It's clearly too early for any accurate predictions of the 2011 college football season. But they're fun to do anyway, so a few of them are popping up.
They're not so much fun to read, though, when you see this, from Brian Bennett:
1. South Florida: Yep, I'm taking a flyer on the Bulls. The 5-2 record down the stretch, impressive bowl showing and returning young talent have me convinced that Year 2 of the Skip Holtz era could be special. B.J. Daniels must make major progress and the receiving corps needs to get better. But if UConn can make a BCS game, why not the Bulls in '11?
Or this, from Athlon Sports:
2. South Florida... the Bulls and Mountaineers look to be the class of this conference next season with a number of competitors nipping at their heels.
Or this, from the SBN mother ship:
Growth Potential - South Florida (young team has bright future if quarterback play is strong).
STOP IT STOP IT EVERYONE JUST STOP IT RIGHT NOW.
Yes, the non-conference schedule is manageable. (Notre Dame might be the hardest game, and it's perfectly timed for the first game of the year. By the end of next season and beyond, I think winning in South Bend is going to be really hard to do.) Yes, the Bulls get West Virginia and Louisville at home in 2011. Yes, they get plenty of help coming in at the skill positions and lots of good players coming back. Yes, Skip Holtz and his staff know how to coach 'em up. And yes, beating the Irish would create an awful lot of buzz because of Skip's dad and because everyone always overvalues Notre Dame in September.
But man, can't we come in under the radar here? Expectations and USF... that hasn't ended well.