Tuck: UCF Facing Tough Transition

By Mike Tuck
Host, Tuck & O'Neill

The UCF Knights are making the jump to BCS competition in 2013.  It’s exciting for the program and it’s fans for sure.  Sadly, it will only last for a year in the final season being played under the BCS, but when examining the odds of the Knights striking it big with their one guaranteed shot, it looks like it won’t be easy to break through.

I looked at other schools that have switched conferences in the last few years below.  The change in competition, geography, and schedules has not been kind to these teams.

Colorado

(5-7, 2-6), 5th place North Division Big XII.

Next season (3-10, 2-7) 5th place South Division of Pac-12.  Last season (1-11, 1-8) 6th place South Division of Pac-12.

Utah

(10-3, 7-1), 2nd place in Mountain West.

Next season (8-5, 4-5) 4th place South Division of Pac-12.  Last season (5-7, 3-6) 5th place in South Division.

West Virginia

(10-3) Big East champions, Orange Bowl winner.

Next season (7-6), 8th place in Big XII.

TCU

(11-2, 7-0) Mountain West champions

Next season (7-6, 4-5), 7th place in Big XII.

Temple

(9-4, 5-3) 2nd place in MAC East

(4-7, 2-5) 6th place in Big East

 

One advantage I do believe UCF will have on these schools is that they will be taking 3 Conference USA schools along with them.  On paper, the Knights appear to be better than Houston, SMU, and Memphis, so that could be a BIG help.  Also worth noting is that Temple is just entering year two in the Big East American Athletic Conference. So they don’t have much of a head-start.  UCF also avoids Cincinnati in conference play, one of the best teams in the AAC, so that’s a check-mark in their favor too.

There is reason to think UCF can win 11 games and the AAC this season.  I do think that is possible.  But history tells me games against USF, Rutgers, and UConn will likely be much tougher than we are giving them credit for being.

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