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Florida vs. USF: The Daily Stampede sizes up the Bulls, Jeff Scott’s rebuild, and incredible hair

USF is in a precarious spot when it comes to college football’s ever-shifting sands. Its chances of beating Florida this Saturday? Well...

NCAA Football: Houston at South Florida Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

A huge thank you to the folks at The Daily Stampede for getting my questions answered in like 20 minutes on a Saturday. If you haven’t read our A-ing of TDS’s Qs, that’s over yonder.

Florida fans last saw USF in the game in which Anthony Richardson solidified his status as at least Florida’s greatest cameo QB ever, which also doubled as one in which Emory Jones couldn’t quite achieve that same escape velocity. With Richardson now in as Florida’s starter, is USF susceptible to the same sort of Supermanning?

Oh god yes. Howard was able to gash USF on the ground early in the game last week, and we all saw what BYU did in Week 1. There’s no reason (or film) to believe USF will be able to contain Richardson.

USF has been on a long road back to respectability after the bottom fell out at the end of Charlie Strong’s tenure. Is Jeff Scott’s rebuild proceeding at the rate it needs to for him to keep his job, and does it matter if he can’t keep the Bulls close as three-TD underdogs?

In FBS games under Jeff Scott (20 total), USF has trailed by two or more scores after the first quarter 10 times. It’s the tendency of Scott’s teams to start slow. He’s recruited well enough, has gotten donors to spend money on vital things (OCS, IPF, etc). It’s on the field where he continues to lag behind. The jury is still out on if he’s The Guy.

USF’s precarious status as an AAC squad that has arguably — especially per UCF fans — been leapt over in the conference expansion and reshuffling race seems from the outside like the defining characteristic of USF fandom at the moment. Is there truth to that assessment, and are there any specific things the average USF fan wants the program or school to do in the near term?

It’s a dead-on assessment. USF had an eight-year head start in a P5 conference over C. Florida and squandered it away, one boneheaded decision after another. Now, they’re playing catch up during the most unstable time in college athletics.

I believe the right leadership is in place at the university to Make Things Happen, and that hasn’t been the case in a long time.

Your friend and ours Seth Varnadore — we’ll get to him momentarily — noted that USF has some significant playmakers at wide receiver and on special teams. Could they trouble Florida in those phases of the game? Would USF have a better chance in a close low-scoring game or a tense touchdown fiesta?

If it’s a low scoring game, we’re counting that as a win regardless of actual outcome. We’re in real serious “I’ll believe it when I see it” territory with this team.

Jimmy Horn and All-American Brian Battie are dangerous with the ball in their hands. Horn housed a kickoff return in Week 1; Battie took three back last season, and added a 60-yard TD run last week. Still, if it gets points-y, it’s not gonna favor USF.

Finally, I’m just going to steal your last question: We both share custody of Seth Varnadore. So what’s your favorite thing about him?

He brings a legitimacy to football coverage on the site that was missing. He played high school football and college football; he has coached high school and college football. The amount of knowledge that oozes out of him just in passing is enough to make your head spin. Plus, his hair is incredible.