In advance of its 11th consecutive year playing Marshall, UCF prepares to bid farewell to one of its rivals. There's been some trash talk before the game, but not much of it is coming from Orlando.

In Huntington, however, words have not been spared. Here's a look at a few clips from the local newspaper, with my highlight from the story included, and then -- if you scroll way, way down, -- some of what has been said around UCF this week.

Chuck Landon: Central Florida 'golden' no more - Huntington Herald-Dispatch


Dropping the color from their nickname is somewhat symbolic. It was added by athletic director Steve Sloan in 1993, by the way.

Since then, first the University of Central Florida decided it wanted to be known by just its initials -- UCF. And, now, there's the decision to pare the nickname to just Knights.

It occurs to me that UCF seems to want to take shortcuts most of the time. It's most definitely a trend. Which leads us right back to the Knights' ever-present NCAA probation.

If UCF would stop taking shortcuts with the rules, perhaps, the school wouldn't keep incurring NCAA sanctions.

Chuck Landon: Even against weak Eagles, Herd earns sweet win - Huntington Herald-Dispatch


This was the perfect primer, the quintessential warmup for the oh so essential second step.

Namely, Marshall vs. UCF.

This could very well be the biggest, most significant game in Holliday's head-coaching career.

That's how important a win over UCF would be. Most knowledgeable football people consider the Golden Knights as the premier team in Conference USA.

Why, even UCF's president believed the Knights were the team to beat. That's why he appealed NCAA sanctions, which allows UCF to compete for the C-USA championship.

There's only one significant obstacle standing in the way of UCF's East Division title run.


Marshall notebook: Herd proved O'Leary wrong - Huntington Herald-Dispatch


After seven consecutive victories over the Thundering Herd, after never losing to Marshall since the pair of football programs joined Conference USA together in 2005 and after one prediction out of left field this week, the veteran UCF coach finally lost to MU.

Darn, that feels good.

It all started innocently enough during O’Leary’s weekly press conference this week when the crusty coach surprisingly voiced the opinion that he thought Southern Miss would win the rest of its games this season.

The prediction had some relevance because O’Leary’s Golden Knights just had defeated the Golden Eagles, 38-31 in double overtime, a few days earlier in Orlando.