UCF continues to goof on UConn for the made-up 'Civil ConFLiCT' rivalry

UConn has won two of its last three games against UCF. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Just because the Bob Diaco era is over at UConn doesn’t mean the memory of the famed “Civil ConFLiCT” will just fade away.

During Diaco’s three-year tenure as head coach at UConn, he, for some reason, targeted UCF as a rival for the Huskies. He gave it a name, the “Civil ConFLiCT” (FL for Florida, CT for Connecticut — yes it was very dumb), and a trophy was created. However, UConn forgot to tell UCF about it, and the Knights just didn’t really know what to do. It created some awkward and funny moments.

That carried over to this week ahead of UCF’s home game against the Huskies, who are now coached (again) by Randy Edsall. This zinger was included in this week’s UCF game notes:

(UCF game notes)

Burn.

UConn beat UCF during Diaco’s first two seasons and the trophy was on display on the sideline in East Hartford last year. When UCF won the game 24-16, the Knights hilariously left the field without acknowledging the trophy.




UCF coach Scott Frost, who has the Knights off to an 8-0 start this year, was asked about the trophy’s whereabouts on Monday. He doesn’t even know where it is.

“Somebody asked me on the teleconference where it is. I don’t want to get into that too much. It was a big deal last year,” Frost said. “Whereabouts unknown, I would say. It’s definitely not here.”


And for the record, there really is/was a trophy.


The whole thing has just been bizarre dating back to its inception. UConn beat UCF in Diaco’s first season in 2014. Afterward in his news conference, he brainstormed the idea of the “North/South battle” becoming a rivalry. The following summer, ahead of the 2015 season, UConn tweeted the photo above.

When Diaco was asked about it, he said he didn’t need UCF’s permission to call the Knights a rival.

“Why do I have to call their athletic department to say we’ve got them targeted as our rival?” Diaco said. “What control over that would they have and what do I care what they think? … If they don’t want to honor our rivalry, we’re not their rival, that’s on them. I don’t control what they want. If they don’t want to be a part of the trophy, I don’t care about that, either.”

A few months later, then-UCF coach George O’Leary made it clear USF is UCF’s rival.

“It’s hard to be [a rival] when you’re nine states away. I respect what he did. I would have gone along. I just didn’t know about it. … But I don’t have a trophy with a clock on it so I’m looking forward to that,” O’Leary said.

Now, with Edsall back on the sideline for UConn (we really need a UConn beat writer to ask him about this) and Frost in his second season at UCF, the whole thing seems to be dying down.

But the jokes will always live on.

So will this 10-minute rant of Diaco, now the defensive coordinator at Nebraska after UConn fired him, wondering why his made-up rival received so much scrutiny.

Long live the Civil ConFLiCT.

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Sam Cooper is a writer for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!