I am the biggest advocate for the underdog in college football. I want there to be a day where a team from a conference outside the Power 5 plays for a National Championship. Boise State stole my heart years ago and I think it’s a travesty that Kellen Moore never got the opportunity to play for a National Championship during the BCS era. The College Football Playoff was supposed to fix that problem by giving the underdog a chance, but the opposite is true. UCF is the highest ranked Group of 5 team in the history of the Playoff at #11 this week despite being undefeated over the past 2 years.
I want UCF to make the Playoff just to see what they can do. And I think they deserve to get that opportunity if they prove they are one of the top 4 teams in the country. Here’s the problem: they are not.
On Friday, UCF quarterback McKenzie Milton decided to go after Notre Dame, claiming UCF was a better team than the Irish. After realizing he was serious, I couldn’t help but laugh at that idiotic and just plain stupid comment. UCF has played a loser schedule, with their best win coming over 6-4 Pittsburgh. That’s Notre Dame’s 5th best win. UCF hasn’t even played a ranked team this season. Notre Dame has beaten 3 already, including a fellow playoff team in Michigan.
I’ll give credit to Milton: you have to do something to get your name out there and what better way than to go after the Fightin’ Irish? But come on now, really? Notre Dame has the best win in the country currently, hasn’t lost a game, and is playing their best football of the season. Go after Michigan if you want to get in the Playoff. They have a loss on their record.
UCF’s claim to fame is some phony National Championship banner they decided to give themselves. How sad is that? Your team isn’t good enough to be ranked in the top 10 in the country yet you wanna call yourselves a National Champion because you beat the 3rd best SEC last year in a game that Auburn quite frankly couldn’t have cared less about? Here’s the difference between teams like UCF and teams like TCU or Boise State. UCF keeps their cupcake schedule and then bitches and complains like a 5 year-old who doesn’t get their way. TCU and Boise State scheduled real teams to play and boost their resume. TCU even moved to a Power 5 conference to show they belong in the conversation with the Ohio State’s and Alabama’s of the country.
“But UCF had their Power 5 Conference game cancelled this year!” Yeah, they did! Against 1-8 North Carolina! Who cares! That win would do nothing for them! Schedule yourself a real team, not a “Power 5” football team that makes its money playing basketball. Why don’t they schedule Duke next year? Maybe Kansas? Hell, Loyola-Chicago made the Final Four last year add them to the football schedule.
UCF can claim “eye test” all they want. Good, they beat Pittsburgh by more than Notre Dame did. What about the rest of their schedule? UCF’s strength of schedule is 109 out of 126. They have played the 17th easiest schedule in all of football! If they win out the rest of the way, none of their opponents will even finish the year ranked in the top 25! The only eye test I need to compare these two teams is who have you beaten. Notre Dame has beaten legitimate teams, UCF has nothing. It’s not 2017, they cannot be carried by Shaquem Griffin’s incredible story anymore.
UCF is not good enough to go against the likes of Alabama or Clemson. UCF would get destroyed by either of those teams and, quite frankly, nobody wants to see that. For the sake of the future of Group of 5 teams, UCF needs to be left out of the Playoff so they don’t get embarrassed and ruin it for the future. If UCF is put up against Alabama, Nick Saban could play the kids he’s recruiting who are still in 9th grade to beat this team by double digits.
I love UCF, I really do. There is no reason to go after Notre Dame, though. The old saying of “pick on someone your own size” rings true again here. UCF should worry about beating a team like UAB before they go after the class of college football.
*Editor’s Note – This article was written prior to UCF’s win against #24 Cincinnati. Should have been posted before the game, but I blew it. That’s on me. Sorry Thums!