Happy Thursday, V5ers! I'm stepping in for Ken this morning while he... actually I don't know why. He didn't say. On to the links!
1. We'll start ramping up our basketball coverage as the season approaches, but previews are beginning to appear on the Internets. Rivals' preview, by Mike Heugenin and Gary Mondello, is as pessimistic as it gets. They peg USF to finish dead last, list it as a program on the decline(???), and even mention Stan Heath as being on the hot seat, which is silly for numerous reasons. On the plus side, you do have Jon Rothstein of CBSSports.com writing that he thinks the Bulls could even crack the top 10 in the conference if they find a decent point guard. (This reminds me -- there will be a post about the Chuckycrater between now and November 12. Guaranteed.)
2. While we're talking about basketball, USF is one of the few teams to really hit the road in non-conference play, and that leads to them having one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the country. Matt Norlander digs into the data on CBSSports.com.
3. Adam Adkins has a story about forward Victor Rudd, who's ready to hit the court after sitting out his mandatory transfer year. Rudd has bulked up to 220 pounds and also hit the weights hard to improve his strength. Gaze in horror as you read about a diet where he was allowed to eat fast food twice a day during the 2010-11 season.
4. Couple of stories from Greg Auman in advance of Saturday's football game at Rutgers. He passes along practice notes from Tuesday, and he also has a post about how USF is aware of Greg Schiano's trickeration tendencies.
5. This story on the main USF site about the university's European Exhibition is a must-see because they took Rocky with them and that led to some hilarious photos. Including this one -- he's wearing a freaking suit! That's the first time I've ever seen Rocky out of a football or basketball uniform. Totally worth it.
(While this is some high mascot comedy, click here to read about the real purpose of the trip to London.)