USF Has Underlying Pressure to Win in 2011USF Has Underlying Pressure to Win in 2011

As cliche as it may sound, there is a quiet and underlying pressure for Skip Holtz and his South Florida Bulls to have a succesful 2011 campaign. There are two developing stories putting pressure on the 15 year old program to win, the development of the super-conferences and the severity of Miami’s NCAA violations, both of which which have a direct impact on the success of USF Football.

Last summer, a shaking of the college football landscape came to the
forefront, the 16 team “Super Conference”. This probability came charging
into the world of college athletics catching many schools off guard and
leaving others to scramble to join the first open possibility (Utah,
Colorado and Nebraska). Texas was on the edge of committing to join the
Pac-10, if this move would have occurred, no words can describe what
exactly would have gone down. With the possibility of the BIG 12 coming to
a close, a situation that left every other conference to start working their
contingency plans to make sure that their conference won’t be left in the dust.

The Big East is in an extremely awkward spot, they are not the most
attractive conference to join, however, half of their teams such as, WVU,
Louisville, Pitt and USF are extremely valuable to other conferences. The
Big East has been rumored to be interested in Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa
State and even Missouri. But the biggest question is; will these be enough
for the conference to survive?  Likely the only way it will be, is if the
Big East is able to lock down themselves from another ACC raiding.

The idea of “super conferences” put pressure on USF to be successful on a
national front to avoid a possibility of being outside looking in.

The other story which quietly impacts USF in the past week has been
the decade of improper benefits via Booster Nevin Shapiro with the Miami
Hurricanes. This is the largest accusations the NCAA will be investigating
in years. With the possibility of severe penalties and sanctions being
forced on the Canes, not limited to Loss of scholarships and no bowl or
conference championship eligibility, will recruits shy away from the
historic “U”?

It’s a little known secret that the greater Miami area produces some of
the best Prep-School football talent in the nation. Miami has always had a
fence around the surrounding high schools, until the past few seasons. The
past 5 years Miami has only a 35-23 record, which is quite mediocre,
especially for a school which has historically been one of the elite.

College football programs try every year to gain a foothold in the South
Florida area for recruits, but with this looming investigation by the NCAA
and the term “Death Penalty” being constantly thrown around. This could be
the opportunity for the next tier of programs to get in the door.

This newly “available” talent could help push USF to the next level in
which the program is striving so hard to reach.  A winning season, with
possible back to back wins over the Canes would really help to secure
stronger recruits from this area, as well as hopefully open up a pipeline
in South Florida TO the University of South Florida.

There is no doubt in my mind, that there is a looming pressure for the USF
program to win in 2011. And with the opportunity to be a part of a super
conference and gain access to a recruiting hotbed in the greater Miami
area, the 2011 season will directly relate to the long term success for
this program.