- Central Florida has declared themselves “national champions” after completing their undefeated season with a Peach Bowl win over Auburn.
- Athletic director Danny White has said that the school is planning a championship parade, banner, and team gear to honor the Knights’ perfect season.
- With their win over the Tigers, UCF made a solid case for playoff expansion.
The UCF Knights are national champions.
At least in their own eyes.
Despite an undefeated season, the Knights didn’t get an invite to the College Football Playoff this year, finishing 12th in the committee’s final ranking. But as the best Group of 5 team in the country, they received an invite to one of the New Year’s Six bowl games – in their case, a Peach Bowl matchup with the Auburn Tigers.
Auburn was a proven opponent, being the only team in the country to beat two of the teams that made the playoff, but the Knights prevailed in a tight, back-and-forth game to secure a 34-27 win and with it a perfect 13-0 season.
On Tuesday, Central Florida president John Hitt said of the team, “Our undefeated national champion Knights are an inspiration. They battled adversity, lit up scoreboards and created a defining moment for UCF: perfection. Congratulations!”
Since then, UCF athletic director Danny White has gone all-in on the Knights national championship campaign, announcing that the school was planning a parade and a banner to commemorate UCF’s perfect season.
It’s a designation that any fan that followed the Knights throughout the year will agree is well deserved. They completed an undefeated season that included wins against Navy, Memphis, USF, and finally Auburn – all schools that could compete in the top half of any Power 5 conference.
Until the College Football Playoff decides to expand to eight teams and guarantee Group of 5 schools some sort of representation, it’s unlikely that a team outside the Power 5 will ever get the opportunity to compete for a national title.
But until then, enjoy your championship UCF. You earned it.