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16 excellent things about UCF declaring itself 2017’s national champ

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It’s one part classic college football, one part bucking the system.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 01 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl - UCF v Auburn Photo by Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
  1. UCF is claiming a 2017 national title despite not winning (or making) the College Football Playoff.
  2. They’re doing the whole nine: Disney World parade, banner, bonuses for coaches, and all.
  3. No one can do anything about it. Name the team that beat 2017 UCF. I’ll wait.
  4. There’s absolute historical precedent set by lots of Power 5 schools. Split titles have happened for well over a century, including in the BCS era (2003 USC claims poll titles despite LSU winning the title game). UCF will likely finish No. 1 in the Wolfe rating, which is recognized by the NCAA as a championship selector. That’s a better case than multiple national titles still claimed by Power 5 teams.
  5. If Georgia wins, UCF won’t have an especially great case, other than being undefeated (just the little matter of not losing at all) against a below-average schedule and beating Auburn, a team Georgia went 1-1 against. If UGA beats Bama, the Dawgs might have six wins over final top 25 teams, while UCF might have two. But if Bama wins, expect eternal arguments.
  6. This involves ALABAMA. So we could get the spectacle of Bama fans, who are forced to spend some of their time defending several egregious title claims (1941 and 1973, for starters), defending an actually legit claim.
  7. The Playoff committee bricked its latest apparent attempt to diminish a non-power. Keeping the Knights buried in the rankings despite blatant statistical arguments to the contrary and shuffling them into a non-Playoff bowl would’ve probably tamped the whole thing down ... if the committee hadn’t paired UCF with Auburn, the only team to beat Alabama and Georgia. When those teams won their semifinals after UCF beat Auburn, the argument was simple: UCF went undefeated and beat the only team to beat the two National Championship teams. The committee should’ve just had UCF play Penn State!
  8. Should this open the floodgates, empowering lots of other non-power teams to claim old titles? I don’t see why not. There are now 1998 Tulane championship shirts, inspired by the Knights.
  9. UCF is putting something on its resume that most people would agree didn’t technically happen. On UCF’s campus is a statue of George O’Leary, who was once fired by Notre Dame for putting something on his resume that most people would agree didn’t technically happen.
  10. UCF learned this from its biggest archrival. No, not USF. I’m referring to UConn, which once conjured a rivalry trophy with UCF out of thin air. The Knights openly made fun of the trophy and refused to acknowledge it as much of America laughed. Sound familiar?
  11. UCF was 0-12 just two years earlier, with a local bar handing out free beer until the losing streak ended.
  12. UCF is 2-0 in the 2000s against Alabama and Georgia, nearly 3-0 all-time.
  13. Non-power teams have now won three of their four New Year’s Six kiddie-table games in the Playoff era, and Blake Bortles’ UCF beat Baylor in the last such game of the BCS era. This comes after Boise State, TCU, and Utah regularly beat BCS powers.
  14. Just as 2011’s all-SEC title game helped bring down the BCS, 2017’s all-SEC title game could theoretically hasten Playoff expansion, if UCF can become the People’s Champion. The Big 12 commissioner coming out and saying the Knights missed the Playoff because they’re a mid-major probably didn’t help.
  15. Lmao they really thought they could settle all disputes in this sport by slapping a tiny-ass, four-team playoff on top of it. These same people also thought they could get all of America to stay indoors and watch football on New Year’s Eve night and thought the tiny-ass, two-team BCS was gonna settle everything. Not the most plugged-in of experts.
  16. Seriously, they really thought they could contain America’s strangest sport that easily, just wiping out more than a century of argument with a subjective tournament that ignores half the country. The audacity! To paraphrase Jurassic Park, college football finds a way.