UConn-UCF rivalry good for a few cheap laughs
The fascinating friction between UConn's head coach Bob Diaco and the UCF athletic department is paralleled by buffoonery and confusion — all transpiring from a single tweet.
On one end, a picture tweeted from the UConnFootball account on June 1 shows a trophy and a countdown clock Diaco had initiated for the annual game between the two American Athletic Conference schools, which he has dubbed "The Civil Conflict."
On the other end is a blindsided UCF, which is scrambling to put out a statement saying "[We] did not have any involvement in the creation of a trophy or an annual rivalry game with UConn."
And somewhere in the middle is the media, sprinting to find mastermind Diaco so they can get him to say clickbait headlines, such as "UConn coach says he doesn't need UCF's consent for rivalry."
In this cathedral we've made of sports, people are too reverent to see how amusing this fun-and-games world is sometimes.
There is no natural reason for The Civil Conflict to be a rivalry, but the absurdity of it all is premised on fun with a hint of anarchy.
For one, this unilateral rivalry is almost surely a shameless plug for UConn to recapture some fan support lost during a 2-10 season that ranked second worst in the country.
There's also a lot of confusing elements to this, namely the fact that UConn and UCF don't have much prior history whatsoever. They've only played twice in the past two years, with the Knights trouncing the Huskies 62-17 in 2013 and UConn pulling a 37-29 upset in 2014.
And the schools don't have geographical ties by any stretch of the mile. They're approximately 1,214 miles apart and likely would have never played each other if it weren't for the conference realignment flurry back in 2013.
Call it a marketing ploy or a gimmick, it's a smart business move if it interests fans to come out to Bright House Networks Stadium in October.
The only real question remains: What will George O'Leary do with the trophy if they win?
Will he rectify the omission and throw it into the Reflecting Pond? I'd tune in just to see this mess unravel even further.
Brian Goins is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow him on Twitter @byBrianGoins or email him at BrianG@CentralFloridaFuture.com.