The Trinity Voice

UCF: Orlando’s Hometown Team?

Scott+Frost+celebrates+with+his+time+after+their+thrilling+62-55+win+in+the+Conference+America+championship+game.++
Scott Frost celebrates with his time after their thrilling 62-55 win in the Conference America championship game.

Scott Frost celebrates with his time after their thrilling 62-55 win in the Conference America championship game.

Courtesy of Wikimedia

Courtesy of Wikimedia

Scott Frost celebrates with his time after their thrilling 62-55 win in the Conference America championship game.

Lily Israel, Managing Editor

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If you ask someone in Orlando which college football team they root for, most would expect to hear either “UF” or “FSU.” Even though we live more than two hours away from each of these schools, it is still the default answer. Now I have no problem with loyal Gator and Seminole alumna supporting their alma mater, but I do find issue with those fair weather fans who would rather “root” for a team two hours away because they have been “historically” good than their hometown team.

  UCF won the American Athletic Conference Championship, but it just wasn’t as simple as that. The game was a roller coaster of emotions from the opening kickoff. Undefeated and 14th ranked UCF took on the University of Memphis. The Knights were led by quarterback Mackenzie Milton in an offensive shootout. Tied at the end of regulation at 48-48, the game went into overtime.

  The game wasn’t even over yet and Knights fans were already heartbroken. Watching at home, I saw as the screen flashed the inevitable news: UCF Head Coach Scott Frost was returning to his alma mater to coach at the University of Nebraska. While fans at home learned the definitive news, it was all but official the week leading up to the game.

  The Knights went on to win the game in a double-overtime thriller, clinching a spot in The Peach Bowl. Scott Frost capped off a remarkable two year run as UCF’s head coach. He took at the end of the 2015 season. The Knights were 0-12 and looking desperate. Just two years later, Frost led them to an undefeated 12-0 season and conference championship.

  Fans shouldn’t feel remorse towards Frost, for he has given the team so much. They shouldn’t feel guilt for his departure. The UCF and Nebraska head coaching jobs are incomparable. Frost is now coaching a Nebraska team in a power five conference with a contract worth $35 million over seven years. UCF is in the American Conference. Frost was making less than $2 million over five years.

  UCF fans can’t change how much money their school has, but what they can change is how much dedication they give to their school. The greater attendance at each football game, the greater revenue the school brings in. The greater revenue, the more they can pay their coaches. And so on and so on.

  At the College Football Playoff Awards, Frost was named Coach of the Year for his remarkable turnaround of the Knights football program. Red carpet shows are usually focused on women’s wardrobes. However, Frost’s outfit drew a lot of attention. On one lapel of his jacket he wore a UCF pin; on the other, a Nebraska pin.

  Frost recently announced he would come back to UCF and coach them in their New Year’s Day Peach Bowl game against Auburn. After spending about a week in Nebraska recruiting new players, Frost returned to UCF. Historically, if a coach finds a new job before their bowl game, they don’t coach that bowl game. But, as we’ve seen throughout his incredible two season, Frost is different. Even so, he already has one foot in the past and one in the future.

  It is up to us, Central Floridians, to recognize that UCF is our hometown team. They may be a team always on the outside looking in on the Power 5 teams, but we need to show them we are behind them the whole way.

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UCF: Orlando’s Hometown Team?