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But … did they really regress? In 2010, USF ranked 40th in F/+ and went 3-2 in games decided by...

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But … did they really regress? In 2010, USF ranked 40th in F/+ and went 3-2 in games decided by more than one possession. In 2011, they ranked 40th again and went 4-2 in such games. The difference: they went 5-3 in one-possession games in 2010 and went 1-5 in 2011. All the components were in place for USF to field yet another decent, reasonably successful team. But you still need bounces and breaks, and you still need to make the right plays at the right time. So now Holtz enters Year Three with, in theory, a lot of promise. His Top 40 team returns eight starters on each side of the ball, along with almost its entire defensive two-deep, some interesting newcomers and a solid kicker to boot. (Get it? To boot?) But after years of earning a certain benefit of the doubt, they have to earn it back after a season that saw them play steady ball on paper but lose seven of their last eight games on the actual field of play. For those who indeed picked them to win their conference last fall, do you double down on the Bulls in 2012, or do you hedge?

USF Bulls Preview -- SB Nation Bill Connelly It's a must read, obviously.