on the field when Moffitt ran a Pat White interception back for a touchdown and has written about how, at that moment, he was sure USF was going to become a nationally-known program. It obviously didn't turn out that way, and there was a long, long fall from that moment for reasons that we've detailed at great length on this blog. But in September of 2007, the idea of USF as a brand-name football program didn't sound crazy at all.
Also the game gave us the Singlet Guy picture, so there's that.
Voting will run all day Wednesday and Thursday. Thanks so much to everyone who has participated in this tournament. We hope you enjoyed it.