Round 1 of the "USF Things" bracket continues today with the Things Region. Eight more matchups await you -- make your selections by the end of the night.
All eight higher seeds advanced from the Places Bracket: the Marshall Center, the Library Starbucks, the Sun Dome, Campus Recreation, Mr Dunderbak's, Peabody's, Andros Dining, and Copper Top/CDB.
Also, Sara Nevins held off Anthony Collins in their revote to move on to the second round in the People Region.
(1) HOMECOMING vs. (16) "BIG 4" BILLBOARD
Homecoming is the embodiment of what people want USF to be. A school where everyone is filled with spirit, where people come from all around to take pride in their university, and where the entire community is invested in its success. We throw a parade, we light a fire and have a carnival, then we go tailgate and watch the Bulls win a football game. It's everything you want out of the college experience.
Then you have this billboard, which was stupid at the time and gets stupider with every passing day. Way to go, McGillis. At least you haven't done anything since then to dispel the notion that you've helped turn USF athletics into a bush-league operation.
(8) CAMPUS SQUIRRELS vs. (9) CAMPUS CATS
If you have trees on your campus, you're going to have squirrels, but the USF squirrels are (horrible pun incoming) a different animal. Students love them, so the squirrels are all over the place and happy to take your food the second you aren't looking at it. No one really minds, though. Do a Google search for "USF squirrels" and you see a Facebook page with over 5,000 likes, funny Instagrams and YouTube videos, and even a couple of Oracle columns that prove how happy we all are to share the campus with our squirrel friends. It almost wouldn't be USF without them.
Most of the cats on campus, contrary to some popular belief, are not dangerous. They've been sterilized and they have their shots, but they're still considered feral because they hunt for food. I bet the cats would get the same love that the squirrels do if they weren't so reclusive. I've seen bowls of water and cat chow set out for them between the Library and Cooper Hall a couple of times, so at least someone cares.
(4) NIGHT GAME TAILGATES vs. (13) NOON GAME TAILGATES
When USF has a 7:00pm kickoff, all is right with the world in the Raymond James Stadium parking lots. Everyone rolls in early in the afternoon, sets up their tents and TVs, fires up their grills, cracks open the beers and liquors, and starts the party. Dare I say the tailgates for Saturday night games are even better than Bucs tailgates? I think I do.
On the other hand, noon game tailgates are a downer, because who really wants to start drinking at 7 or 8 in the morning? Kegs and eggs aren't the worst thing in the world, but man, that's just too early to be drunk, isn't it? Then the game ends at like 3:30, and you've already done your partying and you're sunburned and tired from being out in the heat all afternoon and the whole rest of your Saturday is down the drain. Come to think of it, a 13-seed might be too high.
(5) BULL RUNNER vs. (12) LIBRARY GRENADE
USF's campus shuttle system gets more useful every year, as more students live on campus and parking becomes harder and harder to come by. You can track the buses live on the Bull Runner Web site and see when they're going to reach you. It also runs to University Mall and University Commons, plus all the apartment complexes on 42nd and 46th Streets so you don't have to bring your car on campus. Underrated source of hookups, and also occasional crazy people.
The Library grenade was discovered a couple of years ago. Someone had donated a bunch of World War I or II memorabilia without really looking at what was inside it. The box sat in the Library for awhile, until the day in December 2011 when someone in the Special Collections department opened it up to see what was inside. The bomb squad was called and part of the building was evacuated. Turns out that even though the grenade was painted red to mark it as inactive, it was still live.
(6) "THE ANDROS SONG" vs. (11) ROCKY D. BULL
Behold the Andros Song. I have nothing to add.
Rocky is USF's mascot. It still slays me when he wears a suit.
(3) SAFE TEAM CABS vs. (14) 1990's USF LOGO
I don't think this existed back in the day, and I never really needed it anyway, but SAFE Team offers a service called Alert Cab. Basically it's your designated driver if you're a USF student and you're 21 or older. They dispatch a taxi to pick you up at your local bar and they take you to any residence in Hillsborough County. For free. Beats the hell out of a night in the drunk tank.
The 1990s were not a golden era for design. A lot of school decided in the 90s that they were going to make their logos tougher and more aggressive, with bold colors and snarling faces and all that. USF was no different. Imagine everyone's horror when in 1995, the school rolled out this thing:
I don't think I want to print some of the descriptions I've heard of that logo, but Robobull is one of the ones I can share. After only a few years, USF wisely dumped it for the logo they have today.
(7) FREE FOOD vs. (10) THE ORACLE
Free food is like a second currency to poor college students, and one that's easier to get that real currency. I often wondered how offensive of an event you could put on and still get people to show up just because you're giving them free food. I'm guessing it would have to be really offensive.
The Oracle is USF's student newspaper, one of the best in the Southeast. I do think it gets a bad rap from the campus population sometimes. It's a student newspaper, not the New York Times. Everyone there is learning how to be a reporter or an editor or a news photographer. And I think sometimes they get encouraged by their advisor to write some of the more outlandish things they write, just to show them what will happen.
(2) MOVIES ON THE LAWN vs. (15) PARKING THE FIRST WEEK OF CLASS
Movies on the Lawn go back a long way at USF, back to when CAB would project films against the back of the old Special Events Center. Now they're held in the student plaza of the Marshall Center, but other than that it's the same as it's always been -- a free movie outside on Wednesday nights. Believe it or not, it's one of USF's longest-running social events.
I don't need to explain what a pain in the ass it is to park on campus during the first week of the semester. Just vote against it and we'll move on.