Who can forget the stirring battles that have been fought over the proud history of the “Civil Conflict” between UConn and Central Florida?
There was the Huskies’ 37-29 victory over the Knights last season, of course, and then there was … uh … well … OK, so that’s the extent of it.
Like a lot of people, UCF coach George O’Leary was taken aback when he was informed his team had become UConn’s rival, complete with a made-for-college nickname and a custom trophy. Apparently, UConn coach Bob Diaco last week declared a rivalry between the northernmost and southernmost American Athletic Conference schools, but nobody at UCF had been made aware of it.
“I didn’t know anything about that,” O’Leary said, according to UCFSports.com. “My experience is, you’re more likely to have a rivalry against a team closer to where you live. When I was at (Georgia) Tech it was Georgia. I think it’s UCF-USF here. When you go 10 states away, I think it’s hard.”
Of course, there’s a trophy, which makes it official:
Diaco, rather than have fun with the confusion of the evolving rivalry he made up, instead chose to be oddly belligerent about it.
“Why do I have to call their athletic department to say that we’ve got them targeted as our rival, period?” Diaco told the New Haven Register. “What control over that would they have? What do I care what they think? If they don’t want to be a part of the trophy, I don’t care about that, either.”
On the surface, it does seem perplexing as to why a Storrs, Conn.,-based university would want to develop a rivalry with a school in Orlando, Fla. But upon reviewing last season’s schedule, you find the Huskies went 2-10 last season with one win over a Football Bowl Subdivision opponent: UCF.
Now it all makes sense.
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images
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