List of UCF Knights football seasons
The UCF Knights college football team competes as part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Football Bowl Subdivision, representing The University of Central Florida in the American Athletic Conference (The American). Since the program's first season in 1979 under Don Jonas, the Knights have played over 400 regular-season games, earning 216 official victories. UCF and has won four division championships (2005, 2007, 2010, 2012), four conference championships (2007, 2010, 2013, 2014), and has made six postseason appearances since joining FBS (2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012), including the 2014 Fiesta Bowl, a BCS Bowl. The Knights current head coach is George O'Leary, who has led the team since 2004. The Knights have played their home games at Bright House Networks Stadium located on the main campus of UCF in Orlando, Florida since 2007.
UCF first fielded a varsity football team in the fall of 1979 as a Division III program, and subsequently completed their ascension to Division I-A, now known as the Division I Football Subdivision (FBS), in 1996. As a Division I–AA program, the Knights made the 1990 and 1993 playoffs, and were picked as the preseason No. 1 team to start the 1994 season. The Knights are notorious for playing close games against tough opponents. Examples include a 6–10 loss at Auburn in 1998, a 23–24 loss at Georgia in 1999, and a 40–38 upset against Alabama in 2000 during their homecoming on a last-second field goal by Javier Beorlegui.
Since O'Leary took over the program, the Knights have gained national prominence as members of Conference USA and The American. Before O'Leary, UCF had not made a postseason appearance since joining the FBS. Under his lead, the Knights have appeared in six bowl games, won four C-USA Eastern Division titles, and were the 2007 and 2010 Conference USA Champions. UCF was nationally ranked for the first time in school history, following a nationally-televised rout of Houston on November 5, 2010. In 2013, O'Leary led the Knights to their first eleven-win regular season (12–1), first perfect conference record (8–0), first win against a Big Ten opponent (Penn State), first win against a Top–10 team (Louisville), third conference title, and the programs first appearance and victory in a BCS bowl game by defeating then-sixth ranked Baylor 52–42.
The Knights main rivals are the East Carolina Pirates, Marshall Thundering Herd, and South Florida Bulls. UCF has played one Consensus All-American, Kevin Smith in 2007, and produced two Heisman Trophy candidates, Daunte Culpepper in 1998 and Kevin Smith in 2007. The program has also produced a long-line of NFL players. Playing in fourteen Super Bowls and including four pro-bowlers, the list most notably includes Blake Bortles, Brandon Marshall, Bruce Miller, Daunte Culpepper, Matt Prater, Asante Samuel, and Josh Sitton.
|Division III Independent (1979–1981)|
|Division II Independent (1982–1989)|
|1987||Gene McDowell||9–4–0||Semifinals Division II playoffs (1–1)|
|FCS Independent (1990–1995)|
|1990||Gene McDowell||10–4–0||Semifinals Division I–AA playoffs (2–1)|
|1993||Gene McDowell||9–3–0||First Round Division I–AA playoffs (0–1)|
|FBS Independent (1996–2001)|
|Mid-American Conference (2002–2004)|
|2002||Mike Kruczek||7–5||6–2||2nd (East)|
|2003||Kruczek\Alan Gooch§||3–9||2–6||5th (East)|
|2004||George O'Leary||0–11||0–8||7th (East)|
|Conference USA (2005–2012)|
|2005||George O'Leary||8–5||7–1||1st (East)||L C-USA Championship Game, Tulsa 27–44
L Hawai'i Bowl, Nevada 48–49OT
|2006||George O'Leary||4–8||3–5||4th (East)|
|2007||George O'Leary||10–4||7–1||1st (East)||W C-USA Championship Game, Tulsa 44–25
L Liberty Bowl, Mississippi State 3–10
|2008||George O'Leary||4–8||3–5||4th (East)|
|2009||George O'Leary||8–5||6–2||2nd (East)||L St. Petersburg Bowl, Rutgers 24–45|
|2010||George O'Leary||11–3||7–1||1st (East)||W C-USA Championship Game, SMU 17–7
W Liberty Bowl, Georgia 10–6
|2011||George O'Leary||5–7||3–5||4th (East)|
|2012||George O'Leary||10–4||7–1||T–1st (East)||L C-USA Championship Game, Tulsa 27–33OT
W Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl, Ball State 38–17
|American Athletic Conference (2013–present)|
|2013||George O'Leary||12–1||8–0||1st||W Fiesta Bowl, Baylor 52–42†||12||10|
|2014||George O'Leary||9–4||7–1||T–1st||L St. Petersburg Bowl, NC State 27-34|
|National championship Conference title Conference division title|
|†Indicates Bowl Coalition, Bowl Alliance, Bowl Championship Series (BCS) bowl, or College Football Playoff (CFP) game.
#Rankings from final Coaches Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll. § Denotes interim coach.
- Holic, Nathan, and the UCF Alumni Association. University of Central Florida: The Campus History Series (2009), ISBN 978-0-7385-6768-6
- MacCambridge, Michael. ESPN College Football Encyclopedia: The Complete history of the Game (2005), ISBN 1-4013-3703-1
- "UCF Football History". University of Central Florida Athletics. 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-20.
- "Division I–AA Football Comes to Orlando". University of Central Florida Athletic Association. Retrieved 2011-01-01.
- "UCF Football Flashback - Going on Krucz Control: Part 7 of 8 - The History of UCF Football". University of Central Florida Athletics Association. 2007-08-08. Retrieved 2013-12-08.
- "UCF ranked No. 23 in coaches poll and No. 25 in AP, vaulting into Top 25 for first time in school history". Orlando Sentinel. 2010-11-07. Retrieved 2010-11-07.
- "UCF ranked No. 25 in latest USA Today coaches poll". Orlando Sentinel. 2010-11-28. Retrieved 2010-11-29.
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