Phil Steele Picks South Florida To Win The Big East In 2012

TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 1: Quarterback B. J. Daniels #7 of the South Florida Bulls directs play against the West Virginia Mountaineers December 1, 2011 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

While most preseason publications have picked Louisville or Rutgers to win the Big East, Phil Steele has once again used his unique system to pick a surprise Big East winner in 2012: South Florida. The South Florida that didn't make it to a bowl game and went 1-6 in Big East play last year? Yes, that South Florida. Of the Bulls, Steele writes:

They led Louisville 17-10 at half but lost at home by 10. USF led WV 27-20 but gave up a 52 yd IR td and 90 yd KR td in a 30-27 loss (USF 397-364 yd edge). USF also had a key fumble on FD at the WV28 when they were driving to take the lead (3:02 left). It was the Bulls first losing season s/'04. TY they are a much more exp'd group with 15 ret sts and despite their 1-6 BE rec LY they were +26.4 ypg. They also had 4 net close losses giving them a 91.4% chance of improvement (pg 309). USF makes my Most Improved List and gets my call to earn their first ever Big East Title, to finish the ssn ranked for the first time and to land in a BCS bowl.

What does Steele see that could make him so confident in South Florida? Beyond the close losses mentioned above, the Bulls return 18 starters from last year's team and get Rutgers at home. They do travel to both Louisville and Cincinnati, but those aren't impossible games to win. South Florida's fortunes really come down to one thing: can BJ Daniels finally be a competent passer? If he can, the defense should be very good and that would keep the Bulls in just about every game on the schedule. If he struggles (again) throwing the ball or if the injury bug strikes again, this will be the same ol' Bulls in 2012.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Big East Coast Bias

You must be a member of Big East Coast Bias to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Big East Coast Bias. You should read them.

Join Big East Coast Bias

You must be a member of Big East Coast Bias to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Big East Coast Bias. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker