When UCF athletic director Danny White declared after his football team’s Peach Bowl victory over Auburn that he considered the undefeated Knights the true national champions, it sounded like a cute, light-hearted rallying cry. As it turned out, White and company were not joking. Not even a little.
UCF has spent the past 48 hours declaring itself national champion on Twitter and demanding a matchup with the Georgia-Alabama winner. The Knights have also announced they will hold a parade at Disney World to celebrate their supposed title, and hinted at plans for other celebrations as well.
— 2017 National Champions (@UCF_Football) January 3, 2018
Some wise-guys on Twitter figured they’d stumped the Knights by asking whether UCF planned to pay out national championship bonuses to assistant coaches (head coach Scott Frost, who is leaving for Nebraska, has reportedly maxed out his bonuses), but White was unfazed by the question.
— Danny White (@UCFDannyWhite) January 3, 2018
UCF’s insistent claim to a national championship is fun and sorta admirable, but the substance of it is obviously quite dubious. Sure the Knights went undefeated and beat a very good SEC team in the Peach Bowl, but the winner of the actual national championship game will have beaten many good SEC teams, as well as other top-ranked opponents. If it’s Alabama, the Crimson Tide will have beaten Florida State, LSU, Mississippi State, Clemson and Georgia. If it’s Georgia, the Bulldogs will have beaten Notre Dame, Mississippi State, Auburn, Oklahoma and Alabama. UCF would have a tough time explaining how its resume tops one of those.
But regardless of what you think about the validity of the Knights’ national title claim, you’ve got to applaud their self-belief. When they call themselves champs, they really mean it.