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 CBSSports.com.

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, Boston.com 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 CBSSports.com 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.”

Comments

Since: Apr 11, 2007
Posted on: October 11, 2011 2:30 am
 

Sources: Big East contacts UCF

I live in Orlando, and I can tell you that nobody in this city really cares about UCF. This is Gator country through and through. 
Hogwash.  You live under a pile of your own cow poo then.  Orlando is a pretty homogenous mix of UF, FSU, Miami, and UCF fans.  And the UCF fans are growing in number.  You bring out the same old tired lines of all the haters.  Give it up.  USF did nothing to deserve their Big East invite in 2003.  At least UCF has won their conference (twice) and a bowl game.  Neither of which USF did prior to entry into the Big East.  UCF may not sell out all the time, but we do pretty well, given our lackluster competition.  We would have been 6th in attendance in the Big East, just barely behind USF - who plays in a rented stadium with a pirate ship - and without AQ-level competition.  At least our stadium is ours. 



Since: Sep 22, 2011
Posted on: October 11, 2011 1:37 am
 

Sources: Big East contacts UCF

I dunno.  Air Force seems all for it, Navy is cautious, a couple of the eastern C-USA and a MAC team all seem to be for it but here is the problem, what do these teams add in terms of AQ status or money?  The service academies have the US Government to be sure but when you look at their endowment, etc. they really don't bring that much to the table and the other schools (ie UCF) are among the poorest schools out there.  Furthermore USF isn't going to be happy to be competing with UCF for recruits.  The only school mentioned that would help secure AQ status for the Big East is Boise State but it looks like they aren't willing to take the risk on long distance travel to an unstable conference and if West Virginia bolts, you end up with a conference with no ranked teams.  Good luck keeping AQ status with that.



Since: Oct 11, 2011
Posted on: October 11, 2011 12:54 am
 

Sources: Big East contacts UCF

I'm pretty much fed up with all these teams switching leagues and conferences. I think I'll just wait a year and figure out where everybody is at. As for UCF joining the Big East, I think they are just trying to work their way up, one step at a time, to get to the largest conference they can get to. As much as I want to see UCF do well ( I live 3 miles from UCF ), I agree they are over-hyped. Look at their starts in baseball, basketball, and football: They beat up on lesser-talented schools, then when the league schedule starts they fall apart. I'mm pulling for the Knights, but I don't see anything happening real soon.



Since: Oct 11, 2011
Posted on: October 11, 2011 12:38 am
 

Sources: Big East contacts UCF

I forgot to add that UCF has a knack for beating up on bad and mediocre teams, making itself look better than it really is. For example, last year - supposedly their "best" ever - they did not beat a single team with a winning record.



Since: Oct 11, 2011
Posted on: October 11, 2011 12:32 am
 

Sources: Big East contacts UCF

UCF may be the one of the most over-hyped teams of all time.  They have done absolutely nothing to earn a spot in a BCS conference. You can count the number of BCS teams they've beaten on one hand.  They've only beaten a single ranked team - and even that was another garbage CUSA team.  They brag about having "the 2nd largest school in the country" - which is actually a falsehood, as even Miami-Dade Community College has many more students. But even with over 55,000 students, they still cant fill pathetic tiny stadium.  They couldn't even sell out their stadium for their conference championship game, that's how bad their support is.  They have never beaten a Big East team. I guess getting stomped four years in a row by USF wasn't enough for them.

I live in Orlando, and I can tell you that nobody in this city really cares about UCF. This is Gator country through and through. 

I would prefer to see the Big East go after schools that are already established and would actually add to the conference value.  Teams like SMU, Houston, East Carolina, Navy, Air Force, and Army. The service academies would bring much-needed tradition to the Big East, and have a nation-wide following.

UCF needs the Big East far more than we need them.



Since: Jun 11, 2011
Posted on: October 11, 2011 12:04 am
 

Sources: Big East contacts UCF

Wouldn't C-USA be better off raiding the Big East since they would gain the BE's AQ status by taking Louisville, Cincy, & USF back.

sure thing .   Where is USA going to get the $$$$ to lure them ?     Money mouth



Since: Jun 11, 2011
Posted on: October 11, 2011 12:02 am
 

Sources: Big East contacts UCF

 sure thing .   Where is USA going to get the $$$$ to lure them ?     Money mouth



Since: Oct 10, 2011
Posted on: October 10, 2011 11:52 pm
 

Sources: Big East contacts UCF

"The Big East already has USF so why UCF"? The Big 12 already has Texas, why add other Texas schools. The ACC has FSU, why did they take Miami too? You can only have one team per state? Dumb post is dumb. 



Since: Oct 10, 2011
Posted on: October 10, 2011 11:44 pm
 

Sources: Big East contacts UCF

The BE should of invited UCF 4-5 years ago.





Since: Apr 11, 2007
Posted on: October 10, 2011 11:31 pm
 

Sources: Big East contacts UCF

While I am happy for my Knights to get this invite (allegedly), I am concerned that it will be like the 1998 Oahu Bowl for us all over again.  For those not familiar with UCF football history, the 1998 Knights went 9-2 as a D1-A independent and were given a conditional bid to the Oahu Bowl - the condition was that UCLA (10-0) beat Miami (7-3) on the final week of the season.  Well, Miami pulled the upset and UCF was left out of the bowls altogether.


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