Well, it appears as if I am not the only one who believes USF has the potential to be very good up front in 2013.
Noted college football guru Phil Steele does as well.
Steele ranks USF as one of the top 15 defensive lines in the nation headed into the season. The Bulls check in at No. 11, ahead of Alabama and LSU. That is not a misprint. Steele believes USF has the talent to be better than two of the best teams in the country.
Watch out now.
The Bulls had their "worst" rush defense since 2004 last season, allowing 150 yards per game on the ground. This year seven of the top eight are back, including DE Ryne Giddins (12.5 sacks in three seasons), and they add in super Notre Dame transfer Aaron Lynch (PS No. 7, 5.5 sacks in 2011), who is a possible first-round draft choice in next year's draft.
Something tells me you guys already know which position I am going to choose as the Bulls' strength when it's their turn in our series Friday.
Teddy Bridgewater should be the first quarterback taken in next year's draft. He had a great sophomore season, throwing for 3,718 yards with a 69 percent completion rate and a 27-8 ratio. Bridgewater also had one of the gutsiest performances I have ever seen out of quarterback. With a BCS bowl bid on the line against Rutgers last year, he played with a broken wrist and sprained ankle. Offensive coordinator Shawn Watson is also high on redshirt freshman backup Will Gardner (PS No. 59), and they added a PS No. 146 juco player in Brett Nelson for depth.
Watson might be high on Gardner and Nelson, but Louisville clearly got this ranking based on Bridgewater. Losing veteran backup Will Stein definitely hurts, because both players behind Bridgewater are completely inexperienced. Louisville has to hope Bridgewater stays healthy for the entire season.