Blog Entry

Sources: Big East contacts UCF

Posted on: October 10, 2011 10:45 pm
The Big East Conference contacted the University of Central Florida on Monday, perhaps setting the stage for the Knights to join the league, Big East and college football industry sources told

The Big East, which announced Monday morning that it would consider a model with 12 football members, expressed interest in UCF, which may lead to a meeting later this week between Big East and UCF officials, an industry source said.

UCF has not received an invitation to join the Big East as an all-sports member, but one could be extended in the coming days. The Big East is looking to replace TCU, which was announced Monday as the newest member to the Big 12, and Pittsburgh and Syracuse, which are headed to the ACC.

Big East commissioner John Marinatto also contacted Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowsky about the Big East’s interest in the Knights, reported.

After a brief two-year stint in the Mid-American Conference, UCF has been in Conference USA since 2005. The Knights, 3-2 this season, have been to bowl games in four of their six seasons in C-USA, winning the league title in 2007 and 2010. They went 11-3 last season, defeating Georgia in the Liberty Bowl.

The Knights have lobbied publicly and privately for Big East membership for several years and would jump at the chance to join the league. UCF coach George O’Leary told me last season he thought the Knights “would be a great candidate” for the Big East.

“When you look at the school size, facilities, academics, the weather and the (nation's No. 19) TV market is something that Orlando brings,” O’Leary said last year. “There are a lot of major plusses why UCF would be considered. The big thing is all we can do is win, continue to do the things we need to do and all the other things will take care of itself.

“Obviously I think we have everything in place to move.”

The Big East is guaranteed to remain an automatic qualifying BCS conference through the 2013 season. After that, though, it’s uncertain if the Big East would retain its automatic qualifying status. O’Leary told me it’s imperative for UCF to get into a BCS league.

“No question with the economy, the BCS would solve some problems that way as far as the economy and marketing,” O'Leary said last year. “The TV exposure and recruiting – they (the recruits) want to know if you're a BCS school or not. There are a lot of major plusses just from exposure standpoint.”

On Monday morning, Marinatto released a statement that said the league’s presidents authorized him “to engage in formal discussions with additional institutions” and the league is “considering moving to a model that includes 12 football playing schools.”

The Big East has been pursuing the academies – Navy, Air Force and Army – for years. A league source said Monday night the Big East believes Army was a “long shot” to join the league, but Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk told Monday the Midshipmen continue to monitor the Big East and that joining the league "remains an option."

On Saturday, Air Force athletic director Hans Mueh told the Denver Post “our interest is high in the Big East.”


Since: Sep 22, 2011
Posted on: October 13, 2011 9:33 am

Sources: Big East contacts UCF

USF doesn't want them since they already have slim pickings for BCS recruits, and they have dragged their feet on this issue.  However, I think they finally realize that they can't remain a 6 team league and survive and there is NO WAY that they are going to get picked up by any other BCS conference.  As for UCF and all of the teams considering joining, while it is a revenue boost and it would give them a shot at a BCS Bid, unfortunately as mentioned above there is no gaurantee that the teams being added would secure a BCS bid.  UCF ranked last year but this year they already have 2 losses and their history doesn't show them as ranking consistently.  Air Force, Navy, Temple, ECU, SMU, etc. are all decent teams as well as UCF but let's face it they don't add anything in terms of AQ status since more often than not over the course of the last 5 years or so they have not been able to finish ranked.  The same is true of USF.  The point is that West Virginia is the only team mentioned that has consistently ranked year in and year out (both in teams that currently exist in the Big East and the proposed teams).  That being said Boise State has been considered as a football member and even though Geographically and media market wise they make no sense, they are the only team that would be a HUGE shot in the arm for the AQ status of the league (provided they can keep West Virginia from bolting).  Or better still, add most of the teams mentioned and then do a merger with the Mountain West for football.  Between the two conferences they should be able to keep their AQ status.  

Since: Nov 28, 2010
Posted on: October 12, 2011 8:48 pm

Sources: Big East contacts UCF

Obviously when trolling USF fans log in to make ridiculous comments about UCF, UCF fans are going to post responses. That is natural. USF fans throw insults and say we don't deserve to be in an AQ despite the fact that they were less qualified when they got their invite. Such hypocrisy will naturally draw contempt.

Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: October 12, 2011 11:35 am

UCF's massive inferiority complex

Funny how UCF fans have turned an article about their school into an article about USF.  Until UCF gets over their massive inferiority complex and stops defining themselves in terms of USF, UCF will always be just what it is now: a tomato can that hates USF.

Since: Nov 28, 2010
Posted on: October 11, 2011 11:03 pm

Sources: Big East contacts UCF

Look I hate South Florida just about as much as anyone. That being said, they had our number four times that we played. But guess what? Streaks don't last forever. USF started right where we did. Prior to getting the Big East invite, they were in CUSA just like us. But unlike us, they never won the championship. In fact they still never have. USF couldn't even win the CUSA they make so much fun of. But they are correct, they are in an AQ and we aren't, at least for now.

That may all change. Even if we get in the Big East, we both might have an AQ for only two years. Then guess what? Welcome back to the CUSA USF. You cannot avoid playing us and losing to us. When the playing field is level in terms of money, recruiting, and exposure, do you really believe your streak against us will continue? In all honesty our schools are very similar other than the AQ tag. Homers need to put their bias aside. If we are both in an AQ, or both not in an AQ, I suspect a rivalry will grow, and each team will get some wins, and get some losses. If you continue to read the venom being spit back and forth, can anyone dispute the fact that this rivalry will grow and without a doubt be the most heated in the Big East, if not in all of Florida? You don't need history to hate. That is obvious.

The USF detractors who claim that UCF doesnt deserve to be in the Big East can take those exact same arguments and apply them to USF when they got the invite. UCF is more qualified to get the AQ tag now then USF was when they got their invite. In fact, the year before USF joined the Big East they finished tied for 6th place in the CUSA with a 4-7 record. UCF is coming off a conference championship and an 11-3 record. We finished ranked by the way (something USF still has never done) and won our bowl game against an SEC team. Also USF's LARGEST attendance their first year in the Big East at in their rented stadium was 30,222 and those numbers came straight from their website. UCF averaged 39,614 last year without the luxury of playing teams like WVU and Pitt. USF has 10 players currently in the NFL, and that is after 6 years of BCS recruits. UCF, has 11 current NFL players right now without BCS recruits.

I just don't get how USF fans can say we don't deserve it. Go back to 2004 and look in the mirror.

Since: Oct 11, 2011
Posted on: October 11, 2011 4:19 pm

Sources: Big East contacts UCF

How many conference titles / championships in any sport has USF won or for that matter even competed in before or after joining the Big East?

Since: Oct 11, 2011
Posted on: October 11, 2011 2:30 pm

Sources: Big East contacts UCF

The Big East schools have nobody to blame but themselves. Performance steadily declines and then they hope for other schools (TCU) to come in and save them? Whatever happened to improving yourselves to improve your conference.  You talk of going to other conferences because you deserve to, yet you haven't done anything in the so-called "Big Least". If you can't help or dominate the Big East, why do you deserve to go anywhere better???

Many act like the loss os Syracuse and Pitt will cost the Big East their AQ. HOW? Syracuse has been ranked over 100th 3 of the last 6 years. Bottom half 5 of 6 years. Pitt has had what, one? BCS ranking ever?

Yes, CUSA is worse than the Big East. But only because of the bottom feeders. The top schools compete against anyone in the country. Bringing these top teams over to the Big East will not create another CUSA, especially now that Syracuse is gone. Bringing in Nova may. But you won't have the likes of Memphis, Rice, UAB, and UTEP bringing the conference down. The Big East will be getting quality schools that have done well with non-AQ recruiting and actually bring BCS points to the table for this AQ review period.

Since: Sep 5, 2011
Posted on: October 11, 2011 2:06 pm

Sources: Big East contacts UCF

There are so many laughable comments on here by USF fans.  UCF will eventually be playing USF every year and that 0-4 record they hold so dear to their heart will be but a faint memory as UCF takes over the battle on I-4, just ask Marshall before we both moved to CONF USA.  I see a repeat of the same affair.  It wont belong now and USF will play the new and improved UCF.  USF is upset that they will have to compete for the same recruits and there is no doubt which school the students will want to play for.  I mean walk the USF campus, then walk the UCF campus.  No comparison, Tampa vs Orlando...No comparison.  Ghetto vs Disney...No comparison.  What does tampa have? A NFL team thats about it, who oh by the way, has to compete with TB sales when TB is playing at home. UCF...NOPE...All around UCF is a better deal.  Heck, even with UCF in CONF USA without an AQ tag, they out recruited USF for the 2011 season.  UCF ranked in at #39 in recruiting, where was USF?  Just think what UCF will do with the AQ tag to their recruiting tactics.  Skies the limit boys...skies the limit! 

Since: Oct 5, 2006
Posted on: October 11, 2011 1:33 pm

UCF to the Big East

WOW love the conversations with USF and UCF fans its great to see! The facts remian UCF should go to the BIG EAST and they will. UCF is the second largest university in the nation, UCF basketball programs has MJ's Sons plus a huge upside after beating USF several times along with UF, UCF has an on campus statium of 45,000 (with the edition to 65,000 when the time comes),UCF has better facitilties then some teams in the BIG EAST, ACC, and so forth. It's a no briainer!

“When you look at the school size, facilities, academics, the weather and the (nation's No. 19) TV market is something that Orlando brings,” O’Leary said last year. “There are a lot of major plusses why UCF would be considered. The big thing is all we can do is win, continue to do the things we need to do and all the other things will take care of itself.

The quote says it all for the Football side of things....

Houston, Southern Miss, ECU, and UCF are the teams to look at.

Since: Aug 9, 2010
Posted on: October 11, 2011 1:03 pm

Sources: Big East contacts UCF

Big East
As it stands today, the Big East no more deserves a BCS automatic bid, than the Mountain West.  I didn't think they deserved to keep it when VA Tech/Miami/BC left.  Now losing Pitt/’Cuse, not getting TCU, and probably one day, losing UConn, they are left with ONE consistent football program, WVU.   Poor WVU has already been told no thanks from the ACC and the SEC.  

The Big East will survive as a conference with their basketball members, but in football, they will look more like Conference USA than the Big East.  Adding Temple, ECU, UCF, and the Service Academies won’t save their AQ status.  The BCS is probably waiting for the dust to settle and won’t announce future removal of their AQ until after the bowl season ends.  This gives the Big East two years (guaranteed BCS appearance through 2013) to prove something to the BCS. 

I don’t believe that the Service Academies will like the idea of a nine game conference schedule and while they may add interest to the conference, respectfully, they really don’t add strength.

AQ or not, it would be advisable for the Big East to lock up UCF, ECU, and Temple.  Both programs have better than average facilities, large enrollment, great fan bases, and at least with UCF and Temple, a good TV Markets.  If the Big East waits, they’re going to look up and only have USF, Cincinnati, and Rutgers, making it more sensible for what’s left to join Conference USA.

Of course they then have to decide whether or not to hold Pitt and ‘Cuse until 2013.  They may try to play a game adding two teams at a time.  Holding off one of the possible schools mentioned would be a mistake.  Add UCF/ECU/Temple now, including Temple for all sports.  

Since: Jun 29, 2011
Posted on: October 11, 2011 12:33 pm

Sources: Big East contacts UCF

The Big East has already lost Pitt and Syracuse.  Louisville and WVU are rumored to be targeted by the Big 12, and I don't think the UConn to the ACC thing is dead yet either.  If you add all the teams that are rumored to be joining the conference as football only members, it would leave the Big East's membership with Cincinnati, Rutgers, USF, UCF, ECU, Villanova, Temple, and the three service academies.  Oh, and after 2013 not a chance in hell of retaining their AQ status.  If I'm UCF, I wait and see how the membership shakes out before I hitch my wagon to this turd of a horse.
Can you imagine Louisville and WVU going to the Big 12? Just doesn't sound right. If the Big 12 expands, Houston, SMU, and BYU would seem more likely. A better conference move scenario might be to the SEC or ACC for Louis and/or WVU. I think the SEC (since Missouri is all but forgotten) might just be looking at Florida ST. or even Clemson for that 14th team. Much better fit than the other schools. Oh yea, there's that 20 million buy out thing - or about 1.5 million per SEC school or less if Clemson or the Noles pay more of their share - chump change. If invited, it would be a no brainer for either school. What you call a win win situation - except for the ACC. But hey, they've got Pitt & Syracuse now (in 27 months) - life is not all bad.

UConn to the ACC - would the ACC want that baggage? Why not, just pile it on Miami and North Carolina's baggage - They'll fit right in. Rutgers, WVU, or even Louisville might then be added to even out the conference.

If Louisville, Rutgers, UConn, and WVU stay with the Big East - Cincy, USF, and the additions of UCF, Navy, Air Force, Temple, East Carolina, maybe Army, maybe UMass, maybe So. Miss, or another school would make it the 12 team conference the Big East wanted. Maybe not a power house of the other conferences but competitive and could strengthen over time. This would keep Notre Dame happy. If the other conferences go to the super conferences, then I'm afraid the Big East is done - at least in football. AQ status lost? Not so sure. The devil you say!

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