It has long been mentioned that UCF and USF have extremely talented programs. Both programs young, but so mature with all the accolades they bring in. In the recent Big 12 claim to expansion, these two were right in the thick of it, before the conference decided to make a farce of themselves, and not expand. After both UCF and USF dominated their opponents this year, a Florida government official has a word for Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby.
Robert Olszewski, a representative from the Florida House of Representatives, sent a message to Bowlsby about the benefits of adding both UCF and USF to the Big 12. He absolutely has many points in his letter that should make the Big 12 want to add the two Florida schools. Your move, Big 12.
Reasons for acceptance:
Olszewski focused his message towards the financial benefit for the conference in adding these two schools. But there are plenty of other benefits besides the monetary impact that help the Big 12. The schools, first, add one of the youngest rivalries in college football. The rivalry between UCF and USF is getting bigger and bigger as these programs continue to develop. We finally got a good glimpse of the rivalry in 2017, as both teams were incredible last season. As Olszewski mentioned, this is great for TV ratings.
They also get the benefit of adding teams that are ready to compete right away. UCF and USF are immediately better than the conference’s bottom-feeders, and USF proved they can beat the middle of the pack as well by beating Texas Tech in the Birmingham Bowl. Take note, Kirby Hocutt and selection committee.
Reasons for denial:
The only real reasons I could see the schools being denied entrance is two-fold. The first counterpoint is the lack of rich history. Both schools haven’t really had their glory days yet. You could argue that USF being ranked #2 in the country and having big marquee wins (Notre Dame, Auburn, Florida State, West Virginia) as well as UCF’s big bowl wins and perfect season could count as a strong football tradition but I still feel these schools could compete for real national championships down the line. The best years of the programs’ histories are just beginning, but I’m not sure that the Big 12 would want to add two programs that are so young.
The only other reason would be proximity. Houston would make more sense in the proximity perspective. But the Big 12 may fear that letting Houston into their conference could transform them into a dynasty, due to the fertile recruiting beds in Houston. More talent like Ed Oliver would want to stay home if Houston became a power conference. So even though, from a recruiting aspect, UCF and USF wouldn’t interfere with Texas recruits, the proximity is an issue. Schools would have to travel pretty far to go to and from the Florida schools.
Do not just think that this only affects the AAC. The rest of the conferences now should be on high alert if the on-field success of the Florida schools prompts further conference realignment.
Good teams from the C-USA and Sun Belt (specifically on the eastern side of the country) would get looks at restocking the AAC. Losing two heavy hitters is something the AAC would be HIGHLY against. But if both schools are given the opportunity, they will jump at it. In the end, Conference USA or the Sun Belt could suffer one of their schools leaving to go to the AAC. Troy and FAU or FAU and FIU would be intriguing moves here, if UCF and USF were to jump ship. Thus, this move would make a huge difference for conferences going forward.
Probability it happens: <50%
I’m not sure if a persuasive letter will be able to sway the Big 12 much. I know I would be clamoring to get these two schools, but the Big 12 is, well... the Big 12. They always find ways to screw up a good thing. I’m not sure if they have truly given up their expansion talks or not, but they should at least get the athletic directors together and reexamine. If I were to take a guess, I would lean towards them saying no to UCF and USF again. I hope they prove me wrong, but the conference is known for making some absurd decisions.
Do UCF and USF jump to the P5?
This poll is closed
Yes. They make the leap now.
No. Will have to wait for mass chaos realignment.