Good news, everyone! We can start talking about basketball! With Stan Heath, Victor Rudd, Anthony Collins, and Toarlyn Fitzpatrick on hand at the New York Athletic Club for Wednesday's Big East media day, let's start with the news out of New York.
USF was picked to finish eighth, by far its highest placement in the preseason coaches' poll since joining the Big East. Coaches aren't allowed to vote for their own teams, so Notre Dame got the first-place vote that Rick Pitino couldn't give himself.
Siva holds down the point guard spot on the all-Big East preseason first team, but Anthony Collins makes it onto the second team.
Stan Heath disagrees a bit with that assesment and tells everyone to wait until the end of the season, and then look again.
Musa Abdul-Aleem's debut for USF will be a little later than expected as he continues to heal from an injury that affected him last season. The good news is that the only potentially tough game in that 4-6 week window is the UCF game on November 10. By the time Georgia and Oklahoma State appear back-to-back, Abdul-Aleem should be back in the lineup. But this is USF basketball, and weird things happen.
Here's Zeigler's Rivals profile. He's a three-star power forward for the class of 2013, helping to rebuild the post positions next season after pretty much everyone leaves. Bo also has a YouTube highlight reel.
Now on to the football links, which aren't as exciting.
Do you live outside Florida or Kentucky and want to watch the USF-Louisville game on regular TV? HAHA, SCREW YOU LOSERS! GET A LAPTOP OR STFU AND WATCH NEBRASKA AND NORTHWESTERN! (Special shoutout to ESPN for picking this game for ABC coverage and then hiding it from 90% of the country. When does the exclusive negotiating window end, is that in 12 days?)
Remember Tshumbi Johnson? He verbally committed to USF to play wide receiver way back in early summer, and then slowly backed away step by step. Johnson listed a top five later on, a sure sign that he was a very soft commit at best. He says USF pulled their offer, which is kind of bad form since you could have 500 offers out there if you wanted to. But it was getting pretty obvious that he wasn't actually going to sign with the Bulls.
Maybe this is why that offer got pulled? The lede from the Tribune: "Less than a day after receiving a scholarship offer from the University of South Florida, Tampa Catholic senior wide receiver Zach Benjamin has made a verbal commitment to the Bulls, Crusaders head coach Bob Henriquez announced Tuesday."
One of the few really noticeable changes to the depth chart this week is moving Sam Barrington back to middle linebacker and making room for Reshard Cliett at outside backer... all knocking Michael Lanaris down to second string. Skip also mentions D'vario Montgomery and Sean Price, who we've seen at certain points already this season, along with Tashon Whitehurst, Zack Bullock, and Clavion Nelson (who replaced Julius Forte on the two-deep this week).
Surprise! Phil Steele actually likes USF to put up a fight in this game. But he still predicts Louisville to survive and move to 7-0.