No good deed goes unpunished.
USF has maintained high ethical standards as an institution, and academics and fiscal responsibility have been USFs priority for the past two decades. It seems the academic restrictions on recruiting were too much for Holtz to overcome.
Also, UCF made better coaching hires in last 6 years. Being in the same conference has leveled the recruiting playing field. It’s mostly the coaching hires and conference realignment that contribute to them outperforming us recently.
UCF also has better local support in Orlando than USF in Tampa. I think it’s because they have way more alumni and way more students, and one local pro team instead of 3.