UConn looks forward to playing Central Florida. They don’t really feel the same way.
The Huskies meet UCF on Saturday, and they’ve marked it down as a rivalry game on their calendar despite the fact that the Knights don’t view it as one..
The “rivalry” is complete with a trophy, a countdown to game time, and everything.
“I didn’t know anything about that,” UCF coach George O’Leary told reporters last week. “I was asked about it [by our staff]. I didn’t know anything about a trophy, a time thing or anything else. 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. North and South thing or whatever, I don’t know.”
UConn calls the matchup the “Civil ConFLiCT” due to UConn’s standing as the northernmost school in the American Athletic Conference, and UCF’s southern positioning. The capitalized “FL” and “CT” represent the two states the schools hail from.
Despite O’Leary’s comments, and some criticism on the internet, the Huskies have brought the trophy they made to commemorate the rivalry to the game.
“Why do I have to call their athletic department to say that we’ve got them targeted as our rival, period?” UConn coach Bob Diaco said Monday, according to 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.”
Maybe UCF is just sour about their 0–5 record. Who doesn’t love a rivalry, even a nonsensical one?
- Kenny Ducey