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Cheeky Alabama is planning the wrong school in Florida



We were so close to having Alabama against UCF.

One letter less.

Oh, good. Maybe in the college football playoffs, right?

On Thursday Alabama announced three future football matches against USF – the other direction school in Florida – including one in 2023 in Tampa. On multiple levels, this is a fascinating planning decision For Alabama, the most dominant team in college football in the last decade.

Above all, Alabama seldom plays on the street against opponents who are not a group of five players. This is absolutely worthless for the Crimson Tide.

It is most cheeky for Alabama to play against UCF's hated rival, who won a national championship alongside Alabama in 201

8 (and then lent it himself) to prepare for the College Football playoffs.

Alabama's willingness to travel to USF is only meaningful (except perhaps for recruitment purposes) if you truly appreciate the college football pettiness that is the lifeblood of rivalries and competitive intrigue

UCF's disrespect to Clemson was mocked here in Alabama in 2018, but then the NCAA confirmed the UCF's claim. The mischievous Knights of Orlando even gave national championship rings and hosted a national championship parade at Disney World.

In Tuscaloosa, fans of Alabama mocked UCF's national championship claim with a party at the local Gallettes bar, complete with a cardboard take-away cup. [19659002] It was the kind of side-show that made college football great. Everything was silly, of course, but the contempt for UCF's claim was real. And Alabama fans were not alone when it came to the deadpanning of UCF. Many journalists and fans of other Power 5 schools joined in. Claiming a national championship, the UCF threatened to disrupt the iron power structure of college football.

The UCF later claimed that Power 5 schools would not do so Plan for fear of losing to Group 5 opponents.

In response, Alabama would be small enough to dominate UCF's main rival and even tour the non-Power 5 team for the first time since 2003? One can only wish.

Alabama intentionally or otherwise struck UCF straight in the face with this series of games against USF.

Those in Alabama may not know the rivalry between UCF and USF so well, but they built it with pettiness and contempt. When UCF was still in the Conference USA, its rivals in Tampa refused to plan the school in Orlando. USF, who was playing in the Big East at the time, looked down on UCF and tried to devalue the Knights' location in Central Florida by ignoring the school.

Then the Big East disappeared and UCF moved into the American Athletic Conference with the team that once refused to play them. They now call the rivalry between USF and UCF "War on I-4." UCF became a powerhouse in regional group 5 thanks to former coach Scott Frost. Now USF is a team with a lot of catching up to do.

Enter Michael Kelly. [19659002] Kelly, the first Chief Operating Officer of the College Football Playoffs, became the sports director of the USF in 2018 and used his connections to the big boys of College Football to plan some impressive games for the Bulls. South Florida will face Florida, Miami and now Alabama in the near future, all at Raymond James Stadium, the USF home stadium and venue for the 2017 College Football Playoff Championship game.

How did Kelly do it? Kelly appreciates the unwritten rules of college football and has teamed with these schools to win home games against Power 5 opponents. USF will play in Tuscaloosa in 2024 and 2026.

To play the game if you are a Group 5 opponent trying to improve the profile of your school and football team. Meanwhile, UCF athletics director Danny White has cornered himself and his school by refusing to plan two for one.

Ironically, based on the story between UCF and USF, White says it's under the UCF to do so.

This is a short-sighted position for a group of 5 students.

UCF may be able to plan a series of games with Auburn. After all, it is the tiger's fault that one of these trifles is present. UCF's Bowl victory over Auburn in 2018 was the Knights' national championship game.

In addition to the complicated backstory, Alabama sets an important precedent by setting out to face a group of five opponents. So, bravo to the purple flood. If only they would play UAB.

Dream on. That's college football pettiness on a different level.

Joseph Goodman is a columnist for the Alabama Media Group. He is on Twitter @ JoeGoodmanJr .


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