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Is Danny White Overplaying His Hand By Demanding Home-and-Homes?

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South Florida scores a 2-for-1 with Miami while UCF still hasn’t announced new non-conference games in a while.

UCF A.D. Danny White embraces Shaquem Griffin after the Knights' victory over Auburn in the 2018 Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl. (Photo: Derek Warden)
UCF A.D. Danny White embraces Shaquem Griffin after the Knights’ victory over Auburn in the 2018 Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl.
Photo: Derek Warden

UCF Knights Twitter is in a tizzy over the news Tuesday that South Florida has scheduled a two-for-one with the Miami Hurricanes starting in 2025:

Now, I’m not one to panic too much (LOL) but when you couple this with the Bulls scheduling 2-for-1s with Florida (‘21, ‘22, ‘25) and home-and-homes with Boise State (‘25, ‘27), BYU (‘19, ‘21) and Louisville (‘22, ‘26), and you cannot deny that the Bulls are making things happen.

Meanwhile, UCF and its Athletic Director Danny White are sticking to their guns on refusing any two-for-one scheduling deals.

Depending on who you ask, that policy has already cost UCF a chance at playing Florida. But as we know, Florida’s offer wasn’t a two-for-one - it was a two-for-neutral, with UCF’s game being at Camping World Stadium. Were there any actual offer on the table (and as far as we know there never was), UCF is right to reject that preposterous deal.

But now we’re reaching a tipping point.

UCF has a lot of holes to fill in future slates.

Here’s UCF’s future non-conference opponents through 2025:

Future UCF Football Non-Conference Opponents

Year FCS G5 P5 Open Dates
Year FCS G5 P5 Open Dates
2019 FAMU @FAU Stanford, @Pitt 0
2020 - - UNC, @GaTech 2
2021 - - @Louisville 3
2022 - - Louisville, GaTech 2
2023 - - - 4
2024 - - @UNC 3
2025 - - UNC 3
Source: FBSchedules.com

Note: The 2022 Georgia Tech game was rescheduled from 2017 due to Hurricane Irma, and the 2019 North Carolina game, which was lost to Hurricane Matthew, has yet to be rescheduled.

So assuming UCF’s strategy is two P5 opponents a year, that leaves at least five P5 dates still open in the next seven seasons (four if the 2019 North Carolina game gets rescheduled like Georgia Tech was). If you add the total number of dates, it’s 17 games in the next seven seasons that UCF has to fill. That’s a lot.

Now let’s look at South Florida:

South Florida Future Football Schedules

Year FCS G5 P5 Open Dates
Year FCS G5 P5 Open Dates
2019 SC State BYU Wisconsin, @ GaTech 0
2020 - Nevada, FAU @Texas 1
2021 FAMU BYU @NC State, Florida 0
2022 - UMass @Florida, @Louisville 1
2023 - @WKU - 3
2024 - WKU NC State, Louisville 1
2025 - San Jose St., Boise St. @Florida, @Miami 0
2026 - - @Louisville 3
2027 - @Boise St., @NIU Miami 1
2028 - - @Miami 3
Source: FBSchedules.com

If we are using the same metrics of two P5 match-ups per year, South Florida has just three P5 non-conference games to fill through 2025 (six total games), and 13 total (including six P5) non-conference slots to fill through 2028.

That’s 11 more games that UCF has yet to schedule over the next seven seasons, and at least two more P5 games.

But that’s not all. If we’re talking home/away P5 games already locked in through 2025, here’s how it breaks down:

  • UCF: 5/7 home, 4/7 road
  • South Florida: 4/7 home, 7/7 road

If we go through 2028, South Florida has 5 of 10 home and 9 of 10 road P5 games already set.

Before you get mad, consider that:

  • Houston has all of its non-conference games set through 2023, and that includes just one game against an FCS opponent (granted, two of those season they only play one P5 opponent, and in one of them, that opponent is Kansas).
  • Memphis is set through 2022, but with only one P5 each year.
  • Cincinnati is good through 2021 and again for 2023 and 2024, but in only two of those years are they slated to play more than one P5 team.

So Danny White has some work to do. And unless he knows something we don’t (a distinct possibility!), given how things are shaking out for G5 schools in scheduling, UCF is only going to have a harder time getting marquee matchups at home as the months and years progress.

Of course, another problem may be afoot:

I don’t know if that is true but it does make me wonder. There’s little doubt that Danny White has ruffled quite a few feathers over the past few years. But he’s also extremely well-connected. So this can go either way.

I’m hoping it’s the latter (#TrustDanny) and he’s looking to make a massive splash with a multi-year, multi-P5 school scheduling bonanza. But the clock is ticking and fans are getting restless. And those open non-conference dates aren’t going to fill themselves.

As time goes by and more scheduling announcements are made by other AAC/G5 schools, that home-and-home-or-bust strategy is going to look less like a flag in the ground and more like an albatross around UCF’s neck.