It may be news to the two teams who will sock it out for the hardware in Monday’s NCAA college football championship game but a team that did not make it to Atlanta has crowned itself as the 2017 champs.
The University of Central Florida Knights capped off a perfect 13-0 season by beating the Auburn Tigers in Monday’s Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl played in the same stadium where Alabama and Georgia will take the field for the biggest game of all and have staked their own claim to the national title.
— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) January 3, 2018
According to ESPN “UCF to celebrate perfect season with national title banner, parade”:
UCF athletic director Danny White said Wednesday that the program has decided to claim a national championship and will place a championship banner inside Spectrum Stadium to recognize its undefeated 2017 season.
The Knights beat Auburn 34-27 in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl to cap a 13-0 season, finishing as the only undefeated team in college football. But because UCF doesn’t play in a Power 5 conference, it entered the bowl game ranked No. 12 by the College Football Playoff selection committee and was not given an opportunity to play for the national championship.
Nonetheless, the school said that it will hold a celebratory parade for the team at Disney World on Sunday. UCF and Orlando announced Thursday they would hold a national championship celebration Monday evening, the day of the CFP national championship game.
You could say that UCF has something of a legitimate argument due to the flawed nature of the college football playoffs which only includes four teams and excluded the 12-0 Knights on the basis of their not being a member of a major conference.
The Knights play in the American Athletic Conference along with such titans as Memphis, Cincinnati, South Florida, Tulane, East Carolina and Connecticut.
The Alabama Crimson Tide and Georgia Bulldogs play in the Southeast Conference and their vanquished foes Clemson and Oklahoma also play in top five conferences.
Granted that the playoff system is a vast improvement on the horrific BCS but what does it say when an undefeated team isn’t even allowed a chance to prove itself against other top teams on the gridiron.
The REAL championship game will be played on Monday night at Atlanta’s Mercedez-Benz Stadium.