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Football Odds and Director's Cup Ends

After a dismal 2014, USF Football has been given 50-1 odds to win the AAC this year. But excellent seasons in other sports earned USF the best Director's Cup results in the conference.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Odds are coming out in Las Vegas for the upcoming season and so far USF is stuck where they were in 2014. The Bulls have been given 50-1 odds to win the AAC Championship Game, which is the same preseason odds they had to win the conference last year. 50-1 is the same odds given to Duke to win the ACC and to Northwestern to win the Big Ten.

This doesn't place USF at the bottom of the barrel, since Tulane, SMU, Tulsa and UConn all have a 100-1 shot at winning the conference. The 50-1 odds seem realistic enough, but it's still a bit disheartening given how average the AAC is.

Cincinnati and Memphis have the best odds at 2-1, Houston is next with 4-1. Then ECU, UCF and Navy all have 7-1 odds and Temple is at 20-1. If this is taken at face value, USF will beat UConn and SMU while having a shot at upsetting Temple. Assuming the Bulls beat FAMU in week one, last year's four game win total is in sight. Beating Syracuse and any one of ECU, UCF or Navy would be tough, but that's the clearest path to six wins as things now stand mathematically. Of course, in August there are new players coming and rumored to be coming, and once the season starts anything can happen. But so far, Vegas is keeping USF where they have been for two years: firmly in the bottom half of a mid-major conference.

FYI: Florida has been given 20-1 odds to win the SEC, FSU has 11-4 and Miami has 20-1 odds to win the ACC.

The Learfield Director's Cup

USF has ended the 2014-15 school year with the best Director's Cup score in the AAC and 73rd best in the nation (out of 347 D-I schools). The Director's Cup awards points across ten men's sports and ten women's sports, and since eight USF teams made it to postseason play (and got several wins), they were awarded 257.75 points. UConn was just below USF with 255 points (74th nationally). Tulsa, UCF and SMU placed 85th, 86th, and 88th respectively.

So while the sports that carried the Bulls to this best Director's Cup finish in 15 years were not the money-makers, this broad athletic success is a sign of changing times. If you haven't noticed, we are pleased with Mark Harlan around here. We might even give better than 50-1 odds that he guides the football and basketball teams out of their lowly states in the next few years.