2012: Skip's Junior Campaign

๐Ÿ“Œ Bleed Green & Gold

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Bleed Green & Gold | by Matthew Manuri

After reading the numerous articles on the state of the South Florida Football program & thoughts on Skip Holtz, I decided to reflect & drop some knowledge on Fans, Students, & Alumni:

Back When: 2004

After transferring from Florida State in 2004, I arrived on campus feeling like I never left Tallahassee. Why? Because everywhere on campus all I seemed to see were students adorning Florida State, Florida, & Miami gear. Did I mention that almost NO ONE sported South Florida Bulls gear? At first it didnโ€™t bother me, but as time passed it began to get under my skin. As my irritation level grew & patience wore thin, I made the point to go out of my way to call someone out for even bringing another schools gear on campus.

Andrew Aubery. I met Andrew Aubery after rushing SigEp in the Spring of 2005. Andrew has always been a dedicated South Florida Bull down to the minute details, sandals & all! He relentlessly razzed me for not scrapping my Florida State license plate & other miscellaneous โ€˜Noles items. Andrew led the movement in my peer group to switch to USF license plates, apparel & most importantly an attitude of aggressive school pride. Andrew represented the exact transformation in mentality our university desperately needed: Alumni & Students truly BLEEDING Green & Gold.

Levitt: 10 Years & 10 Days

Jim Levitt. Levitt was hired in 1995, welcomed his first recruiting class to campus in 1996, & began FCS play in 1997. Did I mention the South Florida Football program started in a trailer? Did you know Levitt was heavily courted by the University of Alabama before spearheading the Bulls fledgling program?

By September 16, 2007 Levittโ€™s Bulls cracked the Top 25 for the first time in school history, reaching #23 in the AP & #24 in the Coaches Polls; this feat was accomplished in just 11 short years. To be precise, Levitt catapulted the Bulls into the national spotlight & BCS rankings in just 10 years & 10 days.

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On September 28, 2007, in front of the first sell-out crowd in South Florida history, Levitt led the Bulls to the programโ€™s biggest win to date over the then #5 ranked West Virginia Mountaineers. The following afternoon the Bulls had climbed all the way to #6 in the AP & #9 in the Coaches Polls. The Bulls never relented just like their leader & by October 14, 2007 the Bulls trailed only the #1 Ohio State Buckeyes.

Anyone want to remind me how long our #2 ranking lasted? Thatโ€™s what I thought. The Bulls fell to the one & only Rutgers Scarlet Knights 30-27 the following week in NJ.

Holtz: Win or Lose United we Stand!

Itโ€™s easy to point fingers & admittedly I was part of the problem on Saturday night after the loss to Temple. Twitter was on fire calling for Holtzโ€™s head, not to mention the Facebook pages & websites that began to popup left & right. Believe me, I donโ€™t think Holtz deserved a contract extension but beating your own program to a pulp after being the driving force that built our national following is downright unacceptable.

Holtz has an impact on our university both on & off the field, most notably in the classroom. For the first time that I can recall our Football team is earning accolades for rising GPAs & graduation rates. Tampa Bay Times columnist Gary Shelton published an article yesterday titled โ€œUSF Bulls Bringing Up the Rear in Big East Football that literally regurgitated everything thatโ€™s been aggravating me over the last few days. But, what I took from the article was something different than even I anticipated. Hereโ€™s a quote from Coach Holtz after Shelton asked โ€˜just how good of coach are youโ€™:

โ€œIf you judge by wins & losses, then Iโ€™m not very damn good. Iโ€™m not going to sit & try to argue these numbers. Iโ€™m not going to try to sell them & make them look pretty. You can dress up a pig but itโ€™s still a pig. If you judge by the health of the program, the academics, the character of the kidsโ€ฆ.give me time & I think I can give you a better answer. The guys we brought in are freshmen & redshirt freshmen. Iโ€™d at least like to be here long enough to see them shave.โ€[1]

Performance on the field matters, but it isnโ€™t everything. Anyone want to tackle the issues in the Miami Hurricanes program? Didnโ€™t think so. We MUST, I REPEAT, WE MUST stand united behind ALL of our athletic programs, players, coaches, & most importantly our alma mater.

Hats off to you Mr. Aubery for never giving an inch when it comes to your pride in our university & relentlessly BLEEDING Green & Gold!!

by Matthew Manuri
Publisher & Editor, SoFloBulls.com | @Mcknurkle

SoFloBulls Blog by Matthew Manuri

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    1. I agree that It’s a tough time to be a South Florida Bulls fan. But, we need to stop acting like fools. Expectations are only as good as the realities that ground them. Hopefully this will inspire Skip, the Coordinators, & the players to put on vs Louisville.