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USF got one final reminder Thursday of just how far they’ve fallen

Florida Football Insiders

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

A tough but predictable end to the USF 2018 football season happened Thursday night in Tampa. And, it was the final reminder of: not only where the Bulls were a year ago, but how much work there is to be done, if they want to get back to real relevancy.

When the Clock struck 0:00 at Raymond James Stadium to end the Gasparilla Bowl, the scoreboard read Marshall 38 USF 20. And, it was a sobering final defeat for the second season for Charlie Strong’s program.

Sobering, because USF became the first school in FBS history to win their first seven games and then lose out with six straight the rest of the way.

Sobering, because in the short-term, USF had a month to prepare for a game at home-in their home stadium, and yet, were completely outplayed in the first 30 minutes (above) falling behind 28 – 7.

Further so sobering, because their defense, which is supposed to be Strong’s forte’, was nowhere to be found for much of the night. This, as Marshall racked up 503 yards including 282 of them on the ground and pulled away.

And no, this was not a Power 5 program with big-time elite athletes. Yes, Marshall has a proven program out of Conference USA and this was their seventh straight Bowl win, by the way. However, it’s not a program littered with four and five star recruits. Yet, they ran over, around and past Bulls defenders all night.

As this video from Tampa Bay Times beat writer Joey Knight showed late Thursday evening, Strong looked shell-shocked and had very few answers about how far and quickly USF dropped off this season:

We can’t say at F.F.I. that we were surprised as USF’s free fall, as we were writing about how suspect the Bulls unbeaten record was looking every week all throughout September and early October. The Bulls were repeatedly playing poorly and beating bad teams, barely in the 4th quarter.

It obviously caught up to them, big time, when the better competition came around at the end of the year, and the Bulls never recovered.

So the Strong and his returning players head into the offseason, having gotten two or three really good recruits on the early signing day Wednesday. And, having some hope that they can put pieces together this spring and next summer to be ready for 2019.

However, even the most staunch supporters of the Green and Gold football program would have to admit: as much as they were jacked after a bowl win over Texas Tech last year and back-to-back 10 win seasons, this is the 180 degree exact opposite.

Six straight losses to end the year is a “cold water in the face” reality delivered one final time by the Marshall Thundering Herd.

There is a lot of work to do, beginning now.

USF Bulls

Report- Alabama will hire Charlie Strong as consultant

Florida Football Insiders

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Former USF coach Charlie Strong has decided on a new role for the upcoming 2020 season, and it won’t be in Gainesville.

ESPN college football insider Chris Low reported Tuesday morning that Strong has agreed to join Nick Saban’s staff at Alabama as a defensive “consultant” for this season

As we wrote last week, Strong had visited Saban and the Tide about the possible position on his staff, while considering a similar opportunity to join either Dan Mullen’s Gators staff or a couple of others in a consulting role. None of this will affect the nearly $3 million that USF still owes him as the buyout on the final two years of his contract.

Strong was fired after the Bulls collapsed losing their final four games to finish 4 – 8 this season. They were beaten by 27 or more points five times this year, including the last two losses to Memphis and rival UCF. This combined with the Bulls having lost their final six games, including their bowl game last year, meant that Strong had lost 14 of his final 18 games.

USF hired Clemson Co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott earlier about a week later and gave him a 5-year, $12 million deal to become a first-time head coach in FBS football.

There had been some debate about Strong’s buyout being the amount of compensation that was remaining on his original five-year contract that he signed when he took the job in December of 2016 after being fired by the University of Texas. That contract called for Strong to be paid to $2. 5 million on average for 2020 and 2021.

However, USF informed Strong in his termination letter that the amount would be approximately $3 million under clauses in his deal.

Saban has a history of taking in former head coaches to come to Bama and observe and assist as a consultant with either his offense or defense. He’s done this for the last two years with former Tennessee coach Butch Jones and obviously, took in both Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian both of whom had been fired as coaches by USC at different stages.

Strong is known is an outstanding defensive coach from his previous days, as the Gators defensive coordinator under Urban Meyer. He later went on to success at the University of Louisville before taking The the Texas head coaching job in 2014.

Strong was fired after three seasons in Austin in 2016, but immediately hired by USF to replace Willie Taggart.

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USF Bulls

Former USF coach Strong to be consultant for Alabama?

Florida Football Insiders

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Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

And intriguing item popped up Friday morning involving former USF head coach Charlie Strong and him visiting Nick Saban the Alabama football program.

According to Alabama Insider and radio host, Aaron Suttles, Strong, who was dismissed last December after his third season with the Bulls, was in Tuscaloosa Thursday meeting with Saban and his staff:

Strong had also been reportedly talking with the University of Florida about a possible consultant role, which likely would not affect the nearly $3 million that USF still owes him as the buyout on the final two years of his contract.

Strong was fired after the Bulls collapsed losing their final four games to finish 4 – 8 this season. They were beaten by 27 or more points five times this year, including the last two losses to Memphis and rival UCF. This combined with the Bulls having lost their final six games, including their bowl game last year, meant that Strong had lost 14 of his final 18 games.

USF hired Clemson Co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott earlier about a week later and gave him a 5-year, $12 million deal to become a first-time head coach in FBS football.

There had been some debate about Strong’s buyout being the amount of compensation that was remaining on his original five-year contract that he signed when he took the job in December of 2016 after being fired by the University of Texas. That contract called for Strong to be paid to $2. 5 million on average for 2020 and 2021.

However, USF informed Strong in his termination letter that the amount would be approximately $3 million under clauses in his deal.

Saban has a history of taking in former head coaches to come to Bama and observe and assist as a consultant with either his offense or defense. He’s done this for the last two years with former Tennessee coach Butch Jones and obviously, took in both Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian both of whom had been fired as coaches by USC at different stages.

Strong is known is an outstanding defensive coach from his previous days, as the Gators defensive coordinator under Urban Meyer. He later went on to success at the University of Louisville before taking The the Texas head coaching job in 2014.

Strong was fired after three seasons in Austin in 2016, but immediately hired by USF to replace Willie Taggart

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