There's no question now: UCF absolutely has to go to the Big East.
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Boise State and USF.
When word began leaking out Friday that Boise State would soon be joining the Big East, UCF's decision became a no-brainer. If the Big East, as expected in the coming days, closes the deal with already-established Boise State and up-and-coming UCF, it becomes an even stronger conference than it was two weeks ago when Pitt and Syracuse were in the league.
Isn't it amazing? Now we have two conferences — one that already has BCS affiliation and the other that is trying to get one —- actually fighting over UCF.
It's not just coincidence that on the same day word began leaking out the Big East would soon invite UCF and Boise State (along with Air Force and Navy) that Conference USA and the Mountain West announced they were merging in hopes of someday getting an automatic-qualifying BCS bid of their own.
Don't kid yourself, the two conferences are coming together in a last-ditch effort to keep their marquee teams — UCF and Boise State — from bolting to the Big East. Can you believe it? After all these years, and UCF suddenly and excitingly has options.
What should the Knights do? The decision is easy now that Boise State is seemingly ready to join them. UCF must unite with its sister school, USF, in the Big East. Playing USF every year will give both schools a heart-pumping, blood-boiling geographic rivalry that neither one has right now. It will be an annual game that will excite both fan bases 10 times more than any game they currently play.
Not only that, but the Big East, at least for now, has a BCS bid — something the CUSA-Mountain West alliance is only hoping to attain in the future.
If Boise State goes to the Big East, the league's chances of keeping that BCS bid are significantly increased. And even if the Big East loses the automatic bid, UCF and USF together can always parachute into the CUSA-Mountain West alliance or perhaps become an enticing package deal for an even better league.
Big East, here comes UCF and Boise State.
You just made your league better than it's been in years.
Short stuff: I'm not saying American sports fans are apathetic about the NBA labor dispute, but here's the most common response I've heard since David Stern canceled games earlier this week: "Tim Tebow is starting! Tim Tebow is starting! Tim Tebow is starting!" … Speaking of Tebow, one Fox movie executive actually went on the Jim Rome Show this week and half-jokingly broached the possibility of Tebow replacing the outgoing Bruce Willis as the action-hero star in the "Diehard" movies. Hmmm, not quite sure if Diehard would be the same if it were G-rated with Tebow glaring at the bad guy and saying, Yippee-Ki-Yay, Dooty head!" … Hey, did you see where President Obama had a beer with four unemployed workers while he was in Orlando earlier this week? I'm just wondering if the names of the workers were Dwight, Jameer, Hedo and J.J.? …
Mikey likes: SMU over UCF by 6, Auburn over Florida by 10, Florida State over Duke by 15, Miami over North Carolina by 3, Saints over Bucs by 14, Jets over Dolphins by 6, Steelers over Jags by 9, Big East over CUSA-Mountain West alliance by Tuesday. … Now that iconic football owner Al Davis has passed away, his signature statement needs to be altered to ask basketball owners a very important question concerning how long it will be until the NBA season begins: "Just when, baby?" … Stephen Garcia finally gets kicked off the University of South Carolina football team after being suspended five times over the course of his career. Gotta love Steve Spurrier's "Six strikes and you're out" disciplinary policy. … By the way, did you see where the HBC — Head Bawl Coach — threw a hissy-fit and refused to hold his weekly news conference because Ron Morris, a South Carolina sports columnist he is feuding with, was in the room? During his rant, Spurrier even evoked the name of his long-time media nemesis — retired Orlando Sentinel columnist Larry Guest. Ah, the memories. Back in the day, being at the same news conference with Spurrier and Guest was more uncomfortable than the teeth-pulling scene in "Marathon Man." …
I guess we shouldn't be surprised that a fan got arrested last week for throwing a hot dog at Tiger Woods. After all, Tiger used to be the ultimate winner; now he's just the ultimate wiener. … True story: Royce Reed, the mother of Dwight Howard's son, announced on Twitter that she would not be returning to Season 4 of VH1's "Basketball Wives" due to "artistic differences." Good grief, are you kidding me? Artistic differences? Dogs Playing Poker has more "artistic" value than "Basketball Wives." … Dolphins receiver Brandon Marshall says he may get kicked out of Sunday's game with the Jets. My question: Would anybody really notice? … Technology experts are still trying to figure out what caused the Blackberry outages throughout the world earlier this week. I'm thinking it was the rumors that Gilbert Arenas may reopen his Twitter account.
Most every weekday, you can click on OrlandoSentinel.com and read the wildly popular Open Mike blog and interactive extravaganza to get my freshest takes on what's happening in the world of sports. Here's an excerpt from a blog post earlier in the week about Florida State's football players shutting down their Twitter accounts:
"Don't know how much FSU players going cold turkey on Twitter will help their performance, but it might just help their self-esteem.
Believe me, as someone who has received my share of obscene, ugly tweets from the idiot fringe on social media, it's no surprise what FSU players have had to endure during their three-game losing streak. And after reading some of these vile, negative messages these morons send to college kids, I don't blame the Seminoles for pulling the plug on Twitter.
According to a story by the Sentinel's Coley Harvey, fans tweeted various derogatory messages to certain players following the loss to Wake Forest last Saturday. The most inflammatory items, he wrote, could not be printed.
"Cornerback Greg Reid was perhaps hit the hardest," Harvey wrote. "One FSU fan tweeted him, comparing his performance in Saturday's game to the prison time Reid's father served up until last December."
Good grief, what sort of disgusting, despicable imbecile would harass a college kid about his father being in prison?
Coach Jimbo Fisher said the Twitter shutdown was not ordered by him, but decided upon by the players themselves.
"Me? I don't think it's smart [to be on Twitter]," Fisher said. "There's no benefit. Tell me a benefit for getting on it? The only thing that comes back is negative and they read all the stuff that people say. I told them, be careful. Be careful on that stuff and don't listen to it, and don't reply back. You find out, they love you when you win. They're brutal when you lose.
"I don't think it's a good thing. I don't think it's a good thing for college kids at all," Fisher said. "Because I think they get exposed to things that they shouldn't get exposed to as they're developing.
"And don't think it don't affect kids. I hate to say it, but I've been places and seen things that have led to suicides over those things. And if you don't think it happens? You're sticking your head in the sand as a fan and as a person. I've seen it happen."
I applaud the Seminoles for deleting all of the Twitter litter.
Now if they can just eliminate the dumb penalties."
(Most interesting reader retorts, tangy tweets and Bianchi barbs of the week):
On what "Diehard" movies would be like if Tim Tebow actually did replace the outgoing Bruce Willis as the main character:
"Yippee-Ki-Yay, now let us pray!"
"What will be Tebow's weapon of choice — a 44 Magnum or circumcision scissors?"
"Blood spatters after Tebow shoots the bad guy and Tim says, 'Ew, yucky!' "
In memory of Al Davis passing away a few days ago, three of my favorite Davis quotes.
"Just win, baby!"
"We don't take what the defense gives us; we take whatever the hell he want."
"You don't adjust, you just dominate."
firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at BianchiWrites. Listen to his radio show every weekday from 6 to 9 a.m. on 740-AM.