Leagues apart? UCF, USF trade shots on standing

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South Florida has made a steady climb up the college football rankings — up to No. 5 this week — but that didn't stop Central Florida coach George O'Leary from taking what appeared to be a subtle shot Tuesday at the Bulls' trumpeting of their BCS conference affiliation.

"What [league] are they in — the Big East?" O'Leary was quoted by the Orlando Sentinel in a column on the growing rivalry heading into Saturday's matchup in Tampa.

UCF plays in Conference USA.

USF has won both games in the series and UCF fans have been writing, calling and e-mailing O'Leary, telling him this is the one game they most want to win.

"Everybody says this game doesn't matter — the hell it doesn't," O'Leary said. "If it doesn't matter, then why [does USF] throw it in your face during recruiting?"

O'Leary reasons that "common sense" dictates this game should be played every year, and he can't quite fathom USF's desire to end the series after next year.

"I don't know why that's their attitude over there," O'Leary said.

USF coach Jim Leavitt was able to get in his own shot at UCF when asked recently by a Kansas City Star reporter about up-and-coming Sunshine State programs such as USF, UCF and FAU emerging into legitimate major-college programs.

"Don't categorize us with those schools," Leavitt said. "There are four BCS schools in the state of Florida: Florida, South Florida, Florida State and Miami. Nobody else is in that room."

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