Wednesday, October 10, 2007
An Open Letter to University of South Florida
Dear USF Bulls,
My name is Ryan Day and I will cry tears of joy if you win the national championship.
I know I'm not alone. There are people all around the country that are rooting for you even though half of them have no idea what city the University of South Florida is in.
There are probably a lot of things the people of this country don't know about you Bulls.
They might not know that you've been playing Division I-A football for less time than our current president has been running the country. They might not know that your first team meeting was under the shade of a tree because USF didn't have any proper football facilities.
They might not know that you don't have your own stadium and have to share Raymond James Stadium with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They might not know that only 41,000 get to see your home games because only the lower half of the stadium is opened.
They might not know that 77,000 students attend the University of South Florida.
They might not know that you have never lost a home opener. Or that you've achieved a Top 25 ranking faster than any other school. Ever. Since becoming a bowl-eligible Division I-A member in 2001, you Bulls were ranked after 104 AP polls. Boise State had the previous record, getting ranked after 115 AP polls.
USF is also the quickest team to make it into the Top 10. Just by the way.
They might not know that in 2005, the first year you played in the Big East, you were invited to play in your first bowl game, the Meineke Car Care Bowl. They also might not know that the very next year in your second ever bowl game you captured a victory over East Carolina University.
They might not know that quarterback Matt Grothe was named Big East Rookie of the Year last year.
Or that the Green and Gold of South Florida have never been shut out.
And that they had a 21-game winning streak at home from 2000-2003.
People may not know that this season, this number five ranking in the country, is bigger than just a nice, neat little story about a small college having big dreams. This is about securing contracts to play the Miami's and the Florida's and the FSU's year after year. This is about getting the funding necessary to recruit and advertise and build a football program. This is about respect and pride and showing a national media that gave them very little chance to even break the Top 25 that they can hang with anybody in the country any week of the year.
This is about a university establishing itself as a national powerhouse. This is about the University of South Florida putting themselves on the map. This is history, folks. This is the year people will point to when beginning the story of Bulls football.
USF Bulls are we,
We hold our standard upright and free.
For Green and Gold we stand united.
Our beacon lighted and noble to see.
USF Bulls are we,
For USF will always be.
With all our might we fight the battle
here and now, and we will win the victory!
(shout!) S-O-U-T-H F-L-O-R-I-D-A
South Florida, South Florida