Blog Entry

USF denies UCF accusations, kinda sorta

Posted on: January 27, 2011 1:11 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen

An Orlando Sentinel column published yesterday included a statement from a UCF spokesperson claiming that the Knights were "hearing" that fellow in-state up-and-comer USF was moving to block UCF's potential invitation from the Big East. While there would obviously be a lot of incentives for the Bulls to maneuver to keep their Orlando neighbors off of the BCS gravy train (the brutal Florida recruiting battles foremost among them), the statement made clear that UCF wouldn't be real thrilled with their former annual rivals should their politicking keep them from a move to the college football's big(ger) leagues.

But according to a USF statement issued last night to AOL Fanhouse , USF president Judy Genshaft isn't concerned with UCF any more than she is any school who the Big East might be considering. They say:
"Judy has always been clear that she doesn't discuss Big East board votes in advance and in public -- and the Big East insists that its commissioner (John Marinatto) is the only spokesperson," USF vice president of communications Michael Hoad wrote in an e-mail to FanHouse. "There's no reason for her to announce support or opposition to any school in advance of meetings.

"Bottom line: USF itself has no 'position' on Big East expansion. When there's a decision, she'll vote just like everyone else. However, she is clear that she'll vote for the best interests of the Big East, not for any university."
In other words: if UCF is the best candidate for the Big East, USF will support it. If not, they won't. The interests of the Big East will outweigh the interests of the Bulls.

Of course, USF and Genshaft will be free to make that distinction themselves, free to determine exactly how those interests are best served. If they feel that Northwest Washington State is a better option for Big East expansion (or, more to the point, Villanova or Memphis or some similar school) than UCF, there won't be anything stopping them.

So the statement doesn't mean a whole heck of a lot. But it is a sign, nonetheless, that USF is taking the political talk seriously ... and that they won't appreciate being portrayed as the villains if the Big East ultimately decides to look someplace other than UCF.


Since: Dec 10, 2007
Posted on: January 29, 2011 7:00 pm

USF denies UCF accusations, kinda sorta

So let me get this straight.  Having UCF in the same conference as USF is a bad thing, because it would hurt recruiting, too many BCS teams already in the state, yadda yadda yadda.  But bringing in Houston would be a good thing, because it would provide a good rivalry for TCU, and give the Northeast teams a guaranteed trip to Texas every year.  Doesn't matter that Texas will have 5 BCS teams (and 10 FBS overall), while Florida currently has 4 BCS (and 7 FBS overall).  Doesn't matter that USF is just about as far from most Big East teams as TCU is, and that the Big East would benefit just as much from a guaranteed trip to Florida each year.  Somehow most of the arguments that USF fans make against UCF don't really apply when they support Houston.

IMHO, the Big East should invite both UCF and Houston.  If Villanova doesn't or can't make the move, then go ahead and bring East Carolina on board for the 12th member.

Since: Sep 21, 2009
Posted on: January 29, 2011 5:31 pm

USF denies UCF accusations, kinda sorta

Yeah I've heard those attendance stats more than a few times before mostly from ECU fans. I'll admit it , I attend most of the home football games and would like to see less empty seats but that does not mean we don't have a quality program.  DC, you have not done your homework when you state that we have never had a game sell out that is simply not true, not as many as I would like to see but we have had a few.  What we bring to the table is one of the larger tv markets in the US and when combined with the Tampa area tv market it is one of the top ten in the US.  The rivalry that exists between us and USF will blow up if we get the invite and you will see that it can become just as heated as the other in-state rivalries. That is the kind of thing that gets attention from fans as well as the media. As far as the market being saturated just look at North Carolina , Duke, and NC State.  I lived in Raleigh for a while and those three schools thrive on the rivalries that have been created. We do have great facilities at UCF and inviting us to the big east would help the other big east schools with their away game scheduling allowing them to knock out a few road games with one trip to Florida. We do bring a lot to the table that is why our name is coming up at least as much as anyone else.

Since: Sep 29, 2008
Posted on: January 28, 2011 4:36 pm

USF denies UCF accusations, kinda sorta

Yeah, that's a popular misconception Bigdaddy. If you look at post-season play for the last 11 years, the Big East has fared better than most conferences including ACC, Big 10, and Big 12--overall W-L, against BCS teams, AND in BCS bowl games. People tend to cite the parity within the conference as a reason we're not as good as bigger conferences, but although we tend to knock each other out of the rankings, our teams usually come out on top in bowls. I'm not sayin' I'd match any of our best BE teams against the best in, say, the SEC every year, but we are definitely not the weakest BCS conference! Facts say otherwise, in spite of perceptions.

Other than that, I agree the BE would be better-served to promote the most competitive school, and in both sports and academics, UCF fits that bill.

Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: January 28, 2011 10:46 am

USF denies UCF accusations, kinda sorta

I think that UCF is a natural fit for the Big East, and a natural rival for USF.  The Big East needs all the positive publicity it can get, and adding UCF and creating another natural rivalry would be nothing but a plus for the Conference, viewed by most as the weakers AQ Conference in the BCS.  Anyone can add teams to become a bigger conference.  The SEC could swallow up the Sun Belt just to add numbers to their conference.  The Pac 12 sould swallow up the WAC, if they chose to.  By taking Villanova or Memphis, all the Big East is doing is adding numbers to their conference, not competitive teams.  By adding UCF, the Big East would be adding a competitive team, and the Big East is in desperate need of that.

Since: Sep 29, 2008
Posted on: January 28, 2011 10:44 am

USF denies UCF accusations, kinda sorta

As far as USF goes, as far as I am concerned, they can move their campus about 50 miles west of its present location.  Their fans stink, their administration stinks (my opinion), but they most likely feel the same way about UCF.

Way to take the high road there, squintly. If you wonder why some of our fans don't like to see you coming, you might start looking for the reason right under your nose.

I agree with MKTuba though, the original blogger is just stirring the pot, but I'd have to say that coming out in a public statement and even mentioning that they have been hearing & paying attention to rumors is not wise. Cripes, I'd hate to be in the public eye, though, there's no telling what people would read into my comments!

Take it easy, Knights fans. It's only a matter of time, very likely a short time, before your school goes BCS. It's worthy!

Since: Dec 25, 2006
Posted on: January 28, 2011 9:20 am

USF denies UCF accusations, kinda sorta

dcpirate I am an alum from UCF and I attend the home football and basketball games.  As far as never selling out, you are wrong.  The Texas and Miami games were sellouts, but I have to agree with you that we should do much better attendance-wise.  Our attendance at our basketball games are been rising dramatically.
I am impressed with your school and how they support Pirate football and I do think you should be the next choice after UCF to join the Big East.  As far as the present and the future, I think UCF has more to offer than any other school.
As far as USF goes, as far as I am concerned, they can move their campus about 50 miles west of its present location.  Their fans stink, their administration stinks (my opinion), but they most likely feel the same way about UCF.  That is what makes the proposed rivalry so enticing (we hate eachother).  LeRoy Selmon brought credibility to USF and, now, their coach Holtz is doing the same.  Coach Holtz does not have the ego problems of the last football coach and I really believe he is for playing UCF in football on a yearly basis.  Do I and about 98% of UCF fans believe USF would do whatever they can do to torpedo UCF from joining the Big East?  Yes we do!!!!
We bring to the table up and coming football and basketball programs and an attractive location for visiting teams.  Not only can they see a great sports venue, they can go to Disney World or to the beach or several other sites in Central Florida.  Our baseball, mens and women soccer, mens and women tennis and softball programs are all improving and most have new facilities.  Add to the fact we are loaded in talent in multiple sports that most of those visiting teams would love to impress.  Other that that, we don't have much to offer.

Since: Jan 6, 2008
Posted on: January 27, 2011 10:00 pm

USF denies UCF accusations, kinda sorta

Thanks, Jerry. It's a shame USF even had to say anything about the allegation. UCF is not doing themselves any favors by whining to the media, it only paints them as the little brother that's not ready to grow up. It boils down to voting, so there's naturally going to be some politicking when votes are on the line. But USF has no more pull than Syracuse or Rutgers when it comes to expansion decisions.

I don't blame Fornelli for lighting the fire, he's just trying to get some blog hits and get his name out there if this blows up. But it doesn't really serve any other purpose to feed this fire--especially for UCF--until someone can talk about facts.
There was no wining involved from UCF. The columnist, who is well known for creating controversy, decided to get info from both schools and write a column, end of story.

Since: Jan 16, 2010
Posted on: January 27, 2011 9:05 pm

USF denies UCF accusations, kinda sorta

UCF has been blowing its own horn about the Big East for quite sometime. My question is what exactly do they bring to the table?

Despite a student body of 53,000 and located in a city the size of Orlando the program has never sold out its new 45,000 seat stadium. If you want to say they bring a big market to The Big East how much interest is there where you have a town with a population of over a million and an enrollement of over 50,000 and you struggle to get 38,000 to show up while the team is having its best year in the history of the school.

Since Tampa and Orlando are close are you saturating a market where USF also struggles to draw 40,000 to its games.

There are plenty of schools out there with great facilities that would also be a good fit. Since TCU has joined why not consider adding Houston big town, good program, with new facilities and another member in the state of Texas. the same could be said for SMU. June Jones has recruited the best class that SMU has had since they stopped paying for players and they also hail from a large market.

East Carolina located in a smaller market but sells out its 50,000 seat stadium and would give the Big East a representative in a state that has 4 schools from the ACC. they also have invested millions to redo all of their athletic facilities.

Memphis brings a good market and a good basketball team but the worst that CUSA has to offer in football and barely draws 5,000 fans per game.

Villanova should have the 1st invite but is years away from having the facilities or the following to make the jump in the next few years. Their product on the field could be ready to compete in a season or two of solid recruiting.

I dont blame UCF for tooting its own horn. The money CUSA got from the Bowls was the highest among the non AQ conference if you take away the 18 Million TCU got for playing in the Rose Bowl. The massive payday CUSA got was less then 6 million while the Big East raked in over 24 million to split among its members and they did not have a team ranked in the top 25. Let me think we can stay and split 6 million or move on and split 24 not a tough choice. I give them credit they have beating their own drum louder than anyone, I just question weather they are the most deserving and will they generate the most revenue.  

Since: Jun 10, 2010
Posted on: January 27, 2011 6:59 pm

USF denies UCF accusations, kinda sorta

The Big XII (X-2) will not implode anytime soon.

Rumor is the Big East extended open invitiations to KU, Mizzou, K-State and Iowa State in the event that it did fold last summer. 
Why rush expansion when Big 12 could implode at any second? Shoot, why wait, it is possible that Big East is already in discussions with Big 12 teams?

No rush just yet to add any team, however UCF might be a great add regardless of Big 12 overturn.

Since: Oct 21, 2010
Posted on: January 27, 2011 6:05 pm

USF denies UCF accusations, kinda sorta

Why rush expansion when Big 12 could implode at any second? Shoot, why wait, it is possible that Big East is already in discussions with Big 12 teams?

No rush just yet to add any team, however UCF might be a great add regardless of Big 12 overturn.

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