It wasn't the greatest bowl win ever, but when you go 5-7 the next year it looks awfully good in hindsight.
If you're on the east coast this afternoon, USF football will hold its first scrimmage of the fall at 5:30pm at the Vero Beach Sports Complex. The scrimmage is open to the public, and as Skip Holtz mentioned last week, this is the first checkpoint of camp. After the scrimmage, the coaches will get together and create an updated depth chart. Then after that, the reps at practice will be heavily skewed towards the players on the two-deep. So today's the day to impress someone if you're a true freshman or maybe a walk-on who wants to play this season.
I started hedging on doing Camp Roundups every day because they were all pretty much the same after only a few days. Yes, there's intensity. Yes, everyone likes going to Vero Beach because it helps the team bond together and focus. There are no injuries or issues to talk about. It's the same story at 100 other anonymous schools. How many times can you write that without boring everyone?
There's one encouraging thing I keep reading, though, and that's how legitimately pissed off everyone appears to be about going 5-7 last season. Skip talks about it after practices. The players talk about it in their interviews and apparently they bring it up all the time when the seniors speak to the team at night. Tom Zebold writes it in his practice wraps on GoUSFBulls.com. They're absolutely taking this the right way. Some teams might have looked at last season and thought, "That's not us, we're lost a bunch of close games and we're better than that, let's just put it behind us." That's not true, though. Good teams don't go 5-7 no matter what the circumstances are. 5-7 is not an accident, it's the truth. But it's also a motivator and a focal point. That's how USF looks like they're treating it.
I hope we get to see a few more of these "Inside the Program" videos as time goes on. Here's one with Chris Walz about the athletic training team:
A few other links of note:
- The official site's recap of practice on Sunday night focused on the return game, which wasn't anywhere near the same after Terrence Mitchell concussed himself laying out UTEP's punter on a fake back in September. The kickoff return game was off last season as well, but even if Lindsey Lamar can't return to his form of two years ago, there are several other candidates to put some life into the kick return team.
- Bill "Big 4" McGillis talked to Joey Johnston about Florida State tickets. I'm not getting into that whole thing again. I just hope there aren't FSU or USF townies buying tickets just to get drunk and fight each other in the upper deck, because I get even more tired of those stories and all the arguing about fans not being "classy" (a word I will never, ever, ever use in a post) than I do with stories about who's buying the tickets in the first place.
- Even though he did a 2 1/2-hour chat last Thursday, Greg Auman still couldn't get all of the USF questions he wanted to answer taken care of, so here's the first of a two-part mailbag.
- There are a couple of features out there on Kayvon Webster -- one by the Tribune and one by CBS Sports -- plus there's a feature on Luke Sager on the official site.