In November, many bowl projections had Florida and UCF meeting up in either the Peach Bowl or the Fiesta Bowl. Instead, No. 10 UF is facing No. 7 Michigan and No. 8 UCF is facing No. 11 LSU in the Fiesta Bowl. The committee said this was because Michigan, the highest-ranked team of the bunch, is geographically closer to Atlanta than Glendale, Ariz. and that they wanted to avoid having the Group of 5 champion play in the Peach Bowl again (UCF played Auburn last year).
Even though the Knights and Gators won’t be meeting in a bowl game this time around, talk of getting UF and UCF to meet again on the football field has been revived. Last time it happened, 2006, Florida won 42-0 in The Swamp.
In a Friday article by Edgar Thompson of the Orlando Sentinel, Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin expressed interest in getting the Knights on the Gators schedule.
“I’d be OK with scheduling them — in the right situation,” Stricklin said.
The right situation Stricklin refers to is a so-called two-for-one. UF has this arrangement with USF. The Bulls will come to The Swamp in 2022 and 2025, while the Gators will travel to Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium in 2023.
UCF athletic director Danny White, brother of Florida basketball coach Mike White, responded to Stricklin’s comments in a statement to The Sentinel.
“I’m encouraged to hear that UF is open to the idea of playing us in football. Since I’ve been here, it had been made clear to me there wasn’t much hope of that,” White said. “Our scheduling philosophy has been transparent since I arrived at UCF — that we’re open to a home-and-home series with any non-conference Power 6 opponent. Top 10 programs don’t schedule two-for-one series where the balance is not in their favor. Our growing fanbase and our student-athletes deserve better than that.”
More from each athletic director, including a suggestion from White can be found in the full article here.