Series Discontinued: UCF / USF

As most Knights fans are aware, the in-state rivalry between USF and UCF will be put on a permanent hiatus after Saturday evening, as the teams only scheduled four meetings with each other, despite being less than 100 miles apart from campus to campus. Still, Coach O'Leary spoke about a possibility of the game being renewed, only as an in-conference matchup.

The rivalry is more of a rivalry in UCF fans eyes, as the scoreboard has represented a similar rivalry to that of a hammer and a nail, as the Bulls have won each of the first three meetings, including last season's 64-12 pounding at Raymond James Stadium. Still, UCF head coach George O'Leary has expressed a continued interest in playing the Knights neighbors to the southwest.

"Everybody keeps asking me the same question, "don't you want to play them?" I'm on record as saying I think it'd be a great game for both fan bases. I think we're trying to full both stadiums and I think it's a natural game that both stadiums would be filled and it'd be a great college atmosphere," said coach O'Leary.

The Knights head coach talked about the advantages of playing a non-conference game inside your own state—

"Again, I think it's a game, and meanwhile both of us will probably have to travel out of state to pick up a game if we don't play that game, or bring somebody in that wouldn't be the type of opponent that either of us would want to be playing…I like playing the school's in the state of Florida, we have Miami on for a couple of times and I always try to keep them because it's great for your fan base and it's great for your school."

Coach O'Leary stated that it certainly wasn't his decision to stop the series, instead that of the team from Tampa—

"I think it's a natural game but it's not my decision. My decision is yes. If they don't want to play, move on, we'll find someone who wants to play, they've been preen adamant about not wanting to play, so we'll just move on. If they want to play it's a great deal to me, but if they don't want to play, it's not coming from this end."

With the series coming to a close, and the Knights currently winless in the series including last year's embarrassing loss, there seems to be some extra motivation for coach O'Leary's team to play well on Saturday.

"I think there is a sense of urgency in that we need to go out and perform well," O'Leary said. "I think you're playing a good football team that is ranked in the country and we'll to play our "A" game to basically get things done. I think for whatever reason we play well at home, most teams do, but again, I think our players know that winning our conference dictates where you end up at the end of the year. I think your non-conference game and how you do in those games gives you the respect you deserve in the country and basically as far as recognition."

In Tuesday afternoon's press conference, coach O'Leary dropped a nugget of interest about the Knights possibly moving to a BCS conference, maybe even the Big East.

"Possibly when geography changes in a couple of years, that may be a game anyways (USF), who knows? I think right now, I'm pushing for nine conference games, I think that's the way you need to go. I think it's very difficult to get a fourth non-conference game, that's basically a game that everybody is going to have kind of an interest in because if you want to play home and home, a lot of teams want two for one, and we're not into that game anymore," O'Leary said.

Coach O'Leary elaborated on a possible change of scenery, and what the Knights need to do to get to a bigger conference—

"I think every couple of years the geography is going to change anyway, so I think UCF with the new additions here…they key to moving on is to just keep winning, that's what you have to do, is you have to keep winning and let the administrators handle the politics of what's going on."


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