BROOKSVILLE, Fla.—- This is it, this is the place, the city that your old Uncle Mel is now calling-home sweet home!
The city of Brooksville is the county seat of Hernando County and is an award winning rural community, it is just about a 35 minute drive to the big city lights of Tampa and the home of the National Football League, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the American League East Division Tampa Bay Rays. Oh yeah just to add to the confusion for Uncle Mel they play their home games in Saint Petersburg at Tropicana Field.
If your old uncle is ready for and in the need for National League Hockey, he can satisfy his need for some crushing body checks by watching the Tampa Bay Lighting play here in the city of Tampa.
Now nieces and nephews, I know you are asking, what about college football Uncle Mel?
Well now don’t you fret none, the city of Tampa provides that too!
Oh yes, Uncle Mel can watch big time football at the University of Florida in Gainesville at some place called the Swamp but it is not the Big House or do some kind of chop by watching the Florida State Seminoles but that place is not like Rynearson Stadium, which is the friendliest football stadium in the Mid-American Conference and the home of Eastern Michigan University.
Your old Uncle Mel would prefer to sit inside the cool press box at Raymond James Stadium and watch the University of South Florida Bulls.
Sure, it is nice to see any team from the Southeastern Conference come into a place call the Swamp and it is nice to work up a powerful thirst doing some arm exercise and watching teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference visit and play Florida State University.
What the city of Tampa provides for Uncle Mel, is the privilege and the excitement of watching the Bulls and their new football conference the American Athletic Conference.
The conference opens up July 1, 2013 and after the introductions are completed, your old buddy Uncle Mel, will have to ask some question to the new commissioner of the conference.
Why did so many teams want to leave the Big East Conference?
Is there still a Big East Conference?
Are there Bowl games and how many?
Is there room for expansion?
What about basketball, baseball and the other conference sponsored sports?
Then nieces and nephews we will have to turn our undivided attention to the football program at the University of South Florida.
The Bulls will have a new conference and a new football coach Willie Taggart, he arrived in the city of Tampa from the green rolling hills of Western Kentucky University, were he led the Hilltoppers to their first NCAA Bowl appearance.
Western Kentucky University accepted the bid to play in the city of Detroit at the Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl which is played at Ford Field, the home of the NFL’s Detroit Lions.
The Hilltoppers played against Central Michigan University and were defeated by the Chippewas 24-21, after the game Taggart excepted the position at the University of South Florida.
Uncle Mel is told that last season under Skip Holtz, the Bulls did not perform at an acceptable level and finished just 3-8 and that finished Holtz.
Holtz did not stay unemployed long, he is now the football coach at Louisiana Tech University.
Taggart offense will heavily rely on how well his team can run the football, which is an offense that can control the ball, control the clock and the tempo of the game.
He will look hard at his tailbacks to find one that can endure running the ball 25 or 30 times a game plus have a set of good and reliable hands for catching passes a wrinkle in the offense.
Taggart will be looking for a player on the Bulls roster to be like his all-purpose yardage leader from last season Antonio Andrews.
Andrews finish the season with 3,161 of all-purpose yards, he averaged 243.2 yards per game and for good measure he found the end zone 15 times for Taggart and the Hilltoppers.
Many fans of the Bulls football say-good luck in replacing that kind of production on the football field from one player.
Taggart defense is simple-speed!
It is true, that toughness will be required because it does no good, if you can get to the ball and as a defender you can not get to the opponent down on the ground.
Just ask Eastern Michigan University football coach Ron English that question and look out when he answers because you will get an ear full.
If you miss, Uncle Mel feels sorry for you!
Special team will be a big part of University of South Florida success, if the Bulls contain field position, run the offense on a short field and give the opponent a long field then the turn around for success under Taggart will be a welcome sight for Bull fans to witness.
For Uncle Mel and coach Taggart, a new team, a new city and new weather- it is hot!
Uncle Mel and Taggard both can say-it is good to be home!
About the Author
Written by Mel Suiter
Graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2002 and have been working as a beat writer for The Ypsilanti Courier covering Eastern Michigan University football and men's basketball during my school career and after graduation. I like the Mid-American Conference and the rest of the mid-major conferences.