Texas-Alabama series hurts UCF and could have affected USF, too

The Bulls are still scheduled to host Texas in 2022. But UCF's trip to Austin in '23 is gone. Sorry.
UCF's game against Texas died. USF's series against Texas lives on. [OCTAVIO JONES  | Times]
UCF's game against Texas died. USF's series against Texas lives on. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]
Published May 16, 2018

Wednesday's news that Alabama and Texas have agreed to a home-and-home series is great for college football fans.

Just not the ones in Orlando.

The Longhorns will host 'Bama in 2022, then travel to Tuscaloosa in 2023. To make it work, Texas canceled the non-conference game it already had scheduled for Sept. 9, 2023. That game? Home against UCF.

Sorry, Knights.

UCF fans can rightfully complain about the move. The Knights missed out on the College Football Playoff because of a relatively soft schedule. The solution, of course, is to schedule tougher non-conference opponents. UCF had one in Texas. Now it doesn't.

The good news is that the Knights have time to find a new opponent; it's not like Michigan dumping a 2020-21 series against Virginia Tech earlier this spring. The bad news is, scheduling is complex, so there's no guarantee UCF gets a Texas-like opponent.

USF was the victim of similar scheduling bad luck last year when Michigan State and Wisconsin bailed on it, as our Joey Knight explained here.

The Bulls could have been hurt by this Texas-Alabama series, too. USF is scheduled to host Texas on Sept. 3, 2022 as part of their three-game series. 'Bama already has a game scheduled for that date (Utah State), so the Tide and Horns meet the next week.

Which means USF's big game survives, while rival UCF's big game does not. That, unfortunately, is how scheduling works.