Early successSince its inception in 1979, the University of Central Florida's football team played as an independent before landing a football-only membership in the Mid-American Conference. It lasted three years before the Knights bought their way out for an all-sports membership in the re-cast, 12-team Conference USA for 2005. Since, UCF has played in two of C-USA's three C-USA Championship Games, winning the title in 2007. Here, star RB Kevin Smith and TE Mike Merritt (left) celebrate after their title victory over Tulsa on Dec. 1, 2007 at Bright House Networks Stadium in Orlando.
Jacob Langston, Orlando Sentinel
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