Football returns to Orlando with air of uncertainty
Published: Sunday, September 16, 2012
Updated: Sunday, September 16, 2012 14:09
Football is back in Bright House.
Crazy students flooding Memory Mall hours before kickoff, the shake of Roth Tower as “Zombie Nation” is played, even the sight of Jeff Godfrey throwing a touchdown pass.
It’s all back.
But as the certain sights, sounds and feelings of football season intrude campus once more, the Knights’ season is in a state of complete uncertainty.
It’s not because of shaky play calling. It’s not even because of a quarterback controversy.
It all comes back to those pesky NCAA violations.
UCF spokesman Grant Heston told ESPN’s Brett McMurphy that the university plans on moving forward with its appeal of the one-year postseason ban that was handed down to the school by the NCAA in July.
They’re really going through with it.
Is it a good decision, bad decision, even a big deal at all?
Arguments could go either way and there’s no clear answer.
The only sure thing that comes out of all of this is that there is no sure thing.
If the NCAA expedites the proceedings and decides to rule on the school’s case this season; the school will have a 50 percent chance of being able to play in the postseason this year.
But if the NCAA takes its average of 110 days to rule, according to ESPN, the Knights will be able to play for a Conference USA championship and a bowl this year, leaving the 2013 season, UCF’s first in the Big East, up for grabs.
So what does this season mean?
No one really knows if the Knights’ 33-20 win over FIU will be a solid step toward bowl eligibility or a meaningless nonconference showing in a postseason-less year.
But that is exactly what head coach George O’Leary and his coaching staff want — uncertainty.
If the Knights have no idea whether they will be able to go bowling this year, they have to assume the best.
It’s difficult to motivate a team to win games if it has nothing to play for. This team has no idea what it has to play for, and that’s going to work for now.
This team will go out and play every week like 2012 could be the next 2010.
And it could be, but right now it’s up to the NCAA to determine UCF’s future and that leaves one looming question – where will this team be in four months?
Right now, the team is hoping it will be celebrating a title game.
But as the sights and sounds of football come around once more, the numbers in the win-loss column will help determine this team’s future, but the back-and-forth behind closed doors at the NCAA offices will carry even greater weight.