TAMPA When the University of South Florida plays Syracuse on Saturday, it will be a reunion for offensive coordinator Mike Canales and Orange coach Doug Marrone.
The two were members of the New York Jets staff in 2003, with Canales serving as receivers coach and Marrone in charge of the offensive line.
"That year together was filled with a lot of memories," Canales said. "Being on the road trips, we were always on the third bus. Bishop Harris, who was our running backs coach, used to call it the slappy bus because we weren't one of the dignitaries.
"We had a good time with Spike Lee riding back from Washington when we played the Redskins. That was a memorable trip, all of us in the back shooting the breeze with him and asking him a lot of questions about life and his life."
NOW IT BEGINS: Despite the historic win against Florida State, USF's first four games amounted to a preseason schedule. But with Saturday's Big East opener looming, the Bulls know one misstep in conference play could be the difference between a BCS bowl and a return trip to the St. Petersburg Bowl.
"Every game counts," defensive coordinator Joe Tresey said, "but these ones really count because now you are talking about a BCS bowl and a Big East championship."
Tresey should know. Last season as defensive coordinator at Cincinnati, the Bearcats won the Big East and played in the Orange Bowl.
NO CHANGE: The captains for the Syracuse game are the same as the last two weeks: injured QB Matt Grothe, RB Mo Plancher, DE George Selvie, LB Kion Wilson and FS Nate Allen. All but Allen have served as captains for all five games.