Dan Mullen speaks with the media following Florida Football's March 31st Pro Day (Photo: Courtesy of Florida Media Portal/Gator Vision)

UF and UCF Agree to Schedule Three Games

After much debate, the University of Florida and the University of Central Florida football teams officially established three games in 2024, 2030 and 2033.

UF will host UCF Oct. 5, 2024, and Sept. 3, 2033, at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. In between, on Sep. 14, 2030, the Gators will travel to the Bounce House to take on the Knights in Orlando.  The “in-state rivals” have played twice in program history, both resulting in Gator victories. UF defeated UCF 58-27 in 1999 and 42-0 in the 2006 National Championship season.

Although fans may worry about the deal being disturbed by the SEC expansion news that broke July 21, both universities released their agreement on July 27.

 

Scheduling Talk

Initially, UCF refused a 2-for-1 agreement. Scott Stricklin offered the deal in 2020. Danny White, the UCF athletic director at the time, turned it down.

“We’re sold out most likely for the entire season,” said White. “We don’t need to play games on the road to set up a home sellout. We sell out all the time. I just think financially and competitively, it doesn’t really make sense for us to play each other and we’re going to move on.”

However, the new University of Central Florida athletic director seems to have changed the tone. Terry Mohajir explained why he agreed to the 2-and-1 series.

“For the 2024 season specifically, we had three options. Play just 11 games instead of 12, play two FCS opponents, or play at Florida. We obviously made the best choice for our program and recruiting.”

UCF appears primed to expand its nonconference schedule.

Recent UCF History

Under Scott Frost in 2017, UCF went undefeated, beat Auburn and declared themselves National Champions. Though everyone in the Twitterverse denies UCF of the title, Knights fans remain stringent in the honor. The 2018 NCAA record book does recognize them as co-national champs.

 

Afterward, Josh Heupel, the new Tennessee head coach, put together a 28-8 record from 2018 to 2020.  Now, Gus Malzahn who actually lost to UCF in the 2017 Peach Bowl as Auburn head coach is taking over the program.

UF’s Future Nonconference Schedule

The rest of the nonconference games announced by UF are as follows:

  • 2021: Florida State
  • 2022: Utah, at Florida State
  • 2023: at Utah
  • 2024: Miami, UCF
  • 2025: at Miami
  • 2026: Cal, at NC State
  • 2027: at Cal
  • 2028: Colorado, at Arizona State
  • 2029: at Colorado
  • 2030: Texas, at UCF
  • 2031: at Texas, Arizona State, at Notre Dame
  • 2032: Notre Dame, NC State
  • 2033: UCF

One UCF fan joked about their enthusiasm to see the Gators come to the Bounce House, even though he has already graduated.

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