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USF is Bowl Eligible. Hooray. Now The Season Starts.

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Through seven games, USF is clearly a good football team. Can they dodge the land mines remaining on the schedule?

Connecticut v South Florida Photo by Jason Behnken / Getty Images

The Bulls are going bowling, baby! For the second year in a row, South Florida is bowl eligible. They took care of UConn to get their sixth win of the year, and I couldn’t be happier or more proud for my brothers because they’ve earned this. And from my one bowl game experience, they are a blast, so I’m glad these guys (especially the seniors) get to celebrate this season like they’re should.

OK, done with that? Good. Because the days of celebrating just being bowl eligible are done. The Bulls have bigger fish to fry. Bottom line: USF is good and the teams they’ve beaten so far this year are not. We’re about to find out if USF is really “bout that action boss.”

Through seven games they have not beaten a team with a winning record. They haven’t actually defeated a team that they didn’t beat last season (Things That Make You Go “hmmm” for 200 please, Alex). Their only loss came from a struggling* FSU team. With that being said, the Bulls have won their games by multiple scores, which is how you’re supposed to beat teams against whom you’re better. But what about this last stretch of the season?

I’m not saying the first seven games were a walk in the park. Those wins were earned. But the rest of the schedule is definitely trickier.

Temple is a solid team that plays hard on defense, runs the ball, has a very good QB, and is very well coached. Stack this on top of playing in Philly on a Friday night and you got yourself a tough game.

I can go on and on about Navy, but anybody that runs the option as well as those guys and knocks off a Top 10 Houston is not going to simply roll over and let us win. They see an opportunity for a championship.

Memphis is a tough place to play, and even though they lost a lot of talent and their head coach from last year’s team, they’re nasty on defense and put up points on offense. Not a cake walk.

I’m not going to sit here and say SMU is the scariest game in the world, but it’s on the road and one thing they can do is score with us. Last time we were there, it came down to a 4th and goal touchdown pass to win, so be careful with this one.

The season finale is in Ray Jay against whatever that school is on I-4 next to Disney World (they play in a big high school stadium but I’m drawing a blank on the name). And as bad as I want to throw shade, I calls ‘em like I sees ‘em - that team that went 0-12 (#NeverForget) last year is better this season. It’s officially called “The War on I-4” for a reason, and anything can happen during Rivalry Week.

So how will South Florida ever manage to make history and play for a conference championship?

By taking it one week at a time.

For what it’s worth, I’m not touching on this because I think there is some kind of issue. The players I’ve talked to seem very focused, and I think they have done a hell of a job on locking in on the task at hand. I fully expect it to stay this way, too.

All I’m saying is don’t start that nonsense now. Teams get in trouble when they look ahead to big games or their concentration is on something that hasn’t even happened yet. This week is about Temple. Next week is about Navy. They have to prepare for the team they’re facing and they will be fine. Just play whoever shows up that week. Control what you can control, and right now the Bulls control their destiny.

P.S.- All of the AAC, Colorado State, Boise State, and BYU: @BigXIIConference

Seriously, who does the Big XII they think they are? They just spent months entertaining presentations and sales pitches from all of these big wigs representing great universities (and UCF) about joining their conference, and then decide they’re not actually going to extend an offer to anybody? Sorry y’all were looking at schools that play defense, because clearly that isn’t allowed in your league. From what I heard, I don’t think anyone that sat in on those important meetings actually thought they were going to expand at all. Come on, man!

A little tip to the Big XII from every coach that’s ever lived: “Either you’re getting better or getting worse. But you never stay the same.”