George O'Leary and UCF certainly have an interesting football program. One of the biggest problems for the Knight's program has been attendance. Like Boston College, they struggle to fill the seats despite an 11-3 season capped off with a bowl win over Georgia. In fact, both schools have had almost identical 2010 home attendance figures -- BC 38,000, UCF 39,000 -- though to be fair to the Eagles, Alumni Stadium can only hold 44,500, while Bright House Stadium holds 56,000.
BC has tried to address this issue by increasing marketing and selling cheaper season tickets to young alumni. George O'Leary, on the other hand, has come up with a new "novel" idea to try and fill the seats of Bright House Networks Stadium.
This year, head coach George O'Leary has a new plan to fill BHNS: invite the enemies and create hybrid fans. "You should be a Gator-Knight," O'Leary told an audience at the Rotary Club of Orlando.
"If the Gators aren't playing, we're the hometown team. I'm not telling you -- don't root for your team... But, Seminole-Knight, Hurricane-Knight. Support your hometown team."
The Knights have only been a Division-I team since 1996 and are playing 'catch-up' in several regards in comparison to the major football programs in the Sunshine State, especially the 'tradition' category.
"We've come a long way in a short period of time, we really have," said O'Leary in front of a crowd of about 75. "But, you have to get behind your hometown team."
Aren't we glad that BC's situation hasn't gotten so dire that Gene DeFilippo and Coach Spaziani had to do something so desperate? Can you imagine GDF begging transplanted fans of other colleges to root for Boston College? This is just lame, and well, stupid. This just makes the entire UCF program look like they can't keep their head above water in a state that lives and breathes college football.
Miami, Florida, Florida State and even USF fans must be getting a real kick out of this.
As we all know, the Knights will be hosting Boston College this season on a Saturday night at 8 PM. This should be a big time game for the Knights -- a game in primetime on a Saturday night against an ACC opponent. A chance for a fledgling program on the rise to silence a few doubters. If O'Leary has his way how many seats will be Seminole-Knights, Hurricane-Knights and Gator-Knights fans? Or more likely, how many seats will be just be completely empty?