UCF Knights Came Close But No Cigar After Beating Power 5 Auburn

What a great season the UCF Knights had. How awesome is it to begin the season unranked after going 6-7 in 2016 and 0-12 in 2015? With UCF defeating the Auburn Tigers in the Peach Bowl on New Year’s Day, the debate of the undefeated season will come into play. It’s understandable. Any time a team goes undefeated and not play for the National Championship, the conspiracy theorists will emerge.

Maybe UCF has a case. I mean, 13-0 is still 13-0 no matter how you slice it, right? Should their level of competition matter when Alabama was beating Colorado State? But then again, it’s kind of unfair to compare UCF to Alabama, but isn’t that what fans of the Knights want? Don’t they wish to stake claim as the best team in the nation after defeating Auburn and going undefeated?

But here’s the thing, they can’t be compared. At least not yet.

Yes, the Knights beat an offensive juggernaut in Maryland early in the season but that same Maryland team went on to finish the year 4-8. Their win against Memphis (10-3) was huge and put UCF on the map but other teams like Georgia, Clemson, Bama, and Oklahoma were still keeping their top ranking going by defeating Power 5 schools. It’s sad to say, but beating Navy (7-6), Temple (7-6), Connecticut (3-9) are not exactly voter-friendly wins.

But then, by the end of the season, the Knights had crept their way in the top 25 and now faced their toughest competition. Two of their remaining division games were against nationally ranked teams. UCF would go on to defeat both Memphis and South Florida, however, they still had an uphill battle to climb. How can a team who beat up on Temple, UConn and other American Conference teams, leap ahead of Miami Fla, Wisconsin, Ohio State and others?

There was no way. All UCF could do was beat Auburn and show the NCAA they mean business. Yes, 13-0 is undefeated but in College Football, 13-0 is not a regular 13-0. We’ve known this for years. We’ve seen this before from UCF in 2013 when they went 12-1 and we’ve seen this from other schools like Boise State over a decade ago. A small conference school makes a little noise after a great seaosn and wants to be crowned National Champs after going undefeated. I guess beating Temple is the equivalent of beating LSU, Penn State, USC or Washington now?

Does The UFC Knights Deserve To Be National Champs?

As stated by Mike Espo (UCF writer for WBLZMedia) in his piece:

Every game counts is what they say. However, what they really meant is only if you are in the Power 5. Well for the reasons stated here me and fellow UCF fans will be crowning these kids National Champs. They deserved it, they earned it and they did this with no support from any of the media.

What the University of Central Florida accomplished in 2017 was nothing short of remarkable especially after winning just six games in the past two seasons. However, that does not prove them being called National Champs. Yes, they beat a Power 5 school in Auburn but that Tigers team also had three loses earlier. Last I checked, no team with three losses ever played for a title. So, I have no idea what title fans of the Knights thought they won by beating Auburn, but that just goes to show you how far they have to go.

We tip our hats to you UCF Knights on such a great season. You earned the right to be CONSIDERED to play, but not the right to ACTUALLY play in title game yet. That has to be earned.

 

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