Friday, June 30th is the last day the UCF Knights are members of the American Athletic Conference. On July 1st, after nearly two years of waiting, the Knights officially join the Big 12 Conference.
UCF leaves The American as the conference’s all-time leader in conference championships with 52. With SMU being the highest-ranked holdover with 34, it will be a bit before someone jumps the Knights in the rankings.
The Knights move on to the Big 12 as the winningest football program in The American from its formation in 2013 with a 47-17 record. The Knights have four conference championships with Memphis being the top holdover with two.
UCF has some title streaks to try to continue as they join their new conference, winning the last five volleyball conference titles, the last two softball titles, and the last two indoor and outdoor women’s track and field titles.
New Kids on the Block
UCF is also uniquely positioned to be the only school formed after the start of the Great Depression to join one of the Power Five conferences.
As you can see below, it’s not even close. Almost all of these schools were formed before the 20th century.
Many fans have mixed feelings about UCF’s time in the Big East/AAC. While perceptions of the league might vary, no one can doubt the benefits UCF has enjoyed in the league and the successes that have been had on and off the field.
As someone who has been around for UCF’s moves from the Atlantic Sun to Conference USA to the Big East — which became the AAC before UCF ever played a game — I’d find satisfaction in loading the old conference webpage the day before and the new version the next day and seeing them side-by-side to visualize the accomplishment. I can picture someone screaming “NERD!” in this direction at this point, but I’ll allow it.
It’s an exciting time, but now it’s time to say farewell to the AAC. Thank you for the memories and opportunities and everything, but it’s time to be movin’ on up to that deluxe apartment in the sky.
Hello, Big 12!