The Civil Conflict (sometimes styled as the conFLiCT), was the name given by former University of Connecticut football head coach Bob Diaco to Connecticut's annual matchup against the UCF Knights football team of the University of Central Florida. The teams first met in 2013 as members of the American Athletic Conference.
|First meeting||October 26, 2013|
|Latest meeting||October 22, 2016|
|All-time series||Tied 2–2|
|Locations of UConn and UCF|
Diaco first mentioned a trophy after Connecticut's 37–29 victory over UCF in November 2014, his first FBS win as Connecticut head coach. It was also UCF's first conference loss in AAC, an 11-game winning streak that had dated back to 2013. "We're excited about this game. I mean it. I'm excited to continue this game. With all admiration and respect. All admiration and respect for Central Florida and Coach O'Leary. They're spectacular. But we're excited about this North/South battle. You want to call it the Civil Conflict? Maybe with my money and I'll make a trophy. I'll buy it myself. Put a big giant Husky and a big giant Knight on it. Make a stand. Put it in our hallway. The Civil Conflict."
In June 2015, Diaco had a trophy built for the series and announced it on Twitter. UCF had not been aware of it beforehand. The Knights' head coach and interim athletic director George O'Leary dismissed both the trophy and the motivations for a rivalry between the two teams. Diaco responded by saying, "They [UCF] don't get to say whether they are our rival or not." The New York Post said that Diaco created the "worst rivalry in sports history."
The teams played three times during Diaco's tenure as head coach and twice following his announcement of the trophy. Connecticut won in 2014 and 2015. UCF won the 2016 game, and proceeded to exit the field without acknowledging or accepting the trophy. The trophy was then purportedly crated and transported back to Connecticut. Following that game, Diaco said he was "shelving the venture".
Diaco was fired as head coach at the end of the 2016 season and was replaced by Randy Edsall. Connecticut Athletic Director David Benedict, who himself never officially acknowledged the rivalry or the trophy, was asked in 2017 about the trophy's whereabouts. He replied, "I honestly don't know. That trophy was there before I got there. I believe that trophy was commissioned and paid for by coach Diaco. And therefore if it left with him, I don't know that, but if it did that's fine."
During the 2017 meeting in Orlando, the trophy and the claimed rivalry continued to be a subject of ridicule, and the whereabouts of the actual trophy were still unknown. A fake trophy appeared on social media in August 2018.
Civil Conflict era game resultsEdit
|UConn victories||UCF victories|
|1||October 26, 2013||Orlando, FL||#21 UCF||62–17|
|2||November 1, 2014||East Hartford, CT||UConn||37–29|
|3||October 10, 2015||Orlando, FL||UConn||40–13|
|4||October 22, 2016||East Hartford, CT||UCF||24–16|
|Series: Tied 2–2|
- Rodger Sherman [@rodger_sherman] (October 8, 2015). "why is the font on the conFLiCT trophy the same font every faux Irish bar uses" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- "Bob Diaco of UConn Huskies – Do not need UCF Knights consent for rivalry". ESPN.com.
- Wilson, Ryan. "Diaco Embraces Contrived 'Civil Conflict' Rivalry". NBC Connecticut.
- Helwig, Brandon (November 4, 2014). "UConn coach wants trophy game with UCF". UCFSports.com.
- "UConn Randomly Creates Rivalry With Central Florida, Dubs It 'Civil Conflict' - UConn - NESN.com". NESN.com.
- Duffy, Thomas. "UConn Promotes 'Rivalry' Game with UCF, Knights Deny Any Involvement". Bleacher Report.
- Sherman, Rodger (June 1, 2015). "UConn-UCF's new 'Civil Conflict' rivalry trophy is already the country's worst". SBNation.com. Vox Media.
- "UCFSports.com – UConn surprises O'Leary with trophy".
- Conner, Desmond. "Diaco Won't Back Down On UConn-UCF Football Rivalry". Hartford Courant.
- Braziller, Zach (June 8, 2015). "Coach creates worst rivalry in sports history". New York Post.
- Taylor, John (October 22, 2016). "UCF still has no use for faux rivalry with UConn, walks off field without 'Civil Conflict Trophy'". NBC Sports. Retrieved November 13, 2017.
- Fuller, Jim (October 22, 2016). "UConn coach Bob Diaco says loss to UCF 'sickening'". The Middletown Press.
- Ostrout, Neill (July 19, 2017). "Made-up UConn football rivalry with UCF over, but trophy still missing'". The Bristol Press.
- Taylor, John (November 7, 2017). "UCF continues to diminish, demean UConn's 'Civil ConFliCT Trophy'". NBC Sports. Retrieved November 13, 2017.
- Adelson, Andrea (November 9, 2017). "The search for the Civil ConFLiCT trophy". ESPN.com. Retrieved November 13, 2017.
- Moriarty, Morgan. "Fake Civil ConFLiCT trophy didn't fool UConn fans". SBNation.com. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
- Kensing, Kyle. "The Story of Rivalry Trophies is the Story of College Football's Spirit". Athlonsports.com. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
- "Winsipedia - Connecticut Huskies vs. UCF Knights football series history games list". Winsipedia.