Flor­ida AD OK with 2-for-1 vs. UCF

The Bradenton Herald - - Sports - BY MARK LONG

Flor­ida Ath­letic Direc­tor Scott Strick­lin would wel­come a two-for-one se­ries against in-state op­po­nent UCF, which has the na­tion’s longest win­ning streak at 25.

“I’d be OK with sched­ul­ing them in the right sit­u­a­tion,” Strick­lin said Fri­day dur­ing a Peach Bowl event at Flor­ida Field.

Flor­ida and Cen­tral Flor­ida last played in 2006, a 42-0 vic­tory in the Swamp by the even­tual na­tional cham­pion Ga­tors. The teams had been sched­uled to play again the fol­low­ing year, but UCF got out of the game and ended up pay­ing a $100,000 buy­out, ac­cord­ing to doc­u­ments re­leased through a pub­lic records re­quest.

Strick­lin said he and UCF AD Danny White have not spo­ken about sched­ul­ing a game.

“We haven’t had a spot where we thought this made sense at this point,” Strick­lin said.

Many out­siders be­lieved the 10th-ranked Ga­tors (9-3) and sev­enth-ranked Knights (13-0) would meet in a bowl game this sea­son, pos­si­bly in the Peach or Fi­esta. But Flor­ida ended up fac­ing Michi­gan in the Peach, and UCF will play LSU in the Fi­esta.

If the schools were to play in the fu­ture, Strick­lin said it likely would need to be a two-for-one se­ries. Flor­ida agreed to play USF in a sim­i­lar setup, with two games at Flor­ida Field (2022, 2025) and one at Tampa’s Ray­mond James Sta­dium (2023).

White has made it clear he would pre­fer to sched­ule home-and-home se­ries with Power 5 op­po­nents be­cause the school gen­er­ates more rev­enue from a home game than it would from play­ing a pay­day game on the road.

“We do home-and­homes with like FSUs and Power 5 leagues,” Strick­lin said. “We haven’t done any home-and-homes with non-Power 5 teams. I don’t think we would start that.

“But I’d love to sched­ule (UCF) in a game.”

Strick­lin laughed off ac­cu­sa­tions that he worked be­hind the scenes to pre­vent Flor­ida from play­ing UCF in a New Year’s Six bowl.

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