The battle for bragging rights has been cemented. The University of Central Florida and the University of South Florida athletic departments have officially recognized the “War on I-4” rivalry, which launches this week between the two schools’ volleyball and men’s soccer programs.
The moniker reflects the geographical tie between Orlando and Tampa Bay, which are separated by 100 short miles down Interstate 4 and combine to form the fourth-largest television market in the nation. While the name has already been established by the respective diehards, it’s gained official status with the inception of an annual series between the two schools across multiple sports.
“UCF’s teams, fans, students and alumni truly enjoy this rivalry,” UCF athletic director Danny White said, per a press release. “Everyone involved looks forward to these matchups, so extending the rivalry to an official, year-long competition should generate even more interest and excitement.”
A new scoring system will award points for wins in sports both schools sponsor (UCF does not have men’s track and field, men’s cross country or sailing; USF does not have rowing). The winner after each academic year will be granted a trophy in the shape of the iconic I-4 road sign to be displayed at the winning campus.
A smaller trophy will be given to the winner of the yearly football matchup held on Thanksgiving weekend. This year’s game is slated for Saturday, Nov. 26 at Raymond James Stadium.
If necessary, a tie-breaker will be settled by the performance of each school’s NCAA Graduation Success Rate.
In 2015, UCF had an overall graduation-success rate of 93 percent (seven percent points higher than the national average), which placed them in a tie with Vanderbilt University for sixth-best amongst NCAA Division-I FBS schools, trailing only private institutions Duke University, Notre Dame University, Stanford University, Northwestern University and Boston College.
“War on I-4” Points System:
- Baseball: Six points (One point for each of the six regular-season games).
- Men’s Basketball: Six points (Three points for each of the two regular-season games).
- Football: Six points (One regular-season game).
- Men’s Golf: six points (Conference championship higher finisher).
- Men’s Soccer: Six points (One regular-season game).
- Men’s Tennis: Six points (Dual competition, or higher finisher at conference).
- Women’s Basketball: Six points (Three points for each of two regular-season games).
- Women’s Cross Country: Six points (Conference championship, higher finisher).
- Women’s Golf: Six points (Conference championship, higher finisher).
- Women’s Soccer: Six points (One regular-season game).
- Softball: Six points (Two points for each of three regular-season games).
- Women’s Tennis: Six points (Dual competition or higher finisher at conference).
- Women’s Track & Field: Six points (Three points indoor/three points outdoor conference championships).
- Volleyball: Six points (Three points for each of two regular-season matches).