Look, I get where Central Florida is coming from.
They want the love that their top-10 ranking deserves. In fact, the Knights think they were better than their final ranking (they are STILL ranked behind Michigan for crying out loud).
Here’s the problem for UCF: it hasn’t earned their spot yet.
Dig this: despite UCF winning 27 games in a row, it is only two years removed from an 0-12 season. That is not a sign of a consistent top-10 program.
I think UCF should take a page out of Boise State’s book.
When Chris Peterson took that program into the stratosphere, he had Boise State playing Power Five programs anywhere. His Broncos played Georgia at the Georgia Dome, at Ole Miss, Virginia Tech at the Redskins’ place. Only Oregon ever ventured to Boise to play his squad.
Peterson had Boise State playing at an über-high level, and he had the “little guy” on national TV. And it helped that Boise almost always won those games.
Guess what that led to? Recruiting — VERY GOOD recruiting. As a result, Boise became THAT program for a better part of a decade.
That’s what UCF wants. That’s the path it should take.
So I’d advise the Knights to take Florida up on its offer. I’d implore UCF to do the same for other Power Fives who are interested in playing them. Ya think having Florida come to UCF, albeit for one game, wouldn’t be worth the “2 for 1” the Gators pitched?
Memo to the UCF Knights (mainly to athletic director Danny White): don’t let foolish pride get in the way of possibly taking your program into the stratosphere. Do the “2 for 1” with Florida, try to win some of those games, and parlay that into either future games with Florida or other major football programs.
It’ll increase your recruiting. It’ll bring more eyes, TV viewership and money to your football program. And most of all, it will bring you the respect from Power Fives that you have craved for the past two seasons.
Take the deal, UCF!