How did South Florida do it? Eleven years ago, the school didn't even have a football program. Today the Bulls are 4-0 and ranked No. 6 in the Associated Press poll.
Ray Melick of the Birmingham News tackles the question of why teams such as South Florida, Rutgers and West Virginia have skyrocketed to the top of the charts. Writes Melick:
"Good coaching is part of it. So is commitment to the program. And scholarship limits have spread talent around more evenly. But those reasons don't explain everything, in particular how some very talented football players are denied admission to some schools but not others."
Melick quotes Alabama's Nick Saban, who says, "I think there are six guys starting on South Florida's defense who probably could have gone to Florida or Florida State but Florida and Florida State couldn't take them."
There are different admission policies from school to school, writes Melick, making it easier for some athletes to gain entrance into certain schools.
Meanwhile, South Florida officials are hoping the buzz created by the football team exposes the the university to prospective students nationwide.
"This will cause a few people to sit up and take notice," South Florida undergraduate admissions director Robert Spatig said. "We will seek to capitalize on it as much as we can."
Thanks to Sonny Side Up for the photo.