The University of Central Florida was undefeated going into their Peach Bowl Game against Auburn. UCF won making them 13-0 for the season, so why are they not facing Alabama on Monday for the National Championship? The answer is simple, that is if you ask College Football Playoff Executive Director Bill Hancock.
To paraphrase what he said in the Sports Illustrated article I read, the committee respected UCF and gave them a ranking of 12th in the country based on their strength of schedule against good teams.
So basically UCF was not ranked in the top four because the teams they beat in their undefeated season weren’t good enough. It would be a completely different matter if the UCF had beaten teams that were ranked in the Top 5 programs, like Alabama or Clemson. But since they only managed to beat teams like Memphis, ranked 12th on national rankings, twice and South Florida, only stayed at 23 in the AP rankings all year. But that’s not nearly as great as Alabama who had won with a lame schedule that made it almost impossible for them to lose (but they did).
So while I understand that the committee wants to put the best teams in the top four to ensure the best ratings for the games, I don’t agree with not having UCF in the there. I think that taking a risk and putting the Knights into the Top Four would’ve made it more exciting especially considering they had a winless season last year and somehow managed to make it undefeated just a year later.
I think that Karma payed the committee back in some way because many are not excited about the Alabama v. Georgia match-up. Oklahoma taking on Alabama is what everyone wanted based partly on Baker Mayfield winning the Heisman. But because the committee decided to snub the undefeated UCF Knights, the higher powers in college football decided to give them a lackluster match-up which in my opinion pretty much guarantees an Alabama win (though my inner hopeless optimist is hoping for a Georgia win).
This whole mess also highlights some of the issues with the college football playoff system because what’s the point in having a committee of people pick the top 25 teams? It defeats the whole point of keeping a record because if you notice there’s a usual cast of characters in the top teams so really it’s a no-brainer as to who will be in the top four spots. In order to actually make it exciting for the average college football fan, it might be time to actually give programs an equal chance to make the top 25 rankings otherwise what’s the point?
Congrats to the UCF Knights on winning the Peach Bowl and keeping their undefeated season.