UCF burst onto the national scene in 2017, when the team went 13-0 and defeated Auburn in the Peach Bowl. Since then, the program has become one of the more recognizable Group of 5 schools in college football.
UCF Knights History
UCF’s football journey began in 1979 when the team started out as a Division III independent. 1990 marked UCF’s first season playing Division I football, albeit in the FCS.
After just six seasons in the FCS, including two playoff appearances, UCF made the leap to the FBS where they, again, remained independent until 2002.
The FBS proved to be a different beast early on for UCF, as the team failed to reach a bowl game in its first nine seasons. In Head Coach George O’Leary’s first year in 2004, the Knights stumbled to an 0-11 record, capping off the most brutal run in program history.
O’Leary and company, however, quickly righted the ship and qualified for the Hawaii Bowl the following season. In 2010, the team broke into the AP Top-25 for the first time in school history and won its first bowl game.
In 2013, QB Blake Bortles and RB Storm Johnson led the Knights to a 12-1 record and a Fiesta Bowl victory. Amazingly, two seasons later, UCF went 0-12. That was George O’Leary’s last season as head coach, meaning both his first and last seasons were winless.
In 2017, second-year head coach Scott Frost and dual-threat QB McKenzie Milton led the Knights to an undefeated season which included a Peach Bowl win over SEC powerhouse Auburn.
Strangely enough, it was available in the state for about a month via the Hard Rock Sportsbook app operated by the Seminole tribe. The app was pulled after a month because a federal court ruled that a previous agreement between the tribe and the state had been vacated.
The complex legal matter and subsequent court rulings mean that Florida is a ways off from offering legal, statewide betting. FanDuel and DraftKings had ramped up efforts to get sports betting on the 2022 ballot in the Sunshine State, but the effort failed.
The two industry giants are confident they can get it on the ballot in 2024 and legalize the practice once and for all. If sports betting does make its way back to Florida, bettors can expect to see something like this:
- UCF Knights -13.5
- USF Bulls +13.5
In this hypothetical chapter of the War on I-4 rivalry, UCF is a huge, 13.5-point favorite over South Florida. UCF bettors need the Knights to win the game by at least 14 points to cover the spread.
If UCF wins by fewer than 14, or gets upset by USF, bettors would lose their wagers on the Knights.