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December 14, 2012UCF is currently scheduled to play seven home football games next season, but school officials say that number is not set in stone.
Three of the four non-conference games appear to be set: Akron (Aug. 31), at FIU (Sept. 7) and South Carolina (Sept. 28).
Sources say a home game with Bethune-Cookman, currently scheduled for Sept. 21, could go off the schedule if they can enter an agreement to begin a new home-and-home series.
And with an attractive home slate that includes South Carolina from the SEC and Big East visits from USF and Rutgers, UCF doesn't mind sacrificing a home game to begin a new series on the road.
"As much as you can, you want to play at home," UCF coach George O'Leary said. "There's a reason people have better home records than away records. But we do have flexibility with a seventh game. We would want to make sure it's a home-and-home. We're not going away for one game with no return match. I've got to sit down with administration and make sure they're doing their due diligence in securing the type of opponent we want to play."
No word on a possible opponent, but O'Leary said earlier in the season they would explore possibilities with ACC teams, who suddenly had a vacancy for 2013 with their league's recent decision to scale back from nine to eight conference games.
Most ACC teams have since filled their schedules, though Boston College, Duke and North Carolina are still in search of a non-conference opponent and each would have Sept. 21 available, according to FBSchedules.com.
In addition to the Bulls and Scarlet Knights, UCF will host Connecticut and Houston in Big East play next year. Road games will be to Cincinnati, Louisville, SMU and Temple.
"It's a great home schedule and a great away schedule," O'Leary said. "It's pretty much making the same trips we've made in the past a little bit. I'm anxious to see the order of how we play them. I'd like to see that one game (USF) on Thanksgiving weekend. I think it will really help both schools as far as the stream of revenue.
"The non-conference season isn't set yet, but I think it's a very attractive schedule for the fanbase and very competitive for the football team."