How Bad Did The FIU Loss Hurt The Knights?

You had it, UCF. You had every opportunity in the world. Every opportunity to keep building on your résumé  for a move to a BCS Conference. Then you go and pull the unthinkable. The University of Central Florida lost to Florida International University 17-10 on Saturday night. The win for the Panthers has earned them votes in both the AP & Coaches Top 25 Poll. UCF, on the other hand, fell out of the ‘Other Receiving Votes’ category. Perhaps with a win at FIU and next week at BYU, the team could have seen its first ranking of the season. Last week’s impressive 30-3 win over ACC opponent Boston College now doesn’t seem so impressive, BC lost Saturday to Duke 20-19. Duke hasn’t had a winning football season since 1994 when they went 8-4.

So how bad was this loss for the Knights (in terms of affecting an invitation to a BCS Conferece)? I say not very much.

The Knights have been long-rumored to be a top candidate for a Big East Conference invite. Two members of the Big East have applied for membership in the ACC and have been accepted, Pittsburgh and Syracuse. This leaves the Big East with seven football teams for next season. This could be both a beneficial move and devastating one for the Knights. The Knights could have an easier chance for an invitation to the conference, now only being seven members deep. However, should the conference keep losing its members, the conference could also cease to exist. In all actuality, the Knights fate rests in the hands of the larger teams in the Big 12.

Everyone in Orlando already knows the reasoning why UCF is the most deserving of an invitation. Second largest attendance in the country, the beautiful campus, and the expanding Orlando TV market. The city has a NBA team with the league’s best Center (hopefully long-term), a growing minor league soccer team with MLS dreams, and all the entertainment you can ask for. Plus the team is coming off a season where they won the C-USA title and beat a SEC team for the school’s first ever Bowl game title. Here’s what Keith Tribble, UCF’s Athletic Director, told the Orlando Sentinel:

“I think there’s no question that all the conferences that are looking for a quality university that provides the depth and breadth, I know they know about us,” Tribble said. “They know what we can do and what we can provide. Nothing sells you better than winning. I’m pleased with what we’ve done, but nothing is over until it’s over. “

The good thing for the Knights is that this loss happened in an out-of-conference game. What the Knights must do now is go to Utah and beat Brigham Young on National TV this Friday night on ESPN. It will give the team a confidence boost as they’ll begin their C-USA play the following week.

I went into writing this post prepared to slaughter UCF in every way following this loss, but the facts are just there. There’s no other team IMO that is more prepared for a jump to the big boy’s table. UCF deserves to be playing for a chance at a BCS berth, so give it to them.

More on that Orlando Sentinel article on Conference expansion can be found here. As I mentioned above, the Knights travel to Utah to face the Brigham Young Cougars this Friday night at 8pm on ESPN. The Cougars are 1-2 this season, which includes a loss at then #24 Texas and a win at Mississippi.

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Posted on September 19, 2011, in Blogs, News, Sports, Thee Cody Taylor and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Great article on UCF, even though the logo is out of date by 4 years. People love to jump on UCF on how bad they are after this loss. What a lot of people don’t realize about the team are the following: they have won 12 of their last 14 games, they have one the C-USA title twice, the have one the C-USA East division 3 times, they beat Georgia in the Liberty Bowl last year. Granted, Georgia was under .500 at the end of the year, but no one talks about the huge improvement of the team since they go AJ Green back. In terms of the loss, UCF shot itself in the foot way too many times, against a quality opponent. Other people fail to realize that FIU won their conference last year and have a had great year so far. Even though they are in the Sun Belt, they are still a conference champion in FBS football. UCF is still growing as a football team and will have growing pains, but one loss cannot overshadow our recent accomplishments both as a school and as an athletic institution. One other thing other conferences need to look at is that UCF is ranked number 4 in the country as the best up and coming school. They are very young compared to other schools around the country, but UCF has still accomplished a lot.

  2. Thanks man, appreciate it. I just wanted to emphasize that you have to look at the overall picture and take everything in to the decision to invite a school: the actual sports program itself, the school facilities, the city, the student body, everything. A concept people in Tampa refuse to believe.

  3. USF fans are about as dumb as a bag of rocks. They will argue just about anything to do with UCF. I see you Cody, I see ya!

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