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TAMPA, Fla. -- USF debuted at No. 2 in the initial Bowl Championship Series Rankings released on Sunday afternoon.
It is the first ever BCS ranking in a season of firsts for the Bulls, but more importantly it places USF as a major player in the national championship picture.
The No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the BCS rankings at the end of the regular season will play in the BCS National Championship Game on Jan. 7, 2008 in New Orleans, La.
If the Bulls hold ground, they would be heading to the Superdome for the title game in just their 11th year of college football competition.
"There are a lot of games still to be played, but this a tremendous tribute to Coach Leavitt, our assistant coaches, and especially our football student athletes," said USF Athletic Director Doug Woolard. "It's tremendously exciting to see how the whole Tampa Bay community is embracing this team and the national recognition and branding the entire University is receiving."
The BCS standings use the Coaches Poll, Harris Poll and computer polls to determine the most worthy teams. USF is third in the Coaches and Harris polls and No. 1 in the computer polls.
USF trails No. 1 Ohio State by 22 percentage points and leads No. 3 Boston college by 29 percentage points.
Here is a look at the initial rankings:
1. Ohio State
3. Boston College
6. South Carolina
8. Arizona State
9. West Virginia
11. Virginia Tech
• The Bulls are ranked No. 2 in the Associated Press Poll and are receiving 11 first place votes. USF received 1,503 points and trails only No. 1 Ohio State, which has 1,599 points and 50 first place votes. Boston College trails the Bulls, followed by No. 4 Oklahoma and No. 5 LSU.
• The Bulls are ranked No. 3 in the USA Today/Coaches Poll which was announced early Sunday afternoon. USF received three first place votes. Ohio State is No. 1 and received 56 first place vote. Boston College is No. 2 but only received one first place vote .
• ESPN BCS expert and predictor Brad Edwards expects the Bulls to be No. 2 behind Ohio State in the initial BCS rankings announced on Sunday. Edwards has Boston College at No. 3, LSU No. 4 and South Carolina No. 5.
• USF now shares the longest active winning streak among NCAA FBS team at eight games.
• The other teams with eight straight wins are Boston College and Hawaii. The Bulls and Eagles should come in at No. 2 or 3 (no specific order) in first edition of the BCS rankings, as well as the AP and Coaches Polls, which will be announced on Sunday.
• The ESPN college FB talent do top five rankings during their numerous shows at the end of Saturday night. Mark May picked USF as the No. 1 team in the land. Lou Holtz and Kirk Herbstreit had USF at No. 5 and Lee Corso left the Bulls out.
• The USF defense held UCF to 145 yards of offense in the 64-12 win on Saturday. The yardage output is the lowest since USF held FAMU to 85 total yards in 2005.
• USF's defense, which was sixth in turnovers gained coming into Saturday, forced three turnovers in the first half against the Knights - two fumble recoveries and one interception.
• George Selvie racked up 4 tackles for loss, 1 sack and 1 forced fumble - in the first half. Selvie added another tackle in the second half when he played sparingly.
• Selvie set the USF single season TFL for loss record in just six games this season by increasing his total to 21.5. The previous record was 19 by Craig Kobel in 2003 and Kawika Mitchell in 2002.
• The sophomore from Pensacola already owns the USF single season sack record with 11.5. He leads the NCAA in both categories.
• Selvie has exposed teams in the opening moments of games. He has recorded a sack on the opponents opening series in three games this year, including the last two. He has a sack in the first or second series in four of six games.
• Thorpe Award Candidate Trae Williams has nine interceptions in the last two seasons, which is second among all players at the NCAA FBS level.
• Matt Grothe has rushed for 100 yards in back-to-back games. He had 100 yards against UCF, needing less than three quarters to accumulate the yardage. He had 120 yards at FAU the weekend before.
• Grothe accounted for 4 touchdowns against UCF. He rushed for two and passed for another two - both to WR Taurus Johnson. He had 312 yards of total offense before leaving midway through the third quarter.
• Grothe day could have easily been much better. He had three receivers drop TD passes in the first half.
• USF's defense has forced three or more turnovers four times this season. They have averaged more forced turnovers (4.5) against major conference teams - West Virginia, UNC, Auburn & UCF - than against FCS teams (1.5) Elon and Sun Belt member FAU.
• USF's defense held West Virginia Heisman candidates Steve Slaton (54 yards), Pat White (36 yards) and UCF's Kevin Smith (55 yards), who led the country in rushing yards per game - to a combined 145 yards rushing this season. That is less that Smith averaged – 172 yards - entering the game against USF.
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