There’s well-deserved pride, and then there’s unrealistic exuberance — and both seem to have found a home among those associated with the University of Central Florida.
First, the UCF football team said it deserved to be in the College Football Playoff. And with an 11-0 record, you could at least make that argument.
But after beating Auburn on Monday in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl, the Knights are getting a little full of themselves.
The highlight was athletic director Danny White declaring his team as “National Champions.”
The Knights were definitely a feel-good story this season.
Even when coach Scott Frost announced he would be leaving the school to head back to his alma mater, Nebraska, White and the UCF administration allowed him to stay through the bowl game.
In today’s dog-eat-dog world of college football, that says something.
But before we anoint UCF as the greatest team in college football history, perhaps we should slow down just a bit.
First, Frost took on the selection committee, saying it seemed like a “conscious decision” to keep the Knights from the Final Four.
— Jeff Packer (@JeffTPacker) January 2, 2018
— ESPN (@espn) January 2, 2018
Do we really think that’s true? Let’s not forget the Knights were ranked 12th, not fifth or sixth. That’s a heck of a conspiracy, don’t you think?
Then there’s UCF’s schedule.
How impressive are wins over such “powerhouses” as Maryland and Cincinnati — both of whom had four wins on the season?
We know the Knights can’t be hanging their hats on the 73 points they put up on Austin Peay.
Prior to Monday, the only ranked team UCF beat was Memphis.
That’s the same Memphis who they crushed in their first meeting by 27 points and won the rematch by seven.
Today, UCF beat Auburn — the team that beat both of the teams that will play for a national championship a week from now.
— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) January 2, 2018
Then there’s the argument that since UCF beat Auburn, which beat Georgia and Alabama, the Knights are as good as the College Football Playoff finalists.
Following this childish logic means that Iowa should be in the championship game. After all, the Hawkeyes beat Iowa State, which beat Oklahoma, so doesn’t that make them as good as Georgia?
And let’s not forget, while UCF’s win over Auburn Monday was certainly impressive, the Tigers were a three-loss team. They got hot at the right time, and had great wins over Georgia and Alabama, but also lost to Clemson and LSU.
When Auburn had to play Georgia a second time in the SEC championship game — with a playoff berth on the line — they went meekly into the woods, 28-7.
This isn’t to suggest UCF isn’t a great story, but Knights fans — including the athletic director and former coach — may want to slow their roll.
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