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Orlando Sentinel: Bianchi on UCF (and USF)

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Bianchi is right (sort of) if will take time and money for UCF and for USF to be able to do the job.  I just don't think it will 100 years, maybe another 20.




UCF doesn't measure up to Florida

Mike Bianchi


September 10, 2006

GAINESVILLE -- Take a good look around, UCF.

Hear that deep, deafening roar when the Florida Gators take the field.

This is what it sounds like.

See the 90,000 fans scarfing up tickets, packing into the stadium, yelling and screaming for their team, swaying and singing the school fight song.

This is what it looks like.

And notice the whoosh of the wind when Florida's electrifying freshman wideout, Percy Harvin, blows by you. And experience the sting of defeat and the emptiness in your gut when you look up at the multimillion-dollar JumboTron scoreboard and it blares out:

Florida 42, UCF 0.

This is what it feels like, UCF.

This is what it feels like to be in the big time.

And you're definitely not there yet.

"We have to go recruit," UCF Coach George O'Leary said after his Golden Knights were destroyed by Florida on Saturday. "We've got some good players, but we need a lot more if we're going to compete at this level. It's going to take time. Have things improved at UCF? Yes. Are we at the point where Florida is? Obviously not."

The Golden Knights wanted to see how they measured up against one of the state's Big Three, and now they know. They could stand on three Tokyo phone books and still wouldn't be able to look the Gators in the eye.

There has been some silly talk over the past few months about how the state of Florida is on the verge of becoming the "Big Five," with UCF and USF ready to join the "Big Three" of Miami, Florida and Florida State as nationally elite programs. After Saturday, such talk seems about a decade premature.

"Today, Florida showed us why they are part of the Big Three," UCF receiver Mike Walker said. "This could have been our over-the-hump game and made people all over the country take notice of UCF. It just didn't happen."

You knew UCF was in trouble from the opening minutes of the game when Florida quarterback Chris Leak threw a short pass over the middle to Harvin, who turned it into a 58-yard touchdown. From that point on, The Swamp seemed appropriately named because UCF seemed to be running in the muck and mire of a muddy marshland. At one point, I think I saw UCF's linebackers in the fetal position, mumbling something like, "Hey, Mommy, please don't let those mean men in the blue shirts run by us anymore."

The Gators were playing in fast forward; the Knights were playing in slow motion. Florida's receivers appeared to be riding Kawasakis; UCF's linebackers were chasing them on tricycles.

Walker just shook his head at the difference in speed.

"It was pretty crazy," he said, "just seeing how fast their big guys moved."

There has been a sense of giddiness around the UCF program ever since O'Leary took the Knights to a school-first bowl game last season, but now comes reality. UCF is still a little kid hoping to someday play big-boy football.

Here's the thing UCF fans needs to understand. There are a dozen teams out there who believe they are going to become the next big-time football program. UCF believes it. USF believes it. Fresno State and Boise State believe it. And after Saturday's near-upset of Florida State, Troy believes it, too.

The point is this: You don't become big time just by hiring George O'Leary and building a football stadium. It takes years, decades, sometimes generations to get to where Florida is.

Did you see The Swamp on Saturday night? Raucous. Roaring. Full of fans -- 90,210 of them. Well, here's the thing, UCF. Before Florida was any good, before the Gators were winning national titles and Southeastern Conference championships, their fans still packed their stadium; their boosters still filled their coffers.

Keith Tribble, UCF's new athletic director, worked at UF in the 1980s when the Gators became big time.

"Florida's is the blueprint we want to follow," Tribble said. "When the Gators made their move in the '80s, people rallied around the program by filling the stadium and providing financial support. We will get to that point, but it's going to take time."

Take a good look around, UCF.

You've come a long way, baby.

You've got a bazillion more miles to go.

Mike Bianchi can be reached at mbianchi@orlandosentinel.com.

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Of course Bianchi was happier than a pig in its own feces.

He only writes positive articles about UCF as a courtesy to the local Orlando team.  Now when UCF plays UF, the true Gator homer comes out in him.  He probably had a nice long smoke on a cigarette after he wrote that self-orgasmic splooge-fest about his beloved Gators.

What a putz.

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their fans still packed their stadium; their boosters still filled their coffers

And we are getting there, ever so slowly, but we are getting there.

We need to beat UCF HARD !!!

Go BULLS !!!

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Thanks for calling out Bianchi.  I hope we play a great game this Saturday without any injuries, we have a nice heated rivalry with you guys but our real enemies are the "Big 3"

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Guest Ari_Hinkelberger

You are talking about the Florida Gators here.... How did anyone expect UCF to size up.  GIve me a break. You are talking about a school that went out and signed the number 1 recruit in the country Percy Harvey.  THe number one Quarterback in the country in Tim Tebow.  They have an athletic endowment in the 100's of millions.  It is freakin UCF.  I just think people get a little over them selves when they don't reconize the level of talen in that and those programs.  We are talking about kids that aren't just all-state selections.  We are talking about kids who are the best in the nation at their position.  Look at Jarad Fayson...  The kid would play every down at UCF -- but barely touches the ball 4 or 5 times for FLorida.

Night and day boys.

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Guest Ari_Hinkelberger

The real turning point for our program will be when we can sign a top top top prospect.  When we can get an offensive talent that is a true 5 star to pu on the South Florida Jersey.  It will eventually happen.  It will take some time, but it will happen.  Some guy is going to want to play all four years, or has a mom or dad he wants to stay close too, but it will happen.

And that will be the beginning of the big time.  When we sign a guy like Percy Harvey or Jarred Fayson.  It's coming.  My guess is it is about 4 years away.

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Speaking of columnists, here's our own local whiner kissing UCF's ass .....

UCF, UF Share Same Dreams, Different Goals

By JOEY JOHNSTON The Tampa Tribune

Published: Sep 10, 2006

....UCF gets the state's best leftovers, the sleepers who can sometimes develop....

...And next week, if the Knights can defeat USF in Orlando, they undoubtedly will claim status as the state's fourth-best program...

...For now, UCF knows its place in the state's power structure. Even the claim of fourth-best would be a quantum leap. Next week's game against USF is a larger opportunity.

"For our program, each week is an opportunity," UCF athletic director Keith Tribble said.

And this time, it may be a realistic one...


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