USF AD Michael Kelly said that slightly more than 50,000 tickets "have been sold for Friday's game against UCF, assuring the Bulls of their best home crowd" since a '16 game against Florida State drew an announced crowd of 61,665, according to Joey Knight of the TAMPA BAY TIMES. USF recently announced that all lower-bowl seats at Raymond James Stadium have "been sold, but indicated seats in parts of the 300 level -- normally closed for Bulls games -- are for sale" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 11/20).
REVIEWING THE GAME TAPE: In Orlando, Matt Murschel writes ESPN's "College GameDay" coming to town last weekend for the Cincinnati-UCF game was "big" not just for undefeated UCF, "but for the entire American Athletic Conference." AAC Commissioner Mike Aresco: "It's a great showcase for the school and for the program, I don't think there’s any question. It’s certainly one of the biggest things that have happened to our conference." Aresco added, "It’s not a sudden thing. This is something that’s been in the making for a long time and not just UCF, the league has been good for quite a while now. We've had a lot of good teams and we’ve had a lot of big wins and this is sort of a mini-culmination." Murschel notes Aresco has "urged others to embrace his argument the American is part of what should be known as the Power 6." He said, "Getting this kind of exposure and again having earned it, and having done what we’ve done as a conference, I think it absolutely reinforces the P6 narrative" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 11/20). Also in Orlando, David Whitley notes Saturday was the "ultimate vindication" of former UCF President John Hitt's vision. Hitt’s "ultimate goal was to make UCF a big-time academic institution." Football was a "means to that end." Whitley: "Saturday proved that UCF has definitely arrived" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 11/20).