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UCF Knights

At some point soon, UCF’s “National Champions” silliness needs to end

Florida Football Insiders

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Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The honoring of the UCF Knights tremendous unbeaten 2017 season will continue this Sunday, when the NFL will recognize the team at the Pro Bowl.

With interest in the game lagging, especially with attendance, the league is trying to get locals in Orlando and the region to respond.

As Matt Shapiro from the league told the Orlando Sentinel yesterday, “When we thought about UCF and the amazing season they had going undefeated and their bowl game win, we thought there was really no better way, especially in the city of Orlando, to do something for that college celebration of football than to honor the UCF team in the stadium on Sunday,”

The important distinction for the NFL is it will not get involved in calling UCF “National Champions”

The school has taken it so far, that they had a parade down Main Street of Walt Disney World, then raised a “National Championship 2017”  flag at their practice facility, recently.

And, there is also a movement, from state lawmakers in the area to have “UCF 2017 National Champions” license plates made out of Tallahassee for fans and for alumni.

We get that the Knights are trying to capitalize for what may be the only time in the near or distant future that they finish the only unbeaten team in college football.

However, at some point, you have to call silliness what it is: silliness.

We wrote previously that UCF should be willing to let others continue to tout their 2017 season.

Alabama won the College Football Playoff championship game in a thrilling overtime victory over Georgia. They are the National Champions by agreement with all of the conferences and their member schools. That includes, the American Athletic Conference and UCF.

If you want to continue to tell the world, that you were the only unbeaten team in 2017, that’s one thing. But, for Danny White, the athletic director, and everyone else involved in the “National Champions” P.R. push, the rest of the country is now not only rolling their eyes, but eventually you will come off as childish/immature, etc., if they haven’t already.

Take the recognition coming Sunday night at the Pro Bowl, revel once more, in being unbeaten in an historic season, and then, please, move on.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Brook sizemore

    January 24, 2018 at 10:03 am

    nope.

  2. Charge On

    January 25, 2018 at 6:43 am

    Uh no… you got one thing right in your silly article: Alabama is the “Playoff” champ… UCF is the National Champions. According to the interactions I’ve had, in my travels across the USA the last few weeks, I have to correct you regarding “the rest of the country rolling their eyes”. Let me burst this bubble you apparently live in and share my experiences, in which I clearly get confirmation from fellow countrymen regarding the right UCF has to claim the championship title. They actually encourage it and suppport it, even if the only ultimate result is that it highlights that change in the system is needed. College football fans, that don’t live in the SEC bubble, understand that the playoffs now are just a money-making scam, to feed the good ol boys club and not to truly expose true Champions. UCF is proud to carry that title and determined to tell people like you it’s time to get on board.

  3. James Harhi

    January 25, 2018 at 8:32 am

    Poor baby… I am sorry UCF is hurting your feeling… Change the CFP or be prepared for a revolution

  4. Rick

    January 25, 2018 at 11:17 am

    Frankly, the only people coming off as childish/immature are writers like you, and blogs/publications like this one.

    Why does UCF’s unbeaten season and claim to a national championship trigger you and others so? What is so offensive about it?

    UCF proved they could play and WIN against the so-called “power” schools, not just this year but also a couple years ago against the Big 12 champion in the Fiesta Bowl. Winning BCS and NY6 games against P5 alleged “power” teams (because 65% of alleged “Power 5” teams aren’t that good) has not advanced the conversation to include teams like UCF in a playoff. However, playing in the NY6 Peach Bowl, beating the Auburn team that won versus the eventual invitational playoff champion Alabama has, in simple terms, both illustrated a path to claim a national championship AND people have begun asking why UCF was excluded from a playoff.

    A one-loss Alabama team and the only undefeated team in FBS college football, UCF, had one common opponent…Auburn. UCF beat the common opponent while Alabama did not. This is not some long convoluted transitive argument. It is Common Opponent, an aspect of analysis that the CFP, college football analysts, and every college football fan points to when evaluating college football teams.

    Finally, the reason why UCF’s National Champions claim has not gone away, is because there’s some legitimacy to it that most people can easily see. So, I ask again. Why are you so triggered?

  5. E

    January 25, 2018 at 6:45 pm

    The only silliness here is a system where undefeated doesn’t get you a shot at the league championship.

    In what other league are 1/2 the teams eliminated, no matter how many games they win, before the season even starts?

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UCF Knights

Knights-QB Milton did their part in UCF Friday night romp

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Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

it was a “points bonanza,” as advertised in Orlando Friday night, and in the end, UCF and it’s leader looked the part of conference champ and playoff contender. This as the Knights cruised to a 56-36 easy win over in state Florida Atlantic.

We wondered if Friday would restart the Heisman Trophy hopes of QB McKenzie Milton and he delivered on a National TV stage big time and early. Milton threw or ran for the Knights first six touchdowns of the game, including this one in the third quarter, where he juked half of the Owls on the field:

The junior from Hawaii finished with 387 yards from scrimmage and is definitely one of best dual threat QBs in America that will continue to garner attention.

FAU hung in the game for awhile, largely based on their star RB Devin Singletary. Singletary, the CUSA Offensive Player of the Year, ran for 131 yards and three touchdowns, as FAU was tied at halftime.

Still, the Knights who haven’t lost a game in 600 days, notched another victory in the nation’s longest win streak. They now have 16 straight games dating back to their December bowl loss in 2016.

And if you think UCF’s squad didn’t have some fun on a Friday night in front of over 44,000 at Spectrum Stadium in Orlando, think again. After the 20 point win, it was time to dance:

UCF will get a tougher test from Pitt out of the ACC next week, and then later in October, will play a huge American conference regular season road game at Memphis. The Tigers are arguably the best team in the West division and want to avenge having lost both meetings to UCF in 2017. The Knights won a thrilling double OT Championship Game in Orlando last December to lock in a bid to the Peach Bowl.

That’s where they famously stunned SEC powerhouse Auburn earlier this year on New Year’s day.

Back to the 2018 squad, coach Josh Heupel and staff had to deal with an unexpected bye week after Hurricane Florence cancelled their game at North Carolina last Saturday. Needless to say, they had UCF ready for this one.

And, that usually means Milton was ready to show college football he’s one of the players in the game.

He didn’t disappoint, again, Friday.

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UCF Knights

Will UCF QB Milton kick-start Heisman talk Friday night?

Florida Football Insiders

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Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

With the understanding that quarterbacks of powerhouse programs like Tua Tagovailoa, Trace McSorley, and Will Grier will be getting most of the national hype throughout the seaason, in our state we know that UCF QB McKenzie Milton deserves to be consider for the Heisman, too.

The junior signal-caller for the Knights has been a bit victimized by the early part of the season and the schedule. First, Milton did get off to a tremendous start in UCF’s opening win at UConn, where he fired five touchdown passes in basically three quarters during a blowout win.

However, the following week against South Carolina State he was not sharp with a couple of early interceptions and even though UCF won impressively, Milton’s numbers of 243 yards, one touchdown and three picks jumped off the page, as a negative.

He and the Knights were looking to ramp the offense back up last weekend in a game against a Power 5 program on the road in North Carolina. But, as you probably know by now, Hurricane Florence wiped out that game, and it will not be made up.

So, it seems as though Milton’s Heisman hype which began back in the summer, has stalled out.

Well, now comes a Friday night showdown with cross-state rival FAU and something very important: national television exposure on a weeknight. You see, for a lot of the media and in particular Heisman voters, Milton’s games are not going to trump ones for Alabama, Penn State Ohio State, and the other Blue Blood programs that they would rather watch. It’s harsh, but it’s true.

So, this is an opportunity for him to light it up against an Owls defense and then, be seen and remembered for it.

FAU was bombed by Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray in their opening blowout loss in Norman, OK, Labor Day weekend. And, coach Lane Kiffin has to be fearful that more of the same may be coming from the potent Knights offense.

Yes, being a shootout with FAU may be possible because they boast running back Devin “Motor” Singletary, who was the CUSA Offensive Player of the Year in 2017.

So, it may be to Milton’s benefit, if FAU can score some in this game keep it close, and Milton gets a chance to play four full quarters and do it well.

If he’s going to make up ground on Tagovailoa and McSorley in particular, who are on national television almost every game, then that’s what Milton is going to have to take advantage of opportunities present themselves.

Friday night at Spectrum Stadium is one such opportunity for Milton and his Knights teammates.

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UCF Knights

UCF freshman linebacker charged with sexual battery

Florida Football Insiders

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The first off-field controversy of the UCF football season has happened with the arrest of freshman linebacker Demetrius Mayes on a sexual battery charge.

The alleged incident took place Saturday night in Mayes UCF campus apartment, where a female accuser says Mayes had inappropriate and unwanted sexual contact with her in his bedroom.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, the 18 year old freshman from Miami met the accuser at an off-campus party. A UCF campus police report says she woke up undressed in Mayes bedroom, as he was attempting to have sex with her. The accuser went on to tell authorities that Mayes tried to prevent her from leaving the room.

UCF police chief Carl Metzger released a statement Wednesday:

“The UCF Police Department is committed to a thorough, professional investigation of all criminal incidents reported to us, and we’re dedicated to a culture of care that starts by believing the brave survivors who seek our assistance,” Metzger said. “This survivor’s well-being will continue to be a priority for our department and our university.”

As did UCF first-year head coach Josh Heupel:

“This has no place in our program,” Heupel said.”Demetrius Mayes is suspended from all UCF football activities indefinitely. We are focused on ensuring that we provide compassion and support for everyone outside our program that has been affected by this.”

In the report Mayes told police he met the accuser at an off-campus party and took the woman back to his apartment. Mayes says the victim initially consented to sex and that when she told him “I can’t do this,” he stopped, let her get dressed and unlocked the door.

At least one of Mayes roommates, who is an unidentified UCF football player, told the authorities that they tried to warn him he was making a big mistake taking the woman into his bedroom. Apparently, that roommate and others were banging on Mayes bedroom door trying to break up what was going on.

They told UCF police that the accuser exited the bedroom crying and upset.

Mayes was a star at Miami’s Northwestern High School a year ago, where they won the 6A state championship, but he had not played in the first two UCF games against Uconn and South Carolina State.

The Knights did not play last weekend, because their game with North Carolina was canceled by Hurricane Florence.

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