UCF already abuzz with excitement over move to the Big 12
Dave Puglisi - The excitement is already building on the sprawling campus of the University of Central Florida.
Along East Plaza Drive that sits in the shadow of the Bounce House, students and businesses are already dreaming of a Big 12 game day.
"It’s going to be insane," said freshman Oli Anilo.
There is already an electric game day atmosphere that spills from the stadium to the parking lot and deep into campus.
"The streets are like packed with people," said Layla Jewett. "It’s nothing like I’ve ever seen."
Jewett is a member of the woman’s basketball team.
She believes the success of the football team will only add to the excitement and opportunities for all UCF athletes.
"It means more publicity for us and all of our sports," Jewett said.
Local businesses are hoping the Big 12 brings even bigger crowds.
"I can’t even imagine," said Stacy Erickson. "People are already talking about the Florida game and it’s two to three years out."
Erickson has watched the team grow from behind the bar at Burger U for the last four seasons. She believes the big game atmosphere will draw big-time business to all the shops in the area.
"We’ve all been waiting for this for so long and we know we deserve it. All the players deserve it and to just relish in everything it will actually be is amazing," Erickson said.
With the move also comes the respect and recognition that many feel is long overdue for the unofficial 2017 National Champions, as well as a newfound pride that comes with wearing black and gold.
"I don’t feel like [UCF] is given the same importance as schools like UF have to or even FSU, but I honestly feel like this school is much better than those schools," said sophomore Ashton Thomas.