Posted by Jerry Hinnen
UCF and USF may share a big chunk of middle Florida, but it hasn't seemed like they've wanted to share a lot else of late; between the Bulls' public distaste for scheduling the Knights to UCF's not-so-subtle insinuation USF was trying to keep them out of the Big East, tensions between the two athletic programs have unquestionably risen since the teams' four-year gridiron series ended in 2008.
But tensions or no, that series may be back on again if UCF head coach George O'Leary is to be believed. Per the Orlando Sentinel and other outlets, O'Leary told a Tampa-area UCF alumni gathering that the Knights and Bulls would meet again for a two-year series starting "in 2014 or 2015," with an eye (well, UCF's eye, anyway) on continuing the series past those two years.
We wouldn't suggest UCF and USF start booking their hotels for Tampa or Orlando just yet, though, and not just because of that whole "those hotels might not even be standing in 2014" thing. An alumni gathering isn't the most formal of venues to make such a key announcement, suggesting that whatever O'Leary may have said, not all the i's are dotted and the t's are crossed just yet. A UCF spokesperson declined to confirm Thursday night if any agreement had been reached between the two schools.
The guess here is that the programs are close to signing a scheduling contract, and that O'Leary wanted to go ahead and give his team's fans some good news -- in particular as regards theur standing vis a vis USF -- as they wait on a potential expansion invite from the Big East.
But we're also guessing that until an announcement is made in a more official venue, with the ink on the contract, neither side should assume the "War on I-4" is back on just yet.