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Final college football rankings stick it to UCF one last time

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The University of Central Florida — the only undefeated team in college football’s FBS division — didn’t get to play for the national championship and didn’t even make the top five in the final Associated Press college football poll.

The Knights went 13-0 and defeated Auburn in the Peach Bowl 34-27. Auburn was the only team that beat national champion Alabama all season.

But still, UCF finished sixth in the final AP poll.

Alabama, by virtue of its 26-23 overtime win over Georgia in the national championship game Monday night finished No. 1 in the poll, followed by Georgia, Oklahoma, Clemson, and Ohio State. All of those teams, except Alabama, had two losses.

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Wisconsin, Penn State, TCU and Auburn round out the top 10.

The last team that was undefeated and didn’t win the national championship (that was bowl eligible) was Texas Christian University in 2010. TCU went 12-0 that year and finished third, but they lost out to Auburn, which was 13-0.

UCF coach Scott Frost said the team was insulted by its pre-bowl rank of 12th in the country, despite the fact that they were 12-0 at the time.

“I didn’t want to talk about it during the season. But I understand the argument of whether or not UCF should have been in the championship, but I know a lot of people in our program, myself included, felt insulted by the rankings,” Frost said after receiving the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award Saturday night.

“It seemed like every week they were elevating a new two- and three-loss team ahead of us. To us, it appeared like it was a concerted effort to keep us at a reasonable distance away from the top four so they didn’t have a controversy,” added Frost, who accepted the head coaching job at Nebraska before the Peach Bowl win over Auburn.

“I don’t know if our team deserved to be in the playoff or not, but I think we deserved to be ranked higher and we proved it,” Frost said.

If it’s any consolation, the UCF Knights, who play in the American Athletic Conference, received four first-pace votes, the only school other than Alabama to earn first-place votes.

UCF may not have won the championship in the eyes of the College Football Playoff Committee, but members of the team did get to go to Disney World.

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To the Knights, it doesn’t matter what the polls say, they have proclaimed themselves to be the national champions by virtue of being the only undefeated school in the country.

https://twitter.com/UCF_Football/status/950528476041359360

They even took home a trophy.

It might be easy to argue with UCF’s rationale but you can’t argue with the fact the Knights pulled off a perfect season.

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Dave is a lifelong sports fan who has been writing for The Wildcard since 2017. He has been a writer for more than 20 years for a variety of publications.
Dave has been writing about sports for The Wildcard since 2017. He's been a reporter and editor for over 20 years, covering everything from sports to financial news. In addition to writing for The Wildcard, Dave has covered mutual funds for Pensions and Investments, meetings and conventions, money market funds, personal finance, associations, and he currently covers financial regulations and the energy sector for Macallan Communications. He has won awards for both news and sports reporting.
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