Team preview: South Florida

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(All information as of July 1, 2005)


USF head coach Jim Leavitt has been the only face of the Bulls program since their Division I-AA debut in the 1997, and has seen both the good and the bad times.

Last season would qualify as one of the "bad times" as the Bulls limped to a 4-7 record and lost six of their final eight games, getting crushed by Louisville, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh in the process.

But a new year and 17 returning starters brings a wealth of optimism to the Tampa campus, as does their move to the Big East. The switch places them in a more difficult conference, but also raises the bar of accomplishment, allowing the Bulls to daydream of possible BCS Bowl games in their future.

It has been a meteoric rise for Leavitt and the USF program as they began as a I-AA powerhouse in the late nineties, enjoyed a pair of successful seasons as an independent in 2001 and 2002 during which the Bulls won 17 games, and then endured a pair of seasons in Conference USA before this season's migration to the Big East.