UTEP’s Blueprint: Central Florida Knights (January 2019)

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Anybody else noticed the on-field player behavior that seems to fester in the Southeastern Conference? You would think it was pro wrestling.

Take, for instance, the 2018 Egg Bowl between Ole Miss and Mississippi State. It was so blotted with shoving matches between plays, woofing, I haven’t seen so much bad acting since the latest Keanu Reeves movie. The game seemed an afterthought to the bush league antics. The spectacle was nearly unwatchable.

During bowl season, another showboat from the SEC bastion of poor sportsmanship, LSU, was offended that the University of Central Florida be allowed on the same field. Respect was nowhere to be found.ucf knights logo

Instead, LSU dragged UCF into a non-stop series of yapping and intimidation tactics. Such random pushing and lip service should be reserved for the halls of Congress. Made me yearn for the next Army-Navy game.

Perhaps one could see the LSU side of it: The Tigers started playing football in 1893, UCF in 1979. I’ve got boots older than that.

LSU, however, has 31,500 students, only slightly more than UTEP’s 29,000. UCF’s enrollment is 56,235, second only to the 70,000-plus ants crawling all over Arizona State’s campuses. UCF has more students than Michigan, more than A&M, more than Texas-Austin.

The UCF administration is pouring a river of money through the Knights’ football program. Given its growing fan base and the fact UCF is 25-1 the past two years, could this be a sign post for UTEP leadership.

Note to the SEC and its fans: You did not invent football.

Another thing: Next time an opponent takes the field at the Sun Bowl, no booing. It’s a bunch of 20- and 21-year-old student athletes, working their way through school, just as our players do at UTEP.

Show a little common decency and respect. You’re embarrassing yourselves and my alma mater.

Save your misguided hostility for the next presidential election, in 2020. Then, you will just blend in with the other nutjobs. —By Mark S. McDonald, Executive Editor

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