The Case for the Bulls to Join the Big 12

By on July 21, 2016
Quinton Flowers (9) runs in a touchdown as South Florida Bulls offensive lineman Mak Djulbegovic (71) celebrates. (photo Logan Bowles / USA TODAY Sports)

Quinton Flowers (9) runs in a touchdown as South Florida Bulls offensive lineman Mak Djulbegovic (71) celebrates. (photo Logan Bowles / USA TODAY Sports)

It wasn’t that long ago that the South Florida Bulls were the next up and coming team in college football. In 2007 they were ranked as high as 2nd in the AP Poll, beat the Auburn Tigers and ended up playing Oregon in the Brut Sun Bowl.

Then a half decade of football irrelevance followed.

Head Coach Jim Leavitt was fired in 2010 and replaced by Skip Holtz. The Big East disbanded after the 2012 season and the Bulls are thrust into the football purgatory called the American Athletic Conference.

But wait Bulls fans. All is not lost. There could be some light at the end of the tunnel.

As you know by now, the Big 12 conference this week announced they are going to expand and would like to bring in 2-4 teams. For the Bulls, now is the time to strike while the iron is hot and continue or their quest to get back to football relevancy.

Just imagine what USF could do with $30 million. $30 MIILION! That is the amount any new team would be guaranteed from the Big 12 contract with ESPN and Fox per CBSSports.com’s Dennis Dodd.

USF resides in the nation’s 11th largest television market. Tampa is within close proximity to the beaches (a much better place to host media days instead of Dallas, TX). Also, expanding into Florida would allow Big 12 coaches to expand their recruiting bases. From 2011-2015, Florida ranked second only to Texas in the number of 3, 4 and 5 star recruits.

The Bulls also have a secret weapon in their back pocket as well. Athletic Director Mark Harlan. Harlan was the Senior Athletic Director at UCLA when the Pac 10 expanded and became the Pac 12. Harlan is a veteran of expansion and has the ability to make USF stand out.

USF has been pretty quiet about their interest in the Big 12 and they very well could remain silent until the Big 12 votes, which could come as early as August or as late as the conference meetings in October.

Until the announcement Bulls fans, we will be left holding our breaths, crossing our fingers, and doing our ceremonial prayers to Jobu.

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