The South Florida football team is now being mentioned in the same sentence as “possible 12-0 record” following its upset of West Virginia Friday night. St. Petersburg Times columnist John Romano wrote Monday “Welcome to the greatest story ever polled” after South Florida wound up No. 6 in the latest AP poll. The Bulls had never been ranked until they topped Auburn recently. ...

I think WVU got a good break from the pollsters who still saw fit to rank Rich Rodriguez’s Mountaineers in the No. 13 slot after that embarrassing loss to South Florida Friday night. I had expected they would fall to 17th or 18th place. The fact South Florida is No. 6 is somewhat surprising, but its victory over Auburn looks better now that the Tigers have topped defending national champion Florida. ...

Don’t look for any Big East team to finish unbeaten in league play this year. South Florida WILL be beaten (despite John Romano writing that “they have every right to expect to be 12-0” and so will Connecticut, Rutgers, Cincinnati and, of course, Syracuse. What’s that they always say? There’s so much parity in the league this year. ...

Most people have the Syracuse game already written into the record books as a victory for WVU Saturday, but the Orange is seldom easy. It’s a shame Syracuse had to lose to Miami of Ohio Saturday in a battle of 1-3 teams, but it should be remembered that Syracuse’s lone victory was over Louisville — once a top 5 team. Quarterback Andrew Robinson passed for 423 yards and four touchdowns in the 38-35 victory over Louisville. ...

Steve Slaton, the other half of West Virginia’s potent offensive tandem, hasn’t been as impressive this year as WVU fans had hoped. At South Florida, he fumbled twice and had a poorly thrown pass glance off him and wind up in the hands of a South Florida linebacker. I liked what WVU receiver Dorrell Jalloh had to say. “We’ve got to keep our heads up high. At times like this, when you have adversity, you have to persevere.” ...

Fairmont State’s football team put up some impressive numbers in its 31-21 loss to Glenville here Saturday night (Doug Brazil’s 125 yards rushing, 409 yards in total offense, 13 completions and two TD’s from the passing of Derek Taylor and John Rahl), but the figure that really stands out is the 158 yards in penalties. Glenville was charged with 70 yards in penalties in the personal foul-infested game. ...

Veteran reporter Bill Byrd follows sports rather closely, and he likes to keep sportswriters’ preseason predictions and see how they come out after the season is over. He showed me Ron Cook’s prediction in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette made back on March 30 about the Pirates, for whom many were predicting big things.

The headline told the story. Cook wasn’t about to be fooled again and expects a 90-loss year. The Bucs lost 94 and won only 68 — one more victory than last year. ...

NOTES: Mt. Union College won its 63rd consecutive road game Saturday at Heidelberg, 62-3. Didn’t see the stats, but I doubt if Fairmont’s Jay Carpenter had to punt very often. Mt. Union hasn’t dropped a road game in 12 seasons. ... Did you notice that former Pirate Josh Fogg was the starting pitcher for the Rockies in their big NL tiebreaker game with San Diego last night? Fogg was 10-9 for the Rockies this year. ....

Even Yankee-haters have to give credit to the Bronx Bombers, who started the season 21-29 before turning things around. Joe Torre’s ball club finished with a 73-39 record from May 30 on. The Roger Clemens deal didn’t pay many dividends. The seven-time Cy Young Award winner is 6-6 with a 4.18 ERA in 17 starts and one relief appearance this season. He appeared in 18 games and his salary was $18 million. ... There are 143 days until the beginning of spring training in February.

E-mail John Veasey at jcveasey@timeswv.com.

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