Zen and the art of conference management

Greg Sankey has some invaluable advice for Central Florida.

Sankey was asked about UCF and its place in the playoff picture during a radio interview at the Learfield Intercollegiate Athletics Forum on Thursday. The commissioner compared UCF’s situation to when the SEC placed only three teams in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament in 2016.

“We weren’t living up to our expectations. Rather than point to the selection committee, other people … we looked inward and said: ‘How do we adjust to the circumstances around us?’” Sankey said. “I would observe that’s the challenge for everybody at the FBS level.”

See there, UCF?  All you need is a cash flow about ten times the amount you’re getting now and everything is fixable.

Greg wants to say it’s about scheduling upgrades, but it’s a lot easier to stick another game or two in a thirty-game or so basketball schedule than it is in a twelve-game football one.  Besides, how many schools want to dump Directional State A&M to play UCF right now?  (Florida just dodged that bowl game matchup.) If Sankey wants to be helpful, maybe he can push his member schools into scheduling Central Florida.

Just when I was really unsympathetic to the Knights’ national championship silliness, you had to go and say that, Greg.  Well played, you smug bastid.


Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, SEC Football

30 responses to “Zen and the art of conference management

  1. Uglydawg.

    I wonder how UCF would have fared playing Notre Dame’s schedule.
    No point here..just a musing.
    How weak does a schedule have to be to disqualify an undefeated team?
    We know ND didn’t fall to that standard.
    It is some SOS number between ND’s and UCF’s.
    I wish we could ask the committee what the cutofff is.
    Or do they just know it when they see it?


  2. Spike

    I had read the Gators didn’t want to play UCF in a bowl game. I wonder if that is true?


    • Uglydawg.

      It would have been a no-win situation for them. Lose and you’re the laughing stock of that State while UCF is crowing about being National Champs. Win and it’s a “so-what”… unless Florida could put a beat-down on them, UCF would still claim a tactical victory.

      I posted yesterday that LSU needs to beat them and demand the Natty trophy that they already (almost certainly) have ordered with UCF’s name on it. UCF is going to claim NC status if they win..so LSU needs to beat them and take that phony title, and when the trophy is presented, turn around and throw it in the trashcan, right on national TV.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m surprised the Big XII-II hasn’t checked in with UCF. They would fit … great offense with a crap defense. Mickey Land isn’t exactly a small TV market.


    • Harold Miller

      I’ve been saying that for some time. Big 12 would be a near perfect fit for UCF. It’s not like it’s a no win situation for them. More exposure in FL could really help recruiting. In fact, should UCF join the Big 12, I would see that being a problem for the ACC and SEC.


  4. Bulldog Joe

    Greg’s mouth has a lot riding on.LSU.


  5. dawgfan

    Greg Niedermeyer came to mind after reading Sankey’s quote.


  6. ASEF

    ATVS called for the man to resign, not over the Devin White nonsense but Sankey’s handling of the post-game brawl at TAMU. Cited it as a continuing example of a leadership vacuum.

    Sankey may have been an effective first officer for Slive, but he is a walking disaster as a conference commissioner.


  7. Huntindawg

    I’m not sure what he should have said. Maybe “Look, UCF didn’t get in because their SOS is really bad. If they want a chance to be recognized as a playoff worthy team, they need to fix that. The way the conference schedules work, however, that’s going to be a tough row to hoe for them.”

    If he said it that way instead, would you still think he answered the question poorly?


    • Offering a mid-major advice to follow in the SEC’s footsteps as being something of value was worthless. Sankey isn’t capable of thinking the way you suggest, because at heart he really doesn’t care one way or the other.


    • Russ

      I think that is the case. He had a good point but just worded it poorly.

      Football scheduling is hard, but there are teams out there that will play UCF. Hell, I’d bet ND would play them. UCF just needs to realize that few are going to give them a home and home. It’s been said many times before, but they need to follow FSU’s anytime, anywhere mantra from the 70’s. And they need to drop the shitty conference. Knock off a few decent teams during a season (not 1 per year) and people will take them seriously.


  8. I know you make your living by peddling snark, Senator, but I’m not really sure what you wanted Sankey to say. 1) UCF needs to upgrade their schedule if they want to be taken seriously; and 2) it’s their problem, not ours. I dgaf if they go undefeated for 10 years in a row. I’m never going to feel bad about leaving them out as long as they’re playing the 100th-strongest schedule in the sport.


    • Some living. 🙂

      I didn’t “want” Sankey to say anything. To offer his conference’s approach to basketball improvement — which, by the way, has been fueled way more by hiring high-salaried coaches than upgraded scheduling — as a solution for UCF was tone-deaf, at best.


  9. DawgPhan

    The guy is in a tough spot. Last year the Sec runner up was beat by UCF and this year it is likely that another SEC west team will lose to UCF. Seems like they are upgrading their schedule and taking it out on the SEC West.


  10. I don’t see the problem. UCF is in a really bad football conference because it is a commuter school with no football tradition. Going 12-0 in that conference is an accomplishment, just not one that gets you the respect they are wanting. If you want respect, they have to schedule big names out of conference. Pitt, Georgia Tech, and North Carolina are not the types of teams that will get you any kind of national respect, and they had two of those cancelled due to hurricanes in the last two years. They also scheduled South Carolina State.

    Houston was able to play and beat Oklahoma and Louisville (with Lamar Jackson) in 2016. Navy plays Notre Dame every year. Tulsa routinely plays big name programs (Texas and Arkansas(?) this year, Ok St last year, Ohio St before that). Memphis will play top programs (Missouri, UCLA, Ole Miss). South Florida has had Florida State on their schedule. Don’t tell me North Carolina and Pitt are the best you can get. If you want your team to have national respect, beat someone in a meaningful game that gets respect nationally. Beating LSU in a bowl game when half their defense is not playing or Auburn when they are going half-speed, isn’t it. Do it when there is something on the line for both teams.

    Being a football blue blood comes with advantages, but neither Florida State nor Miami were born football powers. They earned it over the course of a decade. Remember, UCF was 0-12 just three years ago with a player death scandal. One or two years without a loss… but also without a meaningful win does not legitimize a team or a conference. Maybe it was easier as an independent back then because of scheduling flexibility, but that’s the hurdle you have to overcome. Go play anybody anywhere, and have your fans show up en masse when you do. Do what it takes to get one of the kickoff games against anybody that will play you. Nobody said big time football was easy or fair. If you want your cut, you have to bring something to the table like eyeballs on screens and asses in seats.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pizzadawg86

      I believe UNC was coming off an 11 win season when UCF scheduled them. Pitt was coming off a 9 win season.


      • 11-win UNC was scheduling a home-and-home with 0-12 UCF. That says a lot about both programs, doesn’t it? UCF gets Stanford next season. Beat Stanford, who should be beatable, and now you have something.


  11. PTC DAWG

    Still not sure why UCF is supposed to bother me…

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Rchris

    It seems to me that teams like Iowa State, Purdue, or say, Virginia, would benefit from playing a home and home with UCF. It would be a high profile game against a team whose intrinsic athletic level is lower than theirs, it would upgrade their schedule, and most importantly, it would increase their presence in the second most important state for recruiting in the nation. While none of them are heavyweights, they are ranked high enough to pull UCF’s schedule up enough to get them in the conversation.


  13. Seems to me he gave an honest answer to a simple question. That is about as good as he can do. One might disagree with his answer but that doesn’t make it wrong.


    • Dawgoholic

      I’m sure us, Bama, and several others would take a UCF game if it required no payout and no return game. Anyone, anywhere, anytime – or STFU.


  14. Hal Evans

    I thought Florida was the team with the moral victories.

    Liked by 1 person