COLUMBUS, Ohio — Quarterback Blake Bortles believes that his Central Florida team has athletes to play on even terms with No. 14 Ohio State today.
One famous, or infamous, former Floridian agrees.
"They're a Big Ten talent," Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer said of UCF. "There's no question there's people on that team at certain positions that are as good or better than our (guys). They have five or six NFL players on their roster. That tells you what we're getting ready to face. We'd better be ready. This is going to be a brawl."
Each scored 56 points last week in battering Mid-American Conference opponents from Ohio, the Knights whipping Akron 56-14 and the Buckeyes rolling over Miami University 56-10 in Meyer's first game after coaching Florida to two national titles in six seasons, 2005-10.
The Knights, coming off of a 5-7 season in 2011, are brimming with confidence.
"I think we can run with them, I think we can run with anybody," said Bortles, who threw for three touchdowns last week in his first college start. "We're a team full of athletes. Everybody's going to go out there and give it their all."
Big 12 reaches deal with ESPN/ABC, Fox
FORT WORTH, Texas — The Big 12 announced a new 13-year deal with ESPN and Fox Sports on Friday that is reportedly worth $2.6 billion.
The deal to televise football and men's basketball through 2024-25 includes a so-called "grant of rights" by each of the league's 10 schools. That lets the Big 12 retain the media rights and accompanying revenue of any school that leaves the league.
Every Big 12 football game will be televised, beginning with this season. That includes TCU playing at Texas on Thanksgiving night on ESPN and future televised games on that holiday evening and the day after.
BASKETBALL: Lance Thomas, a starter on Duke's 2010 national title team, bought nearly $100,000 in custom jewelry that season from a New York firm that is suing him for failing to pay the balance. Documents indicate that a credit of $67,800 from Rafaello & Co., remains unpaid. … Iowa State reserve Bubu Palo was suspended after being charged with sexually abusing a woman he drove home this year. Palo and another man, Spencer Cruise, 21, of Ames, were charged.