St. Petersburg Times Online: Sports
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather

printer version

USF: Looking ahead


© St. Petersburg Times, published August 25, 2000

[Times art]
Click for larger chart
TAMPA -- Standing on the outside looking in, it might be hard to envision the University of South Florida football team competing against any of the established state programs -- at least in the foreseeable future.

Afterall, South Florida is about to begin only its fourth season of college football.

But stand in coach Jim Leavitt's shoes for just one minute, allow yourself to see the program as he has from the day he arrived in 1995, and you might see things differently.

Leavitt came to South Florida with the single goal of developing and building a competitive Division I program as quickly as possible.

After three seasons as a Division I-AA program, the Bulls open this decade making the transition from I-AA to I-A. They move to I-A as an independent in 2001 and join Conference USA in 2003.

The changeover might not be smooth, it might not be easy. But the Bulls are going to succeed, Leavitt believes.

"Whether we do it next year, whether we do it fifty years from now, two years from now, we're going to be a team that's going to be looked at and followed," Leavitt said.

"In 2003, we open up with Alabama. We're moving forward quickly. We will be a powerful program, I don't have any doubt about that. How long will it take? I don't know."

Leavitt said he's not sure when USF will be able to compete head-to-head with Florida, FSU and Miami in the recruiting wars. Winning that battle isn't necessary, he said. There's enough talent in Florida for everybody.

But Leavitt does believe that joining a conference will be crucial in elevating the Bulls' status in the state in the coming years.

"You've got Florida, Florida State and Miami in this state in major conferences and everybody knows the "Big Three" have established themselves to be very strong," Leavitt said. "By us joining Conference USA, we've got the vehicle to move up into that level. We're certainly not those three schools and we've got a long way to go, but we have a vehicle to get there now."

Back to College Football 2000

Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Contact the Times | Privacy Policy
Standard of Accuracy | Terms, Conditions & Copyright

From the Times sports desk
  • FSU's the leader, but the pack's not far behind
  • Our Top 25 teams for 2000
  • Kiper's critics fueled by jealousy, not facts
  • Confusing, but the darned thing works
  • Odds appear to be against an Irish revival
  • Return to greatness
  • Outback Bowl at a glance
  • 2000 bowl schedule
  • UF game by game
  • UF: For the fans
  • UF: What's new
  • UF: Looking back
  • Season of redemption
  • USF game by game
  • USF: Looking ahead
  • USF: Looking back
  • USF: For the fans
  • USF: What's new
  • Growth plans
  • FSU game by game
  • FSU: Looking back
  • FSU: Looking ahead
  • FSU: For the fans
  • FSU: What's new
  • Repeat performers
  • UM: game by game
  • UM: Looking ahead
  • UM: Looking back
  • UM: For the fans
  • UM: What's new
  • Cautious confidence
  • Choices galore, but is it too much?
  • Jacksonville at a glance
  • Bethune-Cookman at a glance
  • Florida A&M at a glance
  • UCF at a glance
  • Rebuilt Wildcats surge toward top
  • Dolphins step into the big time
  • Knights itch to start throwing
  • Rattlers hope to use year for reloading
  • ACC predictions
  • Conference previews
  • SEC West predictions
  • SEC East predictions
  • Big East predictions
  • UF: Looking ahead
  • Nervous Bucs fans should watch these 10 things
  • Chemical reactions will be monitored
  • Saunders breaks arm again
  • Lawsuit names Winters, Griffin
  • Cybersquatters get NFL eviction notice
  • Floridians enjoy a rare game by ABC's Jackson
  • Sports briefs
  • Golf briefs
  • Pro basketball briefs
  • Assistant AD Green's job eliminated
  • Seminole optimism continues to grow
  • Olympics briefs
  • New look, lineup for the Gators
  • After a long wait, Wilson gets a shot
  • McCracken AWOL after his demotion
  • Ripken says his return could be 'very close''
  • Baseball briefs
  • Tampa defeats Jupiter 4-3
  • Coaches feeling the heat
  • Extra points
  • College football around the state
  • College football briefs
  • Trainer: Gruber to start training
  • Around the AFC
  • Around the NFC
  • NFL briefs
  • Citrus earns win over Ridgewood
  • Ground game lifts Leopards
  • Hillsborough gets challenge it wanted
  • Cougar star verbally commits to Tulane
  • Marauders outslug Warhawks by seven
  • With time on its side, Dunedin gathers win

  • From the wire

    From the state sports wire
  • Jacksonville's Spicer placed on IR after leg surgery
  • FIU-Western Kentucky game postponed because of Jeanne
  • Brown anxious to face old team for first time
  • Dolphins' desperate defense readies for Roethlisberger
  • Former Sarasota lineman sheds tough-guy image with Michigan
  • Rothstein rejoins Heat as assistant
  • No. 16 Florida has history on its side against Kentucky
  • FSU and Clemson QBs both off to slow starts