TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - South Florida wants to savor the moment.
The No. 18 Bulls' 21-13 upset of No. 5 West Virginia figures to catapult the nation's fastest rising program toward its first Top 10 ranking, however it's difficult to predict how high they'll climb.
Coach Jim Leavitt and his players insist it doesn't matter. At least, not at this point in the season.
``If that happens, that happens. we're just taking in the win right now,'' safety Nate Allen said of the prospect of moving into the Top 10 as early as Sunday.
``We're just going to stay humble,'' defensive end Jarriett Buie added, ``and just keep on being the best we can be.''
Allen had an end-zone interception to thwart one West Virginia scoring opportunity, while Buie hit Mountaineers quarterback Pat White as he was releasing a pass that Ben Moffitt intercepted and returned for USF's first touchdown.
They both followed Leavitt's lead in stressing that the coming weeks will define the Bulls as a team - not what they've already accomplished during a 4-0 start, including Friday night's win in the Big East opener.
``You better be careful in this league because everybody can beat everybody. It's a strong league,'' said Leavitt, who has presided over a meteoric rise since starting USF's program from scratch 11 years ago.
The Bulls made the transition to the Football Bowl Subdivision, formerly known as Division I-A, in 2001. They spent one season in Conference USA before joining the Big East in 2005.
The coach rejected the notion that beating West Virginia makes USF the front-runner to win the conference.
``Everybody is good, and at the end of the season we'll look back and see how good we were,'' Leavitt said. ``We're good enough to win the first four games. That's all we've done.''
After facing non-conference opponents Florida Atlantic and Central Florida the next two weeks, USF will finish with six consecutive games against Big East rivals, including No. 10 Rutgers on the road and home games against No. 24 Cincinnati and Louisville, which was ranked in the Top 10 when the season began.
The Bulls have proven they can compete with the best, defeating West Virginia for the second straight year and also getting signature victories over Louisville and Auburn in the past three seasons.
Now they'll find out if they can handle being team that every opponent will be aiming for.
``I'm really not worried about the rankings. I know they're going to have something good to say about us,'' defensive end Woody George said. ``But at the same time, 4-0, that's a start. We've got to finish up.''
Quarterback Matt Grothe agreed.
``Our team wants to win the Big East championship. If we keep doing well and executing and winning the big games like we need to, we'll do it,'' the sophomore said. ``It's just a matter of staying together and sticking together until the end.''
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