Team preview: South Florida
Blue Ribbon Yearbook previews the 2005 college football season, exclusively on Insider.
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.