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: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: October 11, 2011 12:00 pm

Sources: Big East contacts UCF

Join the Big East if you want cause you know they'll have just about anyone right now, but the bottom line is the conference is in the last year of a 4 year AQ review period that decides whether or not your conference should have an AQ bid and if so, how many.  The Big East will lose their AQ and it will go to the SEC or The Big Ten.

Since: Oct 11, 2011
Posted on: October 11, 2011 11:47 am

Sources: Big East contacts UCF

rer: Which proves MY point. If the Big East chose you for basketball after conference records of 8-8 in 2002 and 7-9 in 2003, then the Big East were even bigger fools than I thought because since 2003 you guys have stunk up the high heavens in basketball.

Since: Oct 11, 2011
Posted on: October 11, 2011 11:33 am

Sources: Big East contacts UCF

helms: It's always interesting to watch somebody talk so much they break the buffer without actually saying anything.

The fact that the Big East took USF at all is perhaps the root of all their problems. USF hasn't provided anything; the only reason they picked anyone in Florida was to try to salvage the Florida market when Miami jumped ship. When they made that decision, USF and UCF were on equal footing. And you really gave no reason WHY they chose you. Do THEY even know why they did it?

Who has the conference titles? Who has finished the year ranked? The answer to both questions is NOT South Florida.

And being at RayJay really isn't all that great a thing. For one, 45,000 in a 48,000-seat stadium looks far better than 45,000 in a 65,000-seat stadium. For two, it's called "full control of revenue". We don't have to pay rent or share profits. Maybe you'll figure that out someday. Or maybe you don't have any successful boosters to spring for one, like we did.

UCF is now your only hope to stay in an AQ conference. You must be smoking something if you think a bigger conference will choose you if the Big East loses its AQ.

Since: Oct 11, 2011
Posted on: October 11, 2011 11:32 am

Sources: Big East contacts UCF

I find the whole UCF-USF argument amusing.  UCF is the little engine that could while USF is the kid afraid to share their favorite toy in fear that it will be lost forever.  The great thing about this argument is that this is what makes for a great rivalry.  USF homers can complain all they want about UCF not deserving a shot, but the reality is USF is afraid of what UCF may do to their program.  And, that's ok.  That's what makes a rivalry.  That's what makes games exciting to watch.  That's what ignites the fever of each fan base.  These arguements are great.  Regardless of USF trying to play the snotty little kid not wanting to share, these 2 programs are natural rivals.  As far as the stadium argument goes, i go to both UCF games and TB Bucs games.  I have also been, begrudgingly, to USF games at RJS.  The only thing that resembles college at RJS is the students.  There is no comparison in watching a game on campus to a rented out stadium.  Sucks to have all your students and alumni money on gameday for parking and food and drink in the stadium go to the Glazers pocket.  The Big East should have pulled the trigger years ago. 

Since: Oct 11, 2011
Posted on: October 11, 2011 11:16 am

Sources: Big East contacts UCF

You're now faced with the ultimate lose-lose.

If UCF goes to the Big East, you're still gonna be stuck finishing no better than "tied for 3rd", and you get the rivalry you guys never wanted.

If UCF doesn't go to the Big East, you lose the AQ. Not that it ever mattered, since you weren't going to vie for it anyway.

Since: Oct 2, 2006
Posted on: October 11, 2011 10:43 am

Sources: Big East contacts UCF

Uh, yeah, we act like we earned it because WE HAVE!  2 conference championships, played for a 3rd, 4 bowl appearances, and a top 20 ranking is  A LOT MORE than USF did to earn their way in...USF got in by participating? They were never ranked before joining the Big East...never won the conference.  Never did ANY of those thing before joining the Bid East. They were brought in to the Big East because of their potential. Lots of it.  But not because of a thick resume when they were part of Conference USA. 
UCF has earned a shot at consideration.  If UCF were accepted into the Big East, they would still have to prove themselves worthy. But consideration for membership?  They have done plenty to earn that.  I look forward to the day that USF and UCF meet again regularly on the field.  It could develop into a fun, great rivalry!

Since: Oct 11, 2011
Posted on: October 11, 2011 10:01 am

Sources: Big East contacts UCF

Love how UCF fans love to brag about their stadium, as if just having an on-campus stadium means that much. Let's see...playing in a tinker-toy stadium that literally shakes anytime fans get excited, or playing in a first-class professional stadium with all its amenities...if I'm a player, I know which stadium I'd rather play in. 

By the way, that little 'Zombie Nation' thing that you guys do, that you're so proud of?  Lots of other schools do that.  UCF fans can't even come up with their own tradition!  It's the modern version of the 'Wave'. 

My biggest problem with UCF fans is they have this sense that they have somehow earned a spot in a BCS conference.  There are CUSA schools who have accomplished far more than UCF, yet UCF fans look down their nose at everyone else. They are also a bunch of hypocrites. Wasn't long ago that most of them were mocking the Big East as the "Big Least", saying that UCF deserved a "better" conference like the ACC or Big 12.  Hell, many of them are STILL saying that. 

Since: Oct 11, 2011
Posted on: October 11, 2011 9:15 am

Sources: Big East contacts UCF

USF got into the Big East over UCF at the time because their basketball program was well above UCF's at the time as was stated by the Big East meeting minutes released several years ago. 

USF's football team rose quickly because USF went after every academically ineligible player that was outcasted from the AQ schools. USF had the highest "hardship waiver" count in the country. More proof is in the early APR scores which were some of the lowest in the country.

USF did not beat ANY Florida schools until several years of AQ recruiting. And they also beat those schools in rebuilding years. In fact, USF has only beaten something like 2 or 3 schools that have finished the season ranked in the top 25 (and being in an AQ, they have gotten to play a bunch more than UCF). As you said, UCF played the Gators when the won the National Championship. USF lost to UF when they didn't even finish the year ranked.

Don't pick on CUSA when USF didn't win it the three years you were in it. And don't try to say it was stronger then. S.Miss won it while you were in and haven't won it since. Hmmm. In fact, USF hasn't won any championship in any sport. UCF has in many sports. It's time to stop the excuses. Even UConn was able to win the Big East and they came to FBS AFTER USF!!!

You can bring up the 64-12 score all you want. UCF came in overconfident. Our bad. We didn't make that same mistake when our 4-8 rebuilding team took you into overtime the following year.

Then you go and really show your ignorance. UCF IS in a BCS league. We are just not in an automatic qualifying conference like USF. Not that it has done you any good. What a waste of a program.

Tampa is Gator Country too. Teams will get bandwagon fans when you win a National Championship. In fact, Tampa only cares about the Bucs. That is it. Don't believe me? Then why are your attendance numbers barely above little ol' non-AQ UCF's playing in CUSA?

Picking on a stadium? Really? FSU's started out the same way. And look what it is today. This isn't the NFL. You don't have to build it all at once. Renovations will gradually make UCF's stadium one of the best... and we've done it without AQ money. I guess USF just wouldn't understand the gameday atmosphere on campus. Go be the cattle on the Pirate Ship! LMAO!

And why would USF grovel to get in the Big East if you are already in? Wow, you do USF proud!

Since: Sep 5, 2011
Posted on: October 11, 2011 8:04 am

Sources: Big East contacts UCF

How long have we heard it discussed that UCF goes to the BE?  Years and years?

With the tv money the BE gets, they cannot pay enough money for a school with a large fan base and great football reputation to join.

All they can do is raid smaller conferences (C-USA).  Or try to dangle their BCS AQ staus at an independent.

UCF is very similar to where FSU was in the early 1970's.  Not really known for their sports.  But they have the INTENT to grow - and they have the money, and tv market to be successful.

When FSU joined the ACC, it was known as a football school and it was said that the ACC asked them to join so the conference could start attracting football recruits because the ACC team would be playing FSU.  FSU did not lose a game within the ACC for over 10 years.  Virginia beat them when Georeg Welsh was their coach.

The BE's exit fee of $5M is a joke. 
Even the Big 12 provides about $20 M a year to its schools from the tv rights.
Lets see, as a BE school you get paid maybe $5 M/year for being in the BE.
If you leave you have to pay the BE a $5 M exit fee.
But once you are in your new conference you get at least $20 M/year.
Should I trade $5 M for $20 M?

Since: Oct 11, 2011
Posted on: October 11, 2011 7:40 am

Sources: Big East contacts UCF

Quite frankly, this is the primary reason most USF and other Florida college fans can't stand UCF's rabid, shallow-thinking fans! You argue like elementary school kids with little thought for truth or reason. Let me prove my point: You suggest that USF did nothing to earn their BCS invite in 2003 but the facts suggest differently. Wasn't UCF an existing football program before USF? Why did they get overlooked? You have a single win against quality BCS programs (only last year) over a depleted Georgia team, and what else...? USF had one win over Pitt (a BCS team, back in 2001 prior to becoming one themselves) so isn't that a wash? Who has UCF ever played of any significance and won? Don't give me your tired rhetoric of almost beating Texas, because almost isn't a win. In no profession of any significance does almost equate to a win. You brag about winning a conference championship when you play against 'Little Sisters of the Poor'? I mean, seriously??? You do realize that you have only one win against every team in Florida (including non-AQ's like you) right? We have beaten every team in the state with the exception of UF. You constantly try to compare USF To UCF, claiming some imagined rivalry, but doesn't a rivalry entail two competitive schools? If my recollection is right you are 0 for 4 against USF including games played in the sardine can that pretends to be a stadium. In case you suffer a convenient lapse of memory, let me remind you that we played you from 2005 through 2008. The closest score was by a touchdown on two occasions (both in your stadium) and the most lopsided was a 64-12 drubbing in 2007 (in front of the pirate ship you so readily ridicule). Seriously, what has the pirate ship got to do with anything and why even bring it up? USC, one of the most storied programs in college football lore doesn't play in an OCS, how's that worked out for them a couple of National Championships and Heisman trophy winners later? Evidently no one but UCF High really cares whether you play in a stadium you 'own' or a stadium you rent! To another of your succinctly stated points: So, if you've won two conference championships and we've beaten you the four times we've met, including, dare I say it, a 64-12 lashing, what does that say for you and your conference? You talk about us playing aganst non-AQ competition (like UCF) but every body needs warm up games to work out the kinks. In the years they won National Championships even UF played cupcakes (like UCF) to work out the kinks. But in your typically infantile and argumentative manner, you forget that we play in a BCS conference against BCS competition in that rented stadium.. Who do you play against in yours? Finally, the reason a product knocks another product in advertising is because they see them as the competition. UCF isn't our competition, they don't even play in a BCS league. Miami, FSU, and UF are our competition since we each have a track to a National Championship, which is more than I can say for UCF. Don't believe me, just ask Boise State or TCU. As I recall, the original poster didn't even reference USF but simply stated that Orlando was Gator Country. You began by hurling invectives (a demonstrable sign of a lack of self-contol) then proceeded to make the post about USF. Last I checked, USF is not the one groveling and begging to get into the Big East, UCF is! By the way, I live in Orlando just like numerous other USF fans whether you like it or not. :) Talking about Stadiums, where do you come off insulting Raymond James? Is it because you're deluded into thinking that anything built on-campus models as

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