There are advantages to being a Power 5 program, even if you’re among the lesser members of the elite tier of conferences. One of the biggest advantages is scheduling — programs are itching to want to show that they play a strong schedule, full of other Power 5 opponents, even if that’s a technical definition that elevates programs like Illinois, Vanderbilt and UCLA over high-punching mid-majors.
When you’re out of that loop, you’ve got less of a bargaining chip to scheduling games, and sometimes it’s necessary to take a somewhat imbalanced deal. This was the circumstances the University of South Florida — a member of the self-proclaimed “6th power conference” American Athletic Conference — was working under when it announced this week a 3-game series with in-state rival Miami. The deal would find the Bulls traveling to Miami twice in exchange for the Hurricanes visiting Tampa once. It’s a good series get for the program, but not everyone was thrilled:
Conference rival Central Florida, who plays in the same conference, the American Athletic Conference, a conference they have gone undefeated in twice in the last two years, bringing their four-year conference record up to 16-12, is upset about this.
Now, they’ll point to the 2017 season, where they went 13-0 against a hurricane-shortened schedule in which their only ranked regular-season opponent was [checks notes] South Florida, a season where they finished ranked #7 and beat Auburn and called it a national championship, something that led Georgia fans everywhere to say “wait, can we do that?”, as proof that they’re a cut above and part of the big leagues.
And we think they’re right.
But this is unclear to a lot of people! So, with the assistance of multiple government agencies, think tanks, and highly-paid consultants, we’ve prepared this white paper, giving all programs guidelines to work under when scheduling Central Florida football.
SO YOU’D LIKE TO SCHEDULE CENTRALFLORIDA:
- Understand how good you are. You are not as good as Central Florida.
Miami? They’ve one won conference division title in the last 15 years. They’re getting a game in Orlando, and then a neutral-site game. Also in Orlando.
Notre Dame? Pfft. Just a stepping stone for future UCF program-builder George O’Leary. We’ll give them a home game, but only because UCF fans deserve a chance to fill that stadium. They can make up for it with three games at historic Spectrum Stadium.
Georgia? Scored 45 points against Austin Peay in 2018. UCF? Put up 73 against Austin Peay in 2017. Ergo, UCF is 28 points stronger than Georgia. Georgia will visit Orlando and be happy about it.
Alabama? Has lost to UCF every single time they’ve met. Frankly, this isn’t worth UCF’s time, so we’re just going to count this one as a win. Alabama should be grateful for the strength-of-schedule boost.
- Please bring appropriate gifts when you come to Orlando.
Use your creativity. Show us why you appreciate UCF taking the time out to play you. Perhaps a macaroni-art picture showing how you expect to lose to UCF.
- Do not make direct eye contact with UCF.
You may say that this would make it difficult for you to play football against UCF. Our position is that it is already so difficult, it would be easier for you if you did not have to watch what’s going to happen.
- Do not make reference to the 2015 season, when the University of Central Florida Knights went 0-12 in football.
That was a practice swing. That didn’t count.
- Do not visit Disney World while you are here.
The purpose of your visit is to absorb the peripheral cachet of the 2016 Cure Bowl runner-up. Do not give the appearance that this is not the only reason you visited Orlando; it is disrespectful and makes Knightro very sad.
- Do not suggest that “Knightro” is a pun.
Yes, it sounds like both the word “Knight”, which is UCF’s mascot, and “Nitro”, which is just totally rad, but do not demean him by suggesting that he was named as such. The wordplay is a coincidence; he is a direct descendant of the Leopoldine-Knightrodine line of the House of Hapsburg.
- We’re taking another home game.
We’ve wasted a lot of time writing this, and you need to make it worth our while. We will consider coming to Ann Arbor if you step up your academics.
- Remember the chain.
UCF beat Alabama in 2000. Alabama beat Ole Miss that year, who was coached by David Cutcliffe. David Cutcliffe is the head coach at Duke, where he has never lost to conference rival Syracuse. Syracuse beat Clemson in 2017.
UCF is better than Clemson, and thus deserves a shot to challenge for the 2019 national title.