For the past two seasons, UCF has been on the national stage causing many college football fans to want to learn more about the young program. UCF stands for the University of Central Florida, but you risk the anger of Knights fans if you call the team “Central Florida.” As the name may indicate, UCF is located in Orlando, Florida.
According to Prep Scholar, UCF has the largest undergraduate enrollment in the country with 56,972 students. UCF was founded in 1963 and originally named Florida Technological University, with a vintage mascot that may be the best in sports.
The school had a brief foray with the Citronaut, a fictional character featuring an astronaut head and an orange body. It was a nod to both the space program and the citrus industry. UCF recently paid homage to the old Citronaut on their “Space Game” uniforms.
Here’s a look at the original Citronaut logo.
UCF Has the Largest Undergraduate Enrollment in the Country
UCF is in the spotlight for Week 12 as ESPN College Gameday makes its first visit to the Orlando campus. No. 11 UCF will host No. 24 Cincinnati in primetime on ABC. The game has major implications in the American Athletic Conference as UCF would clinch the East division with a win. The Knights own the nation’s longest winning streak at 22 games.
UCF had an undefeated 2017 season under head coach Scott Frost capped with a Peach Bowl win over Auburn. Frost accepted the Nebraska job, but UCF has continued its win streak under first-year head coach Josh Heupel, the former Missouri offensive coordinator. The football program created a bit of controversy by declaring a national championship despite not playing in the College Football Playoff.
UCF has been criticized this season for their strength of schedule. UCF athletic director Danny White spoke about some of the challenges UCF had with coming up with a more competitive schedule.
“We can’t control a hurricane,” White explained to Yahoo Sports. “Nobody else is taking four non-conference games and scheduling more than two on the road. It’s hard to get home and home. We believe in home-and-homes. We’re trying to play as good a opponent as we can get. A lot of schools don’t want to play us.”
Just a few short years ago, UCF was one of several AAC teams who danced with the Big 12, but the conference opted not to expand. ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit offered his thoughts on UCF’s scheduling dilemma.
“UCF is locked into the AAC (American Athletic Conference) and the reality is it’s challenging to have enough (big games) in your conference to warrant getting up into the top four,” Herbstreit explained to the Orlando Sentinel. “The only way you can do that is you have to try to think outside the box and come up with unique ways to prop up your schedule. Whether it’s scheduling a neutral site game or cancelling a game you already have because there is an opportunity to pick up a big-time Power 5 program, you’ve got to do that. I’m not saying it’s easy, but that’s what you’ve got to do.”