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December 11, 2012

UCF's 2013 Big East opponents revealed

UCF's 2013 Big East opponents are set.

The Knights' inaugural season will include home visits from USF, Connecticut, Houston and Rutgers and they'll go on the road to play Cincinnati, Louisville, SMU and Temple.

The home and away opponents were part of a league-wide announcement on Tuesday. The full schedule with dates will be released in January or February.


For UCF, the big news is they'll resume their rivalry with USF with a game in Orlando and they also get Rutgers, another team that should be a big home draw.

UCF will be competing in the league's East Division with USF, Connecticut, Cincinnati, Louisville and Rutgers. The West Division lineup consists of Boise State, Houston, Memphis, San Diego State, SMU and Temple.

Geography in the new Big East stretches from coast to coast with Boise State and San Diego State, but the Knights avoid playing both of the western schools. The other team missing from the schedule is Memphis, whom the Knights have played every year in Conference USA since 2005.

The inaugural Big East Championship Game is tentatively slated to be played Saturday, December 7, 2013 at the site of the highest-rated division winner.

UCF's 2013 non-conference schedule consists of home games with South Carolina, Akron and Bethune-Cookman and a road game at FIU.


BIG EAST HOME GAMES
USF
2012 Record: 3-9, 1-6 Big East
Bowl Game: N/A
Head Coach/Record: Willie Taggart, this will be his first season at USF. Compiled a 16-20 record the last three years at Western Kentucky.
All-Time Series: USF leads, 4-0.
Fun Facts: The incoming freshman class of 2013 were in middle school the last time UCF and USF met on the gridiron. That matchup in 2008 was won in overtime by USF, 31-24. That was also the Bulls' first and only appearance inside Bright House Networks Stadium. UCF wants this game on Thanksgiving weekend.
CONNECTICUT
2012 Record: 5-7, 2-5 Big East
Bowl Game: N/A
Head Coach/Record: Paul Pasqualoni, 10-14 in two seasons at UConn. 151-90-1 all-time as a head coach, which includes 14 years at Syracuse.
All-Time Series: First meeting.
Fun Facts: A charter member of the Big East, UConn finally joined for football in 2004 after making the transition from FCS. The Huskies captured the Big East's BCS bid in 2010 with a berth in the Fiesta Bowl.
HOUSTON
2012 Record: 5-7, 4-4 C-USA
Bowl Game: N/A
Head Coach/Record: Tony Levine, 5-7 in his first full season. He was Cougars' special teams coordinator and was named the coach after Kevin Sumlin left for Texas A&M.
All-Time Series: UCF leads, 3-1.
Fun Facts: UCF's first victory over a ranked opponent came in 2009 with a 37-32 victory against No. 12 Houston in Orlando. If UCF plays at Houston in 2014 it will be in a new on-campus stadium. UH is currently demolishing Robertson Stadium and will play in Reliant Stadium in 2013.
RUTGERS
2012 Record: 9-3, 5-2 Big East
Bowl Game: Russell Athletic Bowl vs. Virginia Tech (Dec. 28)
Head Coach/Record: Kyle Flood, 9-3 in one season. He was the offensive line coach when he took over for the departing Greg Schiano in late January 2012.
All-Time Series: Rutgers leads, 1-0.
Fun Facts: The only meeting between the two Knights came in the 2009 St. Petersburg Bowl, which was won by Rutgers 45-24. This is shaping up to be the final meeting for the forseeable future as Rutgers has been invited to the Big Ten with an expected start date of 2014.
BIG EAST ROAD GAMES
CINCINNATI
2012 Record: 9-3, 5-2 Big East
Bowl Game: Belk Bowl vs. Duke (Dec. 27)
Head Coach/Record: Tommy Tuberville, this will be his first season at Cincinnati. Compiled a 130-77 record in 16 years at Ole Miss, Auburn and Texas Tech.
All-Time Series: First meeting.
Fun Facts: Cincinnati made one of the nation's surprising coaching hires this past weekend when they pulled Tuberville away from Texas Tech. The Bearcats played in back-to-back BCS games in 2009 (Orange) and 2010 (Sugar). Only five FBS stadiums are older than Nippert Stadium, which was completed in 1924, though they've been playing on the site since 1902.
LOUISVILLE
2012 Record: 10-2, 5-2 Big East
Bowl Game: Sugar Bowl vs. Florida (Jan. 2)
Head Coach/Record: Charlie Strong, 24-14 in three seasons at Louisville.
All-Time Series: Louisville leads, 1-0.
Fun Facts: The previous meeting came in 1985 when UCF was a member of Division II. The 42-21 Louisville victory was also the Knights' first ever game against a FBS opponent. Like Rutgers, this will be the final meeting as Louisville has been invited to the ACC with an expected start date of 2014.
SMU
2012 Record: 6-6, 5-3 C-USA
Bowl Game: Hawaii Bowl vs. Fresno State (Dec. 24)
Head Coach/Record: June Jones, 30-34 in five seasons at SMU. 106-75 all-time, which includes nine years at Hawaii.
All-Time Series: UCF leads, 4-1.
Fun Facts: With an approximate air mileage of 971, this is slated to be UCF's longest road trip and the only game outside of the eastern time zone. Including this season, SMU will have played in four consecutive bowl games. Their previous bowl appearance had come in 1984, prior to the late 1980s Death Penalty which shut down the program for two years.
TEMPLE
2012 Record: 4-7, 2-5 Big East
Bowl Game: N/A
Head Coach/Record: TBD. Temple is looking to replace Steve Addazio (13-11 in two years with the Owls) who recently departed for Boston College.
All-Time Series: First meeting.
Fun Facts: Temple was a football-only member of the Big East from 1991 to 2004, but a lack of commitment to the program led the other member schools to vote them out. They played 2005 and 2006 as an independent before joining the MAC in 2007. 2012 was their first year back in the Big East. The Owls play their home games at Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Philadelphia Eagles.


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