For months now, UCF has continued the ridiculous assertion that they should be referred to as “National Champions.” This included hoisting a flag in Spectrum Stadium and also issuing “championship” rings to former coaches and players on the 2017 team.
One huge problem? UCF didn’t win the “championship” in anything.
They won the Peach Bowl against a two loss Auburn team that Georgia clobbered in their previous game, the SEC Championship. Yes, they won the Peach Bowl. Yes, they finished 13-0, and had they wanted to print up tee shirts and fly a flag signifying or bragging about those things, no one could quarrel.
We even wrote last week that former head coach Scott Frost, who left for Nebraska, has grown weary of the champions debate.
Now, continuing to figuratively drive through the neighborhood with a giant megaphone like Jake and Elwood Blues announcing their pending concert in 1980’s “The Blues Brothers,” has turned virtually everyone outside of Orlando against them.
And on Tuesday afternoon, the actual National Champions head coach, Nick Saban of Alabama spoke to USA Today and spoke for most of the college football world. He made it clear, the Tide are the champs and UCF’s self back patting should cease.
Alabama’s Nick Saban praises UCF for its unbeaten 2017 run — but says a “self-proclaimed (national title) is not the same as actually earning it."https://t.co/AikM6N9Ruc via @usatodaysports pic.twitter.com/Z8EvaEXPqD
— George Schroeder (@GeorgeSchroeder) May 15, 2018
Saban told George Schroder, “If you honor and respect the system that we have, (despite) some of the imperfections that you understand that the system has, then you wouldn’t do something out of respect for the system that we have,” Saban told USA TODAY Sports. “I guess anybody has the prerogative to claim anything. But self-proclaimed is not the same as actually earning it. And there’s probably a significant number of people who don’t respect people who make self-proclaimed sort of accolades for themselves.”
Yes, that sums it up pretty well.
UCF and it’s conference, the American, both agreed to the system that is in place and the boatload of money that goes to conferences and specific teams who play in “New Year’s Six” bowl games and the College Football Playoff.
And as for Knight’s AD Danny White using the reference of previous “split” champions in the previous system of using polls and voting, Saban, again, put the smackdown on it:
“That’s not how it’s done anymore,” said Saban, referring to the era before the BCS and the Playoff. “All the national championships that we won, we had to play somebody to win them. And we got in the game because of the season we had.”
We all agree UCF should have been given more respect and consideration at the end of last season. The Auburn win showed that.
We also all agree that the claim to “National Champions” is hollow and no one outside of Central Florida recognizes it or cares at this point.
Especially, the team that has actually won the championship two of the last three years.
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