Sorry, UCF. Your championship claim falls short

by Gary Shelton on January 11, 2018 · 0 comments

in College Sports in Florida, UCF

Thursday, 2 a.m.

By nature, I'm a contrarian. And if you happen to agree with me, well, I'll disagree with you on that, too.

I was a child of the 60s, and I once participated in something called the Flowers for Peace Day massacre. I was raised on arguments and disagreement. Most of the time, I think the powers that be are all wrong. Blows against the empire, and all that jazz.

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Frankly, however, I think Central Florida is being silly. It has stretched the very good into believing it was great. It's a hill that thinks it's a mountain.

Have you paid attention to the news coming out of the middle of our state? Everyone wants to proclaim UCF to be a national champion. The governor. The former coach. Whoever runs the Colley Matrix, which has all the authenticity of a counterfeit quarter.

Look, I'd like to sing in the chorus. UCF had a nice little year, going undefeated and all. Heck, you can't lose less than zero. I love the story of a team going from winning none to winning them all in two seasons. I think Scott Frost has a great future.

But, no, you can't win the Olympics by swimming with in an inner tube.

Let's put it simply. UCF simply didn't play the schedule that a national championship contender has to play. And, yes, Im aware that Alabama didn't play a great schedule itself. But in the end, the Crimson Tide beat the No. 1 team in the country in Clemson and then the No. 2 team in Georgia.

UCF? It's best wins were the two against Memphis (which finished 25th in the country, USF (21st) and Auburn (10th). It also beat a 4-8 Maryland team, a 4-8 Cincinnati team, a 3-9 UConn team and a 3-9 East Carolina team. It beat Navy, SMU and Temple, who were all 7-6. It beat Austin Peay and FIU.

Most of all, there is this. UCF wasn't anywhere close to the playoffs. It's insulting the four voters labeled the Knights' the winner of a race they weren't even in. Still, you don't get an Olympic record by doing well in the time trials. You just don't.

Again, this is not the fun part of the argument, It would be more rewarding to sing McKenzie Milton's praises and ignore all of the evidence.

But all victories are not created equal. I would suggest that 8-10 teams in America would go undefeated against the schedule that UCF played. Put it this way: A team doesn't get a signature win in a Peach Bowl. Not ever.

Look, I don't mind that UCF is beating its chest. Penn State, in the years before it was accepted by the nation, used to do the same thing. But to expect people to follow along, bleating and wearing blinders, is a little silly.

There is nothing new about this, of course, except that UCF finished unbeaten. But last year, Western Michigan was 13-1...and finished 15th. The year before,Houston was 13-1...and finished eighth. The year before that, Louisville was 12-1...and 15th. It goes on In 2014, TCU was 11-1 ...and 15th.

UCF was special this season. It was terrific.

It just wasn't a champion.

That shouldn't spoil their party. But winning in a karaoke contest isn't the same thing is bringing home the Grammy.

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