UCF and USF Set to Begin Rivalry in 2005

ORLANDO – UCF athletics director Steve Orsini announced Friday he has reached an agreement with USF AD Lee Roy Selmon for the Golden Knights and Bulls to begin playing football in 2005. The first game in the long-anticipated series will be in Tampa, Sept. 17, 2005. The Bulls are scheduled to make a return trip to Orlando Sept. 16, 2006.

"College football is enhanced by rivalries and I believe this is going to develop into a great rivalry," Orsini said. "These games are going to be a big boost for both programs in terms of fan interest, exposure, and revenue."

The contract also stipulates that additional games will be added yearly on a rotating home-and-home site basis with dates to be determined at a future time. "I know our fans are excited about this series," added Orsini. "This game has the potential to develop into one of the biggest games in the state each year."

"Obviously there are a lot of bragging rights, much like there are in the established rivalries of Florida-Florida State, and Florida State-Miami," UCF coach Mike Kruczek said. "It's great that it's inked in on paper that we will play."

UCF is in its second season in the Mid-American Conference, while USF will begin play in Conference-USA this season. The schools, which are less than two hours apart, are similar in age and size and have a sizeable alumni base in each other's metropolitan area.

"A lot has been written about the potential for a rivalry with South Florida with all the similarities between the programs," Kruczek said. "Now we can settle all our differences on the football field. It's nice to have the interest we have from both Tampa and Orlando areas in this football game."

The first game is only 869 days away. Let the countdown begin.

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