Gawd, I wish he would ($$).
Now UCF has gone 25-1 the past two years, and no one wants to schedule the Knights in a neutral site game or a home-and-home. White wants to schedule two Power 5 teams a year in the non-conference, and he has those slots filled for this season, next season and 2022. But he has struggled to find takers for future years.
“We have a really hard time scheduling because we’ve gotten pretty good,” White says. “The teams that have played us in home-and-homes in the past are now more hesitant to do that, and I get that. If we try to have a conversation six, seven, eight years down the road when there are a lot of other options, the conversation is going to end pretty quickly. We’re not going to get anybody to agree to play us when there are other options.”
White doesn’t blame Power 5 schools for not engaging UCF about home-and-home series. “I understand why large-budget, huge fan base football programs don’t do a lot of home-and-homes,” he says. “I wouldn’t, either, if I was in their shoes. They’re making too much money off home games.”
White says he won’t short season-ticket holders — UCF has less than 100 season tickets remaining for 2019 — by playing payday games at Power 5 schools who won’t make the return trip to Orlando. He intends to schedule seven home games a year. Does that mean the Knights won’t have a chance to make the Playoff? Absolutely. But White believes that no matter who UCF schedules in the non-conference, the Knights won’t have a chance to make the Playoff. Going through the past two seasons undefeated and being given zero consideration for the Playoff has crystallized White’s mindset as it relates to scheduling: Don’t schedule to try to get invited to a party that you’ll never be invited to anyway.
Nothing like preemptively nuking any effort to ramp up your program’s scheduling. What happened to the days when Bobby Bowden would schedule any and all comers anywhere to get respect for his program? Hell, White’s whining makes Boise State’s efforts just a few years ago look quaint.
If there’s any justice in life, one day Gus Malzahn is going to have to answer for not having his team prepared to play Central Florida.