Phil Steele is one of the most revered college football experts in the country and makes predictions each year on conference winners, who will be in which bowl games and even team records. This year he has a pretty bold prediction on who he believes will make a coveted New Year's Six Bowl game and it's not a Power 5 team. Via Coaching Search:
"The team I think is going to make the New Year's Six is South Florida. I don't think they have any chance of making the (playoff). I like the talent Willie Taggart left for Charlie Strong. You look at the size and speed in the defensive front seven and the secondary. The schedule, toughest game of the season, maybe Houston at home? Tulsa? I think South Florida runs the table and gets that New Year's Six bid."
USF went 11-2 last year under coach Willie Taggart, but he took the open Oregon job and headed out West. Strong's tenure at Texas came to an abrupt end, mostly because boosters didn't like him and the expectations were too high to begin with when he took over in 2013.
However, Strong is back in a region where he knows the recruiting landscape incredibly well having snagged recruits out of the southeast dating back to his days as an assistant at Florida and head coach at Louisville. Expecting the Bulls to become bowl-eligible should be the minimum, but to get an invite to a New Year's Six Bowl would mean they win their conference and are ranked pretty high by the end of the season.
Don't count out this team led by Strong though as he's going to instill toughness and he's a defensive genius to boot. And we all know that defense wins championships, or at least important bowl games.
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