UCF is in talks with a variety of teams, including some from the Atlantic Coast Conference, with the hope of bolstering its 2013-14 schedule, according to an administrative source with direct knowledge of the discussions.

In addition to new ACC school Syracuse and current ACC member Wake Forest cited in a UCFSports.com report, UCF leaders plan to reach out to schools from the Big Ten and Big 12 in coming weeks. UCF already has begun talks with several schools about signing game contracts for the next two years and beyond, the source said.

During the football season, UCF coach George O’Leary said the team hoped to improve it’s nonconference slate for the next few years because the NCAA’s new playoff structure put an emphasis on strength of schedule.

The Knights are moving to the Big East July. They are scheduled to host Akron, South Carolina and Bethune-Cookman and play at FIU next season. UCF also has games lined up at home against FIU, Jacksonville State and BYU and at Missouri in 2014. UCF will have to break agreements with some of those schools to add new games, either pushing back scheduled matchups or paying to remove the games from the schedule.

UCF would likely play on the road against the new opponent, with a home game likely for the following year.

UCF hoped to have its schedule done before Christmas, however there remain some snags preventing any talks from advancing. The major issue is the Big East schedule. After Boise State opted to return to the Mountain West, conference scheduling became more difficult.

Should San Diego State opt also to return to the Mountain West, the Big East would be looking at a 10-team conference with a nine-game conference schedule as a potential option.

That would force UCF to remove a nonconference game to make room for a conference opponent, and a new nonconference opponent would not be needed. Reports indicate that San Diego State will try to make a decision on its future before Jan. 31, and ESPN reported the Mountain West hopes to have a decision by the end of this week.

UCF would like to advance in talks with a specific target school or two sometime in the next two weeks, the source said.


E-mail Paul Tenorio at ptenorio@orlandosentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter @OSKnights.