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September 19, 2013
Aresco praises UCF, Bortles
American Athletic Conference commissioner Mike Aresco appeared as a guest on the Thursday edition of the "Tim Brando Show" which airs weekdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Sirius/XM.
Sirius/XM released brief three-minute excerpt from the interview in which Brando and Aresco talk prominently about UCF and their 34-31 win at Penn State.
Brando begins by hyping up the Oct. 18 matchup between Louisville and UCF, hinting it could very well decide the conference championship. He follows up by saying UCF quarterback Blake Bortles is "big time."
"UCF was under the radar and we knew it," Aresco said. "We also knew Blake Bortles was a terrific quarterback who wasn't getting a lot of attention. The Penn State game... we knew that was a big game. Also the way they dominated big portions of the game. The way they looked impressed people a lot. Brent Musburger on the prime time game said, 'UCF is better than you think.' I think that tells you all you need to know.
"George (O'Leary) has built a really good program there. He's also a terrific guy. I've really had a great relationship with him in my time as commissioner. He's been very supportive of the league. And they have good leadership. John Hitt is the president and Todd Stansbury is the AD. They've done innovative things, Tim. They're playing in Dublin next year, so this game will take on real significance next year with the rematch with Penn State. In addition, they have a blacktop basketball court and are building a nice basketball program. This is a team that I think, that Louisville-UCF game will definitely, you never know what can happen along the way, but that's going to be circled."
Aresco continues by saying not to count out Cincinnati, stressing that Illinois (which beat the Bearcats 45-17 in week two) is a better team than people realize as evident by their narrow defeat against Washington last weekend.
"The top of our league has been pretty good," Aresco said. "Rutgers has done well. UCF obviously. Cincinnati. Louisville of course. Houston and SMU we think are pretty good teams. SMU gave Texas Tech a good team. The score didn't indicate how close the game was. That's a game that turned on one play and you saw Texas Tech beat TCU. Some of our teams in the lower tier have struggled. I have no doubt USF will be a top program down the road. Willie Taggart just doesn't have a full cupboard right now. It will happen. Temple with Matt Rhule, Matt has done a nice job."
Audio: Mike Aresco expresses confidence in his top teams