| SoFloBulls.com by Matthew Manuri |
We are sure that the title of this Top 10 has more than a couple fans of the American Athletic Conference chuckling and giggling, but the USF Bulls had some glimmers of hope last season and have made strides to patch up the issues that caused them so many headaches in 2013. And considering it is the offseason and everyone is undefeated, there is no better time than now to look at all the reasons South Florida can win the AAC championship in 2014 and potentially get into one of the big money bowls like the Chik-fil-A Peach Bowl. So why should USF fans be excited about a possible championship and what reasons could they have for thinking it’s a possibility?
Let’s take a look.
10: Schedule – The Bulls have a chance to get a hot start and potentially build up some confidence early on. Taggart’s team only plays one game on the road between the season’s kickoff and October 18th. Five of their first six games are at home in Raymond James and most of them are very winnable contests. The Bulls could come out firing early.
9: It’s no secret coach Willie Taggart watched his team struggle along with fans in 2013 as the team only managed two wins. But the former Hilltoppers coach is in his second season and has better understanding of the American and the teams he’ll be coaching against. Expect his team to look more under control collectively as Taggart enters his sophomore season in Tampa.
8: Speaking of the couple wins they got in 2013, those W’s came in conference play, which is where the most important wins a team can get come from when they’re trying to win a league title. One was against UConn and the other came against a much better Cincinnati team. So the Bulls know they can beat bigger teams. You can bet the coaching staff will keep reminding the players of that win to show they can beat anyone in the AAC.
7: Recruiting success – Coach Taggart did something pretty amazing last season. He took over a struggling program and in his first season, held the reins as things got worse. But then he went out and put together the best recruiting class in the American. He got better players than famed recruiter Tuberville and Fiesta Bowl champ O’Leary. USF won’t be juggling tiny, inexperienced players brought in by Skip Holtz anymore.
6: We already mentioned that Taggart should do well in year two now that he knows the team and league better, but did you know coach Willie drove his WKU bus into a 2-win season during his first year with the Hilltoppers too? Before winning 14 games in his next two years at Western Kentucky, Taggart had almost the same rough rookie season as he had at USF. It doesn’t make winning more games a certainty, but it is something to consider.
5: The USF defense is stronger than most give them credit for. If it wasn’t for the Bulls spending the entire season trying to find their offensive identity in 2013, things might have turned out different. South Florida didn’t exactly have a shutdown defensive squad last season, but the guys did have a lot more success stopping opposing offenses than their offense had scoring points. These means Taggart can focus more on offense this year with the help of Paul Wulff, who himself spent the last two years coaching on the offensive side of the ball with the San Franciso 49ers. Continue Reading by Clicking Here