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Silliness and fallacy of unwanted scheduling advice for UCF

Florida Football Insiders



Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The ongoing debate continues about UCF’s lack of inclusion in the College Football Playoff for the second year in a row.

Part of the “comedy” is the upper echelon elite conferences and programs in college football trying to act like there’s an immediate and simple solution to UCF scheduling situation.

Specifically, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey spoke out on Thursday in New York essentially saying UCF needed to “look inward” to worry about their own scheduling-situation and essentially stop complaining.

That had to simultaneously make officials with UCF, the American Conference and anybody else that champions the non-power 5, angry and laugh at the same time.

Sankey’s comments followed most of the national pundits’ “talking points” that the Knights should be excluded on strength of schedule over each of the last two of their unbeaten seasons.

Of course, never mind the fact that when UCF got a shot head-to-head against Auburn in January (who had beaten both Georgia and Alabama late in the SEC schedule), they beat the Tigers straight up at the Peach Bowl.

Further, at the root of the problem is most of the SEC top teams, like Florida, Georgia, Alabama, LSU and others don’t have any interest in playing UCF in a home-and-home situation. Rather, they would only welcome the Knights to come play them in a “one-off game” at their stadium in September.

Alabama, did this in 2000 and was actually upset by UCF 40-38 in Tuscaloosa by the Knights  and then star quarterback Daunte Culpepper.

The Knights also played a one-off game in Gainesville in 2006 against the Gators and were blown out 42-0.

However, as they have gotten better and more successful recently, including a Fiesta Bowl win in 2013 and over the course of these last couple of seasons, it’s understandable that UCF wants a quality opponents to play them for a home-and-home series. And, it should be noted that Steve Spurrier and South Carolina agreed to just such an arrangement back a few years ago, where they played the Knights first in Orlando and then, in a return game in Colombia.

On Friday there was discussion about whether UCF and the Gators could get together on a new series. And new Gators athletic director Scott Stricklin, who ironically is also part of the thirteen person College Football Playoff selection committee, did not dismiss the idea outright.

In fact, he even indicated that they would be open to the possibility of potentially playing home-and-home. However, the Gators, like other SEC schools at the top of the best conference in college football, want a “bit of a sweetener” in the scheduling deal. That is to get a second home game in exchange for the one return visit to your place.

UCF athletic director Danny White in response to that is it has been their desire recently, to do the straight up home for home, but they would have evaluate the one-off game or potentially playing at a neutral site like Atlanta, Dallas or somewhere else.

Legendary SEC writer and commentator Tony Barnhardt conveyed the situation succinctly Saturday:

It should also be noted that the Knights have been able to play a home-and-home with other power 5 leagues teams, specifically ACC schools. UCF had Georgia Tech on their schedule at home a year ago but that game was wiped out by Hurricane Matthew..

Likewise, on this year’s schedule UCF played and destroyed Pittsburgh in September in the first of their home and home series. However, unfortunately again lost a road game, this time to North Carolina, due to Hurricane Michael canceling the game. The Tar Heels are still going to come to UCF at a later date

So, it’s not as if the Knights haven’t had success with that type of scheduling, and maybe should go for the second level of SEC schools like Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Arkansas or Ole Miss and try to do the home-and-home.

The bottom line is, and less UCF were to be admitted into a power 5 conference, like potentially the Big 12 down the road, they’re never going to have a strength of schedule the same way, as a power 5 conference team that they’re going to be compared to by the selection committee and for the CFP.

This is not unlike what Boise State out in the Mountain West has faced throughout the 2000’s- being excluded in the old Bowl Championship Series and for the bigger bowl games. Now, the one year that they were playing a power 5 school in the Fiesta Bowl in 2006, they upset Oklahoma, dramatically. They also later defeated TCU in the Fiesta Bowl, as well.

And finally, there is the idiotic argument out there that UCF should schedule three or four power 5 teams out of their conference to replace their lack of tough teams in the AAC.

When the reality is that one loss would eliminate you from College Football Playoff discussion, then you’re being completely unfair to the knights by demanding that they load up out of conference in September at risk it all week to week for a month.

There’s also another weapon in the “strength of schedule” debate,when UCF gets their chance against the power 5 on the biggest, like they will against LSU January 1st, beat them.

Obviously, there’s no better response to the elitists looking down their nose at you, then knocking them off head-to-head on the field.

Stay tuned.

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