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Let's Make The UCF-USF "Rivalry" Mean Something: The Battle For The Gold Jersey

If we're going to play this game annually, then let's play for keeps. Or at least our mutual color.

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Some background and thoughts:

* Made up trophies for games like this are usually stupid (except for this one which OMG SO AMAZING!!). Unless there's something really cool that symbolizes the history between the two institutions, forget it. So if you want to make a Doug Woolard Tire Trophy, I would support this. Otherwise I can't think of anything that would make sense.

* The War On I-4 is already taken and trademarked, and that's lame anyway.

* We can't collaborate with a C. Florida blog on this, because they're incapable of maintaining a fan blog of any presence whatsoever. Possibly because most of their fanbase can't write in complete sentences. Or because those pizzas aren't getting delivered by themselves HAHAHA SEE IT'S SUCH A RIVALRY I MADE FUN OF YOU KNIGHTS. Or I just plugged the same lame tropes that every "rivalry" uses agains the other one. Hey internet, stop doing that this week. Both sides.

The above being stipulated, we have an idea: our former writer and resident genius Andrew Pina came up with this, and in the opinion of this blog it is fantastic:

"The Battle For The Gold Jersey"

The team that wins the UCF-USF game each year gets to wear gold jerseys during the game the next season. They can also wear a gold jersey for whatever game they'd like during the regular season, while the losing team cannot wear gold jerseys all year against any opponent under any circumstances.

Both teams share the color, and both teams haven't been shy about using multiple uniform combinations this season. We like this idea for many different reasons, but here are the biggest:

* When you buy a gold jersey as a USF or UCF fan, you'll now be making a statement. That statement is "I love my school, and that school over there can go to hell." I like this. Also think of the marketing implications: the next USF jersey you buy is much more likely to be a gold one (you're welcome, Under Armour and Nike), and tell me you're not wearing that gold jersey every day, week, and possibly month after the game to taunt your co-worker that graduated from Central Florida or vice versa.

* Players will want to win this game so they can wear that gold jersey with pride. Symbols of victory in games like this can be pretty cool, such as Ohio State and the gold pants given to players when they beat Michigan. But with this it's even better because getting that gold jersey will be something that can only be earned one way: by beating the opponent that wants it just as bad as you do.

* Not having worn a gold jersey for years on end will drive one of the two fan bases completely insane. Like borderline psychotic. We love this part.

Important point we've already thought of: Yes we know USF hasn't worn gold jerseys before while UCF does on a more frequent basis. We don't care. We also think USF underutilizes the gold side of the color palette they have, which can be really sharp when well-executed. We're also giving the Bulls a reason to sell more swag. We can't imagine they'd be opposed to this.

This shouldn't ever have become a rivalry. USF made some awful administrative decisions, and failed to stay ahead of the team they were clearly better than before, during, and after the 2005-2008 series. But it is what it is, and we are where we are.

Portions of both fan bases are going to continue to make a big deal out of this game. For reasons which I expressed on the podcast this week, as an older USF fan that always looked at Oviedo with a combination of disdain and pity it sucks that they will be the favorite two years in a row. But it shows the teams are on relatively equal footing over the long-term now. So let's acknowledge the obvious, and have some fun with it.

Someday I hope USF will develop a great rivalry with another school, but that day is not now. Since our marketing people are all in and our administration is all in and our coach is all in on this, let's #DoSomething.

C'mon, USF Athletics and UCF Athletics: let's make this happen.