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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

Groundwork laid for UCF QB McKenzie Milton to be part of AAF Spring league?

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Brett Davis- USA Today Sports

He has yet to take the practice field to get ready for his junior season with UCF, but an interesting scenario has already come up involving the Knights rising star quarterback McKenzie Milton.

First, it’s understood that if Milton is healthy and plays anything like his stellar 2017 in the upcoming season, he will be under Heisman Trophy consideration. In fact, we wrote about UCF already cranking up the hype for Milton last month.

And, if he and the Knights enjoy great success, then Milton would hope to get opportunity in the winter and eventually the Spring, with the NFL and their draft. However, Milton is listed at 5’11 185lbs., and that’s not likely big enough to get a strong look at signal caller at that next level.

Unless, that “next level” of pro football might be the newly formed Allliance of American Football spring league that begins play in February.

With a franchise in Orlando.

Coached by, Steve Spurrier.

And, playing in Milton’s college venue, Spectrum Stadium, on the UCF campus.

The AAF has already announced all of its eight franchises for year one, the coaches, and the GM’s. And, has now begun to lay out it’s tryouts and how its player allocation will be done. Not surprisingly, the new league will emphasize having regions dictate who likely plays where. This makes sense from a marketing and ticket sales standpoint.

And Milton fits that for Orlando and the AAF perfectly.

Oh, and look at what we have here?

Spurrier and Milton were together at an Orlando radio station event on Wednesday and met for the first time:

Spurrier, who is one of the great offensive play-calling minds in college football history, is in obvious need of a trigger man for his offense.

Again, it’s far fetched, but Milton, or someone like him, would be perfect as a dual threat QB to run the “Head Ball Coach’s” plays. Milton, who was the American Conference Offensive Player of the Year in 2017, and had 46 combined throwing and running TDs in 13 games last year.

Spurrier made it no secret last month that the Orlando franchise would entertain trying to sign fellow Gators legend QB Tim Tebow, too. However, Tebow is still progressing for the Mets in Double-A and went one for four in the Eastern League All-Star game Wednesday night. He will likely get a chance to play for New York in September. He also has his well paying television job with the SEC Network, too.

And, there are other quarterbacks that Spurrier could go to and several may have immediate interest in their training camps this fall.

Yet, a McKenzie Milton-Steve Spurrier marriage would very intriguing.

And, very sellable for the AAF, too.

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UCF Knights

Former UCF kicker De la Haye scored victory in Federal Court Tuesday

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It isn’t the final outcome. However, former UCF kicker Donald De la Haye and his lawyers got a large victory in their First Amendment lawsuit against UCF, when the judge denied the school’s motion to dismiss in a ruling released Tuesday.

Siding with De la Haye, who had his scholarship revoked last August when he refused to stop accepting Youtube money for his UCF football related content, Senior District Judge Anne Conway ruled that De la Haye can proceed with his claim against the school.

Shannon Green of the Orlando Sentinel had more on the ruling:

Conway heard arguments 29 days ago in Orlando, including UCF trying to get the lawsuit stopped on the grounds that it’s not a First Amendment issue.

One of De la Haye’s lawyers, John Riches commented to the Sentinel after the ruling,

“We hope that today’s decision denying UCF’s attempt to dismiss this case will be a step toward protecting Donald’s rights and ensuring all college student-athletes’ free speech rights are protected.”

As we wrote at the time of the arguments, De la Haye is not seeking monetary damages at this time. Rather, he wants his scholarship re-instated and to kick for the Knights this season. He was unable to afford walking on to the team last year.

As Green reported Tuesday, UCF had not commented on losing this significant phase and whether they intend to appeal Tuesday’s ruling.

The judge did grant the school’s dismissal of the claim that De la Haye’s 14th Amendment “Due Process” rights had been violated. De la Haye had been given able warning about taking down the Youtube channel, if he would not stop posting video content that included UCF footabll related activities for his own financial gain.

The school also spent time negotiating options with the NCAA that included him being allowed to stay on scholarship and keep the channel, as long as the school football related content stopped. They obviously successfully argued their opposition to the due process claim to the court.

Most importantly, this is not final victory for De la Haye, he will either have to get a settlement from the school to get re-instated or win a judgement on the merits of his case from the court later.

The problem is, with fall practice beginning later this month, the clock is ticking on him winning outright and settlement is likely De la Haye’s best hope.

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UCF Knights

American Athletic Conference wants fan vote for “Fifth Anniversary” team

Florida Football Insiders

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Brett Davis- USA Today Sports

Granted, the American Athletic Conference has not been around that long, but still, there have been some memorable teams, players and moments.

And now, the AAC wants the fans to get involved in balloting for a “Fifth Anniversary Team.” On Monday the conference laid out the voting parameters and the nominees on their official website:

From a portion of the AAC release:

“The American will name its Fifth Anniversary Team July 24 at the conference’s annual Summer Kickoff and Media Days in Newport, Rhode Island.

The fan balloting will be one of three components that will determine the team, along with votes from the 12 football-playing schools and the local and national media that covers The American.”

The release then spelled out some interesting names for the voting and we’ll focus mainly on the Bulls and Knights.

This includes a tough call at quarterback, where only two names can be chosen from the likes of UCF’s Blake Bortles and McKenzie Milton, plus USF’s Quinton Flowers, Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville, Kennan Reynolds of Navy, Greg Ward of Houston and Paxton Lynch of Memphis.

In the cases of Bortles, Milton, Bridgewater and Ward, they all won the conference title and then, a “New Year’s Six” bowl game upset. Flowers and Reynolds are two tremendous statistical dual threat QB’s and Lynch had two tremendous seasons for the Tigers, as well.

Not an easy call.

At running back, USF’s all time leading running back rusher, Marlon Mack and UCF’s Storm Johnson, who ran for 1,300 yards in their magical Fiesta Bowl season of 2013 headline the AAC’s list.

Interesting that UCF’s Breshard Perriman is the only Knight or Bull on the receiver ballot.

Meanwhile, the defensive line has names like USF’s Aaron Lynch, and UCF’s Jamiyus Pittman make the nominees, and at linebacker, the Bulls Auggie Sanchez, a three time all AAC performer, is on the list. Also there is the “feel good” story in the history of the conference in Shaquem Griffin, who was AAC Defensive Player of the Year in 2017 and helped lead the Knights to their unbeaten Peach Bowl wining season last year.

(No. They aren’t “National Champions.)

Players like UCF DB Mike Hughes, USF’s Deatrick Nichols, and Knights safety Clayton Geathers, a two time all conference selection are par of the secondary balloting.

And finally, USF’s Emilo Nadelman is battling for the top place kicker honors, too.

The fan portion of the voting will continue through July 13th.

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