UCF lays claim to college football’s national championship for 2017. The Knights have been calling themselves the champions since they clinched the sports’ only undefeated season on New Year’s Day, unmoved by Alabama’s College Football Playoff victory.
The two teams didn’t play each other in football. But the schools did meet in women’s basketball on Sunday, when Bama beat UCF in the WNIT, 80-61.
That prompted Alabama’s athletic director, Greg Byrne, to take a shot:
UCF did indeed parade at Disney World to celebrate its claimed title.
Knights AD Danny White saw Byrne’s barb and didn’t appreciate it:
This brouhaha isn’t the first Twitter dustup between members of the two programs. Alabama’s starting running back previously asked UCF where its trophy was after he saw the Knights’ official account doing some social media celebrating. Other Tide players have chimed in periodically. At the NFL Combine, most Alabama players acted like UCF’s title claim wasn’t a big deal to them, but none of them have accepted it as legitimate.
“That ain’t got nothing to do with me,” Tide defensive end Da’Shawn Hand told SB Nation. “I know I got a ring. It’s back at school. I’m gonna get it when I go back for pro day, get my jewelry, and I’m gonna rock my national championship ring.”
Other former members of the Tide were at least understanding of UCF’s point.
“Congratulations to them on whatever they think. I’m proud of them,” running back Bo Scarbrough said. “They had a perfect season. They were the only team to go undefeated. I will let them celebrate. They’re gonna celebrate. Congrats to them on a perfect season that no one had this year. I think they should’ve got an opportunity in the Playoff, because they didn’t lose a game, unlike any of these teams that had one loss. I still think they should’ve had an opportunity. But it is what it is. They had no control over it.”
If the two teams had played in the Playoff, Scarbrough says Alabama would’ve won.