American Athletic Conference commissioner Mike Aresco stated last month that Central Florida athletic director Danny White and the Knights are on their own in their refusal to schedule 2-for-1s against the Miami football program and other marquee teams.
Central Florida Athletic Director Danny White caused a stir last month when he criticized their American Athletic Conference and in-state rival South Florida for scheduling a two-for-one with the Miami football program. The Bulls will visit Hard Rock stadium in 2025 and 2028 and the Hurricanes travel to Tampa in 2027.
AAC commissioner Mike Aresco recognized the Miami football program with other marquee football schools Oklahoma, Texas, Florida and Alabama. Aresco stated that in order to play the elite of college football the AAC teams other than UCF understand that they have to schedule two-for-ones.
White has been on a crusade since talks broke down between Central Florida and Florida to schedule a series between the teams. When South Florida and Miami announced their agreement last month White criticized the Bulls football program and their athletic director Michael Kelly.
Aresco spoke at length about White’s comments and the AAC’s scheduling practices. While some exceptions to the rule exist, to play marquee programs that include Florida, Florida State and the Miami football program, AAC teams on the whole need to schedule two-for-ones. Aresco noted that’s the feeling of AAC members.
"“I think people respect Danny’s opinion on this and I think they feel that scheduling is an individual concern. I know Danny expressed some concerns that if we did too many of these two-for-ones, it could hurt the overall conference’s scheduling ability.I understand where he’s coming from because what he’s really talking about is doing two-for-ones all over the place with schools you really shouldn’t being doing them with.But most of our membership feels in order to get some of the really marquee teams like Oklahoma, Texas, Florida, Miami and Alabama, you’ll have to do two-for-ones.”"
In addition to the series the Miami football program has scheduled with South Florida the Hurricanes host Temple in 2021 and travel to Philadelphia in 2024. It’s the only home-and-home Miami has scheduled in the future with a group of five opponent. The series with the Owls was scheduled in July 2017.
Mark Richt did not like home-and-home series with group of five programs. The home-and-home scheduled with the Owls was surprising. Don’t expect to see them in the future with group of five teams under Manny Diaz. Diaz has already elevated the state of the Miami football program in five months.
White’s points about scheduling two-for-ones against some of the power five teams make sense. The upper echelon schools in all of the power five conferences do not need to schedule a home-and-home with any of the AAC teams including Central Florida. Aresco elaborated with the Orlando Sentinel about AAC scheduling.
"“I think everyone knows that we want to continue to schedule as many [games against] Power 5 conferences as possible…Most of the membership, if not all of them except Danny at this point, is open for doing two-for-ones. We’ve done some of them and obviously some of them have been high profile.”We strongly encourage each school to play two Power 5 games each year. We don’t make it mandatory, but we made it an imperative.”"
Aresco’s comments, specifically with the schools that he compared the Miami football program to, show the respect that is still out there for the Hurricanes. As the Miami football program’s profile continues to rise under Manny Diaz, expect the only home-and-home series Miami schedules to be against other Power 5 programs.