Look, it wasn’t always this way. USF fans love to point out their “glory days” when the Bulls spent a week as the No. 2 team in the nation, or when UCF was just their little brother in Conference USA as they played big-time Big East football.
But now this has to stop. Why are we still comparing USF to UCF?
On Thursday, the Bulls announced that they had scheduled a two-for-one with perennial power Notre Dame. That’s obviously a massive upgrade to any college football schedule. But, as is often the case when USF does anything these days, the conversation immediately shifted to how this was a better scheduling move than anything UCF has done.
I get it, I really do. If you can’t beat them on the field, try beating them on Twitter. For Bulls fans, rubbing any marquee matchups in the Knights’ face makes sense.
But why are national media members, neutral fans and outside observers still acting like these programs are comparable?
USF didn’t get Notre Dame on its schedule because it does two-for-ones and UCF doesn’t. They got Notre Dame because they play in a rented NFL stadium that the Irish can sell out with their own fans. They got Notre Dame because a football power always needs a couple guaranteed wins on its schedule each season. They got Notre Dame because they are absolutely no threat whatsoever to roll into South Bend and do anything but get demolished on the field.
Why are we celebrating USF proving that it’s no different from a North Texas or a Kent State in the eyes of the Power Five?
The suggestion that UCF needs to get on board with two-for-ones to get games like this is simply absurd. Notre Dame is never coming to the Bounce House. It’s a hostile on-campus stadium where the Knights haven’t lost in 3 years. There isn’t a usually-empty 30,000-seat upper deck for Florida-based Irish fans to fill.
And for a team that plays an almost exclusively Power Five schedule, why in the world would your one guaranteed win be scheduled against a program that’s in the Top 25 every year and has notched wins against power teams from every major conference in the last seven years?
USF fans are right. UCF can’t get matchups like this. And it’s because they’ve moved beyond the status of “Group of Five cupcake.”
UCF is a national brand, and you don’t invite national brands to South Bend. You invite USF.