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So Why Do We Call The Knights “C.Florida”?

A cautionary tale of what happens when you care a little too much about your #brand.

South Florida v Central Florida Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Longtime readers of this blog know we refer to that school down the street as “C.Florida” or “C.” for short. If you’ve only been reading since we came back to SB Nation last year, you may have no idea where that came from. Let’s explain. And for this post only, we’ll use their actual name.

Much like USF got tired of being called “South Florida” a long time ago, UCF got tired of being called “Central Florida” around 2007. They made a big push to get people to call them UCF instead. Most people got on board pretty quickly, but there was one big holdout: ESPN continued to call them “Central Florida” or “C.Florida” on all their scoreboard graphics.

This happens to USF to this day. Check out last Thursday’s game against Tulsa — ESPN is still labeling us as “S.Florida” unless they don’t have enough room on the graphic. The difference is that USF has made halfhearted attempts at best to get ESPN to change it, and they haven’t even done that for a long, long time. The only attempt USF currently makes to get the media to call them by their preferred name is buried deep in the football game notes. It’s not on their priority list.

On the other hand, UCF fans went berserk and complained about it with every breath they took. It peaked at the 2012 Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl, when the official UCF football Twitter account got all passive-aggressive about it.

Clearly they were letting “C.Florida” bother them way more than any rational fan base would. And far be it from us to pass up an opportunity to tweak them. First I started with “C. Florida.” (Here’s the first post where I ever used it.) Then I got rid of the space and made it “C.Florida” to match ESPN’s spelling. That stuck for a few years, until sometime last year when Collin and I were doing a podcast and we started saying “C.” out loud. Finally that laziness carried over to our writing, and there you have it.

As for ESPN, it took at least another couple years to finally get them to switch. They were still using “C.Florida” at the 2014 Fiesta Bowl:

Even into the following season, they were still alternating between UCF and “C.Florida” depending on what production crew was working the game. It looks like ESPN ultimately settled on UCF, meaning everyone now calls them what they want to be called. Except us.

P.S. Check out C.’s game notes for this Friday’s matchup:

I’m glad someone in the C. SID office finally has a sense of humor. You guys should have left out the space in “S.Florida” for authenticity but otherwise a solid effort, 7.5/10.