After several days of media frenzy over the football coaching vacancy and then hiring of Charlie Strong, USF will make their formal introduction of their new coach today at 10:30 AM.


History loves turning points, events that can be looked back upon as the very moment when drastic change occurred. Sometimes they are difficult to see in the present, requiring the reflection and context of passing time to make themselves visible. This time, right now, appears to be one of those turning points. Since the beginning of the season, this blog did something that it had not done before in previous years. The Poll Watch segment might have seemed ridiculous at times, considering where this team has been since the firing of former head coach, Jim Leavitt. But, there was something happening, it was palpable and real. As funny as waiting for a ranking might have seemed for this program, the expectation was real, because something special was happening and it could be seen. Now, there is a new coaching staff on the horizon who will return a bunch of players for next season. This year was just the beginning of the turn, with very big things ahead.


The hiring of USF head football coach, Charlie Strong, continues to dominate the news. The praise of the hire is nearly unanimous in the media. Some suggest he will maintain USF’s momentum, while others call it addition by subtraction, suggesting that they’ve managed to upgrade their situation at head coach following the departure of Willie Taggart.

Bo Zeigler and Jahmal McMurray come off the bench to combine for 40 points scoring, powering their team to an overtime thriller against Bethune-Cookman.


The hiring of new head coach, Charlie Strong, might be the biggest news in program history. Every national media outlet seems to be covering the story, to include the likes of the New York Times, USA Today, and the LA Times. Before the man has coached a game, he has already elevated the program’s national prominence.

It's official: The University of South Florida had hired former Texas and Louisville head coach, Charlie Strong to replace Willie Taggart. From the university:

"We are especially excited to welcome Charlie Strong to the University of South Florida,” said USF System President Judy Genshaft. “He joins our football program at an incredibly exciting time, and we look forward to seeing him build on our ongoing foundation and momentum. The board of trustees and I believe he brings outstanding leadership and experience, and is sure to be a tremendous resource to the entire USF System.”

See the full release here



 ***Breaking Stories***

Taggart not a factor - USF and Strong exclusive

No deal - Strong headed home

This blog didn't make mention of the former USF recruits that Willie Taggart went after as soon as he secured the Oregon contract, but trying to go after the Bulls' favorite replacement for him is a bit hostile.  It's almost like running up the score on the last play of a game that was already decided.


It has been two days since Bulls fans were shocked to learn that head coach, Willie Taggart was headed off to Oregon for the same position there. What followed has been a media storm of speculation as to whom will replace him at USF, as if that’s the bigger story. In some ways it is, considering that Taggart has been talked about as a candidate at playoff conference schools for several years, even taking an interview elsewhere in the past. Because he has been expected by the media to leave, as he is widely considered a rising star, who follows him is the story that involves mystery. And, the names being considered serious candidates are mostly more accomplished than the man to be replaced. Some might argue that the Bulls are trading up.

Yesterday’s news monsoon about former football head coach, Willie Taggart, leaving for Oregon and the subsequent race to predict who the Bulls will hire to replace him has not subsided. Speculation has remained amongst the biggest names, Charlie Strong, Lane Kiffin, and Greg Schiano.


Taggart to Oregon

Bulls targeting Lane Kiffin

A Strong candidacy

The magnicificant seven


The coaching carousel, she doth spinneth away! Multiple news reports surfaced last week indicating that USF football head coach, Willie Taggart, has interviewed for the Oregon head coaching job. Numerous reports out yesterday have moved him from longshot to favorite for the job, with some suggesting that the contract has already been negotiated. The Tampa Bay Times’, Joey Knight, describes the USF football program as “eerily quiet.” Just one day earlier, Knight questioned whether Taggart was still in the running. Nobody in the media is more connected with the athletic department than Knight is, so those two stories combined suggest that change will be coming to Fowler Avenue. Taggart, a regular on Twitter, has not posted to his USF Twitter account since the 5th.

The #22/25 USF Bulls have accepted an invitation to the 2016 Birmingham Bowl to face the South Carolina Gamecocks of the SEC. The Bulls finished the regular season with ten wins for the first time in program history. It’s also just the second time in the 20 year old program’s history to finish the regular season ranked in either national poll. It’s also the second time the program will visit Birmingham for a bowl game. USF beat ECU in the inaugural Papa John’s Bowl in Birmingham in 2006, 24-7. The Bulls are 4-3 all-time in bowl games, losing their last outing to Western Kentucky after a five year bowl drought.

The College Football Playoff Selection Committee has released their postseason ranking of the top teams in college football. Unsurprisingly, they believe Alabama to have the best team in the country. In a switch from last week, Clemson moves up to #2. Ohio State is third, and Washington is fourth. The Washington pick is probably the most controversial pick, considering their non-conference schedule is the second worst, ranked 127th, in the nation. To their credit, they won their conference and beat four ranked teams in the process.

The regular season has come to an end, which means bowl season is at hand. The almost final College Playoff Rankings have been released, subject to change after the Army-Navy Game. Navy should be a huge favorite in that matchup, so these final rankings will likely not change much.  

Congratulations to BullEsh, winner of the Pick 'em and Predict 'em Predictions game!  It took a win in the final week of the regular season for BullEsh to pull out the win, just edging the only two-win predictor, RaginBull76.  He also deserves congratulations for finishing in second.  For third, we have a six-way tie between, danm1983, Don Gee, President of My Prime, TheBombasticBull, Walter Sobchak, and usf_fan.  TheBombasticBull had the best overall record, at 8-2, but only predicted the most accurate scores in one week.  For picking just two losses out of ten games, he also deserves special recognition.  Congratulations to you all and thanks for playing! 

If there is interest, we can probably put together a bowl game version of this.  Interest will be measured by your comments.



The UCF Knights made a game of it, but they did not have enough of anything to contain the USF Bulls, who won by a score of 48-31. USF was led by strong rushing performances from running back, Marlon Mack, and quarterback, Quinton Flowers, who combined for more than 300 rushing yards and four touchdowns.