UCF Joins New Conference With High Hopes

With two double-digit-win seasons in the past three years, Central Florida coach George O’Leary has had plenty to celebrate recently.

The Knights are no longer jumping to the Big East Conference they thought they were entering, but a new American Athletic Conference with one remaining year of Bowl Championship Series automatic qualifying status is something.

O’Leary isn’t satisfied just having an opportunity to make a splash in 2013 with a schedule that also includes Penn State and South Carolina, though. He wants to finally see UCF realize all the potential he’s been trumpeting.

“I think you’re judged on your out-of-conference wins,” said O’Leary, whose team opens the season tonight against Akron. “I think the perception, with any conference, is you’re going to have competitive teams. I think out of conference is where the nation judges you. … You’ve got to win those games. If you want to sit there and play that way, you’ve got to beat those people. That’s what the nature of the game is.”

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