South Florida Bulls football
|South Florida Bulls football|
|Head coach||Willie Taggart
3rd year, 6–18 (.250)
|Home stadium||Raymond James Stadium|
|Stadium capacity||66,321 (41,441 lower bowl)|
|Stadium surface||Grass, Tifway Bermuda 419|
|All-time record||117–96–0 (.549)|
|Postseason bowl record||4–2 (.667)|
Green and Gold
|Fight song||Golden Brahman March|
|Marching band||Herd of Thunder|
The South Florida Bulls football team represents the University of South Florida in the sport of American football. The Bulls compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the American Athletic Conference (The American). The team plays its home games in Tampa, Florida. The Bulls began playing in 1997, holding their first team meeting under a shade tree as the school had no proper football facilities on campus.
- 1 History
- 2 Season-by-season results
- 3 Stadium
- 4 Current pro players
- 5 Media
- 6 Rivals
- 7 Logos and uniforms
- 8 Statistics and rankings
- 9 School Songs
- 10 Future Opponents
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Jim Leavitt era (1997–2009)
After competing their first four years as a Division I-AA (now Division I FCS) independent, the Bulls moved to Division I-A, now Division I FBS, in 2001 but remained independent. They joined Conference USA in 2003 until becoming a member of the Big East Conference in 2005.
The Bulls' starting quarterback for the 2007 South Florida Bulls football team was sophomore Matt Grothe, who was awarded the Big East Rookie of the Year award in 2006 after being the most productive freshman in total offense with 258.5 yards per game. South Florida was also home to defensive end George Selvie, who was named the school's first Consensus All-American in 2007.
South Florida received increased press coverage for their upsets of Top 25 ranked teams such as West Virginia (in 2006 and 2007), Louisville (in 2005) and Auburn (in 2007) and Florida State (2009). The 2007 football season marked their first ascent into the AP Poll, first placing at #23, rising to #18 in Week 4, jumping to #6 after the win against West Virginia, rising one more spot to #5 in week 6 after a victory over FAU, and jumping 3 more spots to #2 with 11 first place votes after beating UCF. The Bulls' high ranking was short lived, as South Florida lost its next 3 games and tumbled out of the rankings. However, the Bulls rebounded towards the end of the season, finishing the regular season ranked #21 in the BCS standings and #23 in the AP poll. Following their final regular season game, they faced unranked Oregon in the Brut Sun Bowl. Oregon defeated the Bulls by the score of 56-21, in which USF set a Sun Bowl record for most points allowed to an opponent. USF was dropped from the national rankings in both the AP Top 25 and USA Today polls following the loss in this bowl game.
USF won its first bowl game in its second bowl appearance with a victory over former Conference USA rivals, East Carolina, on December 23, 2006 in the inaugural Papajohns.com Bowl. The previous year, USF lost to NC State in the Bulls' first-ever bowl appearance, the 2005 Meineke Car Care Bowl.
Leavitt remained as the team's head coach throughout this period. He was fired on January 8, 2010 after an investigation revealed that during halftime of a game against Louisville, he grabbed a player by the shoulder pads and struck him across the face two times. The investigation also claimed that Leavitt interfered with the investigation by telling several coaches and players to change their stories. Leavitt maintains he never struck the player, but was merely trying to console him, and after a wrongful termination suit against USF, the school eventually settled with Leavitt for $2.75 million. Leavitt went on to serve as linebackers coach for the San Francisco 49ers, which in his first season as an NFL coach, 2011, reached the NFC Championship for the first time since 1997.
Skip Holtz era (2010–2012)
On January 14, 2010, Skip Holtz was hired away from East Carolina and named the team's second head coach. Although the Bulls defeated Clemson in the 2010 Meineke Car Care Bowl, USF steadily declined during Holtz's tenure, going 8-5, 5-7, and 3-9 in his three seasons. His firing from USF was announced by Doug Woolard on December 2, 2012. Holtz was subsequently hired by Louisiana Tech as its new head coach.
Willie Taggart era (2013–present)
On December 8, 2012, USF announced that Willie Taggart will be the third head football coach in USF football history. He previously coached at Western Kentucky. The Bulls struggled in Taggart's first year, posting a 2-10 record. The Bulls improved slightly in Taggart's second year, finishing with a 4-8 record.
- Statistics correct as of the end of the 2012-13 college football season
|NCAA Division I champions||Conference Champions||Division Champions||Bowl Eligible||Undefeated Season|
|Year||NCAA Division||Conference||Conference Division||Overall||Conference||Coach||Final Ranking|
|1997||I-AA||Division I-AA Independent||N/A||11||5||6||0||.455||0||0||0||0||.000||N/A||Jim Leavitt||-|
|1998||I-AA||Division I-AA Independent||N/A||11||8||3||0||.727||0||0||0||0||.000||N/A||Jim Leavitt||-|
|1999||I-AA||Division I-AA Independent||N/A||11||7||4||0||.636||0||0||0||0||.000||N/A||Jim Leavitt||-|
|2000||I-AA||Division I-AA Independent||N/A||11||7||4||0||.636||0||0||0||0||.000||N/A||Jim Leavitt||-|
|2005||I-A||Big East||N/A||12||6||6||0||.500||7||4||3||0||.571||T-3rd||Jim Leavitt||-|
|2006||FBS||Big East||N/A||13||9||4||0||.692||7||4||3||0||.571||T-4th||Jim Leavitt||-|
|2007||FBS||Big East||N/A||13||9||4||0||.692||7||4||3||0||.571||T-3rd||Jim Leavitt||-|
|2008||FBS||Big East||N/A||13||8||5||0||.615||7||2||5||0||.286||6th||Jim Leavitt||-|
|2009||FBS||Big East||N/A||13||8||5||0||.615||7||3||4||0||.429||T-4th||Jim Leavitt||-|
|2010||FBS||Big East||N/A||13||8||5||0||.615||7||3||4||0||.429||T-5th||Skip Holtz||-|
|2011||FBS||Big East||N/A||12||5||7||0||.417||7||1||6||0||.143||T-7th||Skip Holtz||-|
|2012||FBS||Big East||N/A||12||3||9||0||.250||7||1||6||0||.143||8th||Skip Holtz||-|
|2013||FBS||The American||N/A||12||2||10||0||.167||8||2||6||0||.250||8th||Willie Taggart||-|
|2014||FBS||The American||N/A||12||4||8||0||.363||8||3||5||0||.428||7th||Willie Taggart||-|
Bowl game appearances
|2005||December 31, 2005||Meineke Car Care Bowl||L||NC State||0||14||Jim Leavitt||notes|
|2006||December 23, 2006||PapaJohns.com Bowl||W||East Carolina||24||7||Jim Leavitt||notes|
|2007||December 31, 2007||Sun Bowl||L||Oregon||21||56||Jim Leavitt||notes|
|2008||December 20, 2008||St. Petersburg Bowl||W||Memphis||41||14||Jim Leavitt||notes|
|2009||January 2, 2010||International Bowl||W||NIU||27||3||Jim Leavitt||notes|
|2010||December 31, 2010||Meineke Car Care Bowl||W||Clemson||31||26||Skip Holtz||notes|
|Total||6 bowl games||4–2||144||120|
Raymond James Stadium is a $168.5 million facility which opened September 20, 1998 with a Tampa Bay Buccaneers game against the Chicago Bears. Two weeks later, the Bulls debuted in their new home with a 45-6 win over The Citadel in front of 32,598 fans. From 1998 to 2007, only the lower half of the stadium has been typically opened for USF games, allowing for a capacity of 41,441, although the upper deck has been opened numerous times to accommodate crowds in excess of what the lower bowl can handle. However, as of 2008, USF has opened the upper deck for every home game and is selling season tickets in the upper deck as well. The largest crowd to see the Bulls play a home game came on September 28, 2007 against then #5 ranked West Virginia, when 67,012 saw the #18 Bulls win. The Bulls played at Houlihan's Stadium in 1997.
Current pro players
National Football League (18)
- Mike Jenkins - Cornerback, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Nate Allen - Safety, Oakland Raiders
- Jason Pierre-Paul - Defensive End, New York Giants
- George Selvie - Defensive End, New York Giants
- Terrell McClain - Defensive Tackle, Dallas Cowboys
- Carlton Mitchell - Wide Receiver, Atlanta Falcons
- Sam Barrington - Linebacker, Green Bay Packers
- Kayvon Webster - Cornerback, Denver Broncos
- B.J. Daniels - Wide Receiver, Seattle Seahawks
- DeDe Lattimore - Linebacker, Chicago Bears
- Aaron Lynch - Linebacker, San Francisco 49ers
- Jeremiah Warren - Center, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Austin Reiter - Center, Washington Redskins
- Reshard Cliett - Linebacker, Houston Texans
- Andre Davis - Wide Receiver, Buffalo Bills
- Mike McFarland - Tight end, Houston Texans
- Quinterrius Eatmon - Offensive Guard, Oakland Raiders
- Darrell Williams - Offensive Tackle, St. Louis Rams
Arena Football League (3)
- Richard Clebert - Defensive Line, Tampa Bay Storm
- Amarri Jackson - Wide Receiver, Cleveland Gladiators
- Julius Forte - Defensive End, Tampa Bay Storm
Canadian Football League (1)
Bulls football games currently air on the radio in Tampa on Sports Radio 98.7 The Fan WBRN-FM. Play-by-play man Jim Louk is teamed with color analyst and former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Mark Robinson in the booth for the broadcasts. Many of the televised games air locally on ESPN Plus outlet WFTS-TV. Some replays of the games can be seen on Bright House Sports Network. Due to USF's affiliation in the American Athletic Conference, most games can be seen on one of the many channels ESPN owns.
As a young program that has grown rapidly and shifted conferences several times, USF has developed few lasting rivalries. The most noteworthy has been the South Florida-UCF football rivalry against in-state opponents the University of Central Florida Knights. The matchup had been the subject of much discussion and fan enthusiasm since the 1990s, but it was not until 2005 that a game was scheduled. The two schools met in a four-year home-and-away series through 2008. USF won each of the matches, which drew substantial crowds, but declined to schedule any further games. However, the series resumed as an annual conference game when UCF joined the American in 2013.
Before major conference realignment in the early 2010s, candidates for a future rivalry game included Louisville, another former member of Conference USA before its move to the Big East/The American; West Virginia; Rutgers; and Miami, with whom USF began a 6-year Thanksgiving weekend series in 2008. The last 4 games of the USF/UM series (2010–2013) were televised by one of the ESPN networks. Louisville and Rutgers both left The American after the 2013 season for the ACC and Big Ten, respectively.
Logos and uniforms
Statistics and rankings
- The Bulls received their first ever pre-season Top 25 ranking on August 1, 2007 when they and head coach Jim Leavitt were ranked #21 in the Coaches Poll.
- Bill Gramatica holds the record for the longest field goal in school history at 63 yards.
- USF was ranked for the first time exactly 10 years and 10 days after its inaugural game against Kentucky Wesleyan in 1997.
- USF rose at an accelerated pace, earning an AP ranking 104 polls after becoming a full-time, bowl eligible FBS member in 2001. Boise State had the previous record, getting ranked after 115 AP polls during their seventh season.
- USF became the fastest team in the modern era of college football to go from upstart NCAA FBS school to a top-10 ranking on Sunday, Sept. 30. There were 106 AP polls and 112 Coaches Polls since USF became a full-time FBS member in 2001.
- The same can be said about the top-5 ranking, which took USF 107 weeks to achieve.
Golden Brahman March (Fight Song)
- USF Bulls are we,
- We hold our standard upright and free.
- For Green and Gold we stand united.
- Our beacon lighted and noble to see.
- USF Bulls are we,
- For USF will always be.
- With all our might we fight the battle
- here and now, and we will win the victory!
- Shout: S-O-U-T-H F-L-O-R-I-D-A
- South Florida, South Florida
- Go Bulls!
- (return to chorus)
- Hail to Thee, our Alma Mater
- May thy name be told,
- Where above thy gleaming splendor,
- Waves the green and gold.
- Thou our guide in quest for knowledge.
- Where we all are free
- University of South Florida,
- Alma Mater, Hail to thee!
- Be our guide in truth and wisdom
- As we onward go,
- May thy glory, fame and honor
- Never cease to grow;
- May our thoughts and prayers
- be with thee through eternity,
- University of South Florida,
- Alma Mater, Hail to thee!
|vs Florida A&M||vs Towson||vs Stony Brook||vs Elon||vs Wisconsin||vs Nevada||vs BYU||vs Texas||at Western Kentucky||at Western Kentucky|
|at Maryland||vs Northern Illinois||vs Illinois||at Illinois||at Texas||at Georgia Tech||vs Georgia Tech||at Texas|
|at Florida State||at Syracuse||vs UMass||at UMass||at BYU|
|vs Syracuse||vs Florida State||at Northern Illinois|
|vs Cincinnati||vs UCF||vs Cincinnati||vs UCF|
|vs Memphis||vs UConn||vs Houston||vs UConn|
|vs SMU||vs East Carolina||vs Temple||vs East Carolina|
|vs Temple||vs Navy||vs Tulsa||vs Tulane|
|@ UCF||@ Cincinnati||@ UCF||@ Cincinnati|
|@ UConn||@ Memphis||@ UConn||@ Houston|
|@ East Carolina||@ SMU||@ East Carolina||@ Temple|
|@ Navy||@ Temple||@ Tulane||@ Tulsa|
- "South Florida Hires Skip Holtz". ncaafootball.fanhouse.com. Retrieved 2010-01-14.
- McMurphy, Brett (December 2, 2012). "USF fires Skip Holtz, sources say". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2012-12-02.
- http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/colleges/south-florida-hires-willie-taggart-to-take-over-struggling-football-program/2012/12/08/84e8ae90-4142-11e2-8a5c-473797be602c_story.html. Missing or empty
- University of South Florida Bulls 2006 Football Media Guide (pdf file) page 12
- University of South Florida Bulls 2006 Football Media Guide (pdf file) page 10, sixth paragraph.
- University of South Florida Bulls 2006 Football Media Guide. Includes the 2006 results
- University of South Florida Bulls 2006 Football Media Guide (pdf file) page 142, 1st game of 2000 season to 4th game of 2003 season
- Greg Auman (September 6, 2008). "Should USF play UCF every year?". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved August 14, 2012.
- Greg Auman (April 29, 2011). "USF says no contracts proposed for football with UCF". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved August 14, 2012.
- Mike Bianchi (December 7, 2011). "Finally, Big East gives UCF some much-needed good news". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
- Sports: USF adds statement series with Hurricanes
- Bill Gramatica - ArenaFootball.com — The Official Web site of the Arena Football League AFL
- Game Preview: UCF at No. 5 USF - GoUSFBulls.com—Official Athletics Web Site of the University of South Florida