Central Florida, bro, you gotta chill out man. You gotta take this deal to play Florida.
Remember in 1996, when you were playing your first season in the bowl subdivision and Florida is winning its first national title and second Heisman? Imagine getting an offer back then from Florida to play a game at your home stadium in Orlando.
Well, that was only 22 years ago. In one generation, you did it, UCF. You received that offer from Florida and you’re turning it down — Central Florida is turning down an opportunity to host Florida in football — because you expect Florida to give you the same deal it gives Florida State and Miami.
You need to get ahold of yourself before you blow it. Take a step outside, punch a stop sign, have a cigarette, take a walk, pet a dog, and then come back in here and sign this deal, because it’s one of the best things that ever happened to you.
The negotiation went like this, per the Orlando Sentinel:
“UF isn’t in the market for home-and-home or a neutral site games against non-Autonomy 5 opponents,” Stricklin wrote. “However, we would be open to a series similar to what we’ve agreed to with USF … two games in Gainesville and one in Orlando. We are in need of a home opener for the 2022 season, so the 9/3/2022 date you mention would be a perfect date to begin the series, and we can fill in the remaining games from there.”
And you guys were too good for that.
“You mention not playing a neutral site contest versus a non-autonomy 5 opponent, but a UF vs. UCF game held in our state would certainly be a sellout, which would be a positive for both of us financially,” White wrote. “I think that our team has shown on the field that we are far from a typical ‘non-autonomy 5’ opponent.”
Look, you are killing it. You have a 25-game winning streak and a pretend national title. It’s great stuff and you deserve so much credit for what you’ve become in such a short time. For all I know you may be on your way to being the new Miami and joining the ACC or the Pac-12 or whatever. But that hasn’t happened yet.
What I’m telling you is, playing Florida, under any circumstance, will only get you closer to that.
This is obvious to everyone who doesn’t have their ego wrapped up in all this. But unfortunately your athletic director, Danny White, is one of the people who does. And somebody at that school needs to grab him by the shoulders and shake him into his senses before he screws this up.
He’s like a guy asking way too much for a not-quite-finished project car in his garage. He’s letting ego and emotion get in the way of a good deal.
The fact is, despite how well UCF has done in recent years, you still have a lot more to gain from playing Florida than Florida has to gain from playing you. Strength of schedule is rarely going to be an issue for those guys, and a win over UCF is expected.
For you, though, any game played against Florida is good for your program, as long as it isn’t a Florida blowout. And even that isn’t a huge setback — more of an opportunity squandered.
The two-for-one deal is just a way to account for that discrepancy. Central Florida should jump at the opportunity to play Florida three times, and Florida should prepare for a battle.
If you blow this, you can probably replace it with another name school, but Florida is the perfect opponent. It has three national titles, three Heisman winners, 32 consensus All-Americans. It’s the state’s flagship institution and it plays in the SEC and it is offering to play you three times right as your program is hitting its stride.
What are you doing?! Drop the attitude and take the deal.