The national media needs to stop saying the UCF Knights should accept a two-for-one offer from the Florida Gators to play football, because no such offer exists in real life.
Let’s also summarize the situation: UCF and Florida have been trading barbs over Florida’s perceived ducking of UCF in the 2019 Peach Bowl, and UCF’s refusal to play a two-for-one with Florida (two games in Gainesville, one at UCF), or anyone else for that matter.
This has taken on a life of its own after UF head coach Dan Mullen fired off his mouth regarding UCF, and further blew up when Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel reported that they had obtained emails between UCF A.D. Danny White and Florida A.D. Scott Stricklin via a simple FOIA request.
The current state of play is this:
- Florida says they will not play a home-and-home with UCF, but is open to a two-for-one, with the two in Gainesville.
- UCF says they will not play a two-for-one with two in Gainesville, but is open to a home-and-home, or a three-game set with one at each campus plus one neutral site game.
As our Eric Lopez has stated, it has long been UF’s policy to not schedule any home-and-home matchups with any schools not named Florida State or Miami. So Florida A.D. Scott Stricklin’s claim to Danny White that UF doesn’t do that with “non-Autonomy 5” schools is both partially true and, well, mostly false.
This for some reason has not prevented those in the national media from clapping back at UCF, saying the Knights should shut up, accept a two-for-one with Florida and like it:
Dan Mullen says Florida would love to play UCF ... and that Florida offered them a 2-for-1.— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) December 15, 2018
Should UCF accept the offer? pic.twitter.com/IeOfm03iz4
UCF declined a 3-game series with Florida — 2 in the swamp, 1 at UCF.— Pick Six Previews (@PickSixPreviews) December 14, 2018
I don’t want to hear anymore about UCF. You need to schedule these games, and win them.
Bowden built FSU; took 6 trips to Baton Rouge before getting to host LSU
Fresno St & Boise St: “Anytime, Anywhere”
The most important part of this @JasonKirkSBN piece on UCF and scheduling (https://t.co/Qapjrd3HG6): pic.twitter.com/OgiiXtcwKq— Bill Connelly (@SBN_BillC) December 18, 2018
Even the normally accurate Scott Van Pelt has stepped in it:
That stadium is in Orlando and is bigger than your on campus. Can't you sell more tickets to that game?— Scott Van Pelt (@notthefakeSVP) December 18, 2018
One problem, guys:
There has been no formal public offer of any football matchup between UCF and Florida.
Therefore, UCF cannot accept an offer that doesn’t actually exist.
And two athletic directors trading emails about the situation does not an offer make.
Let’s go to UCF’s Associate A.D. for Communications, Andy Seeley:
I feel compelled to jump in here and remind everyone there was no “offer” to play.— Andy Seeley (@agseeley) December 16, 2018
The UF AD said they “would be open to” discussing it. That does NOT constitute any sort of offer ... https://t.co/inJH4menOF
Again, for the people in the back:
Having to say this again ... there was no “offer” so nothing was “declined” https://t.co/Dc0dsJDHal— Andy Seeley (@agseeley) December 16, 2018
And now let’s turn to UCF’s play-by-play voice and daily radio host Marc Daniels, who summarizes the current state of the situation thusly:
“There’s no shortage of opinions regarding this story of something that right now doesn’t exist...A lot of what has been said and reported is not accurate...Facts do matter. Each side that wants to be incredibly passionate about their team believes their version of a story that may not actually be accurate...It’s comical at times. But the reality is that we’re not really anywhere when it comes to an agreement for the two teams to play.
There is no contract or formal email with a contract that’s offering anybody anything.
In another segment later in the same show on December 17th, Daniels continues:
Here’s what is a policy...Two teams that don’t play any Power Five home-and-homes outside of their rival - Florida-Florida State and Kentucky-Louisville - they’re the two (in the SEC). The other 12 all have home-and-homes scheduled. So if you can talk about policy with two-for-one, outside of USF there is no other two-for-one deal. And as far as power fives with Florida, there is none...There’s the game with Florida State, that’s it. There’s no one else scheduled on Florida’s non-conference schedule, Power Five, the next 19 seasons.
It goes to show you how the national media immediately buys into the SEC’s narrative without actually checking the facts because it just sounds right. Power begets power.
It also shows you the lengths Florida will go to in an attempt to flip the script and make it look like the school they ducked in a bowl game is actually ducking them.
Danny Kanell gets it:
You hear that UCF?? You should be so blessed to be graced with the presence of the Gators that you should sign up for a totally one sided agreement just to say you could share the field with the almighty SEC even tho you’ve had significantly more success as of late https://t.co/8v7ylEANbE— Danny Kanell (@dannykanell) December 15, 2018
But despite all factual evidence to the contrary, there remains no standing formal offer at this time for UCF and UF to play each other in football, nor will there be probably in the foreseeable future.
Our Chas Short has nailed the reason why:
I have already RTed Wunderlich's article, but his comment here is absolutely correct.— AYY AYY SEE SPEED (@CFBAsterisk) December 17, 2018
UCF wants to make scheduling deals on terms that benefit UCF.
UF wants to make scheduling deals on terms that benefit UF.
Fanbase teasing aside:
THIS IS A TOTALLY OK THING. https://t.co/go5fRLKFlI
And here’s the other thing: As our own Zach Goodall has stated, UCF doesn’t need Florida any more than Florida needs UCF:
UF doesn’t need UCF. That’s incredibly obvious and fair.— Zach Goodall (@zach_goodall) December 18, 2018
What’s also obvious, despite what any UF fan thinks, is that UCF doesn’t need UF either. https://t.co/qbdWoAiu0j
These two schools have played precisely two times since 1995, the last time in 2007, when UCF was a newcomer to Conference USA. Nevertheless, they persist.
Of course, as Chas also illuminates, maybe Florida fans deep down feel like they do need UCF, since they haven’t had much to yap about the past few years.
Step 1: The Thing Happens to UCF. Talk about it.— AYY AYY SEE SPEED (@CFBAsterisk) December 18, 2018
2: UCF reacts to The Thing Happening. Talk about it.
3: Others react to UCF's reaction to The Thing Happening. Talk about it.
4: Metadiscussions of The Reactions.
5: "Is UCF justified in ___"?
At least UCF’s complete domination of the off-field conversation around college football - let alone its dominance on the field - is a thing that really does exist.