I’ve written before about how the College Football Playoff system is broken and needs to be revamped. Well now, I’m writing about how it’s still broken but specifically, how it affects the University of Central Florida. UCF went undefeated last year. People assumed the undefeated regular season was the result of being a weak, non-Power 5 conference. They got a major bowl game vs a strong, Power 5 team (Auburn). Then went in and beat them 34-27, proving they can play with top tier talent. As the only undefeated team, they declared themselves national champions. Most people however didn’t recognize their self-proclaimed championship. They ended the year ranked 6th.
Despite this highly successful season, they opened the year ranked 21st in the AP preseason poll (which feels insulting). This year, they continue to roll, having now won 22 straight dating back to last year. And yet, despite repeated blowout wins, they are still only ranked 12th in the College Football Playoff rankings. With the entire top 10 winning this past week, I doubt that will change much.
It’s very insulting that they can’t even crack the top 10. They are the only undefeated team not in the top 10 and they have a team like Kentucky with 3 losses ahead of them. I understand that they don’t play a schedule loaded with Power 5 teams. However, they are absolutely blowing out every team that they play. They’ve won every game by double digits except for one. And most of those blowout wins could be much worse if they really wanted to run up the score. Last year they showed us that they can hang with top tier teams. I’m not saying that UCF should be in the top four with the other three undefeated teams. But they should be in the top 8. You can only beat who you play and they are beating everyone handily. Not even giving them a chance is a shame and entirely unfair to the players and coaches who have worked so hard the last two years to make this program a legit contender. Would they hang with Alabama? Probably not. Should they be given a chance? Maybe. Something to ponder: their strength of record is 11th in the nation. A team like Washington State, who is 4 spots ahead of them, has a strength of record of 10. Does it seem fair that the undefeated team is 4 spots behind a one loss team when they have nearly identical strength of records?
-Stephen Brown III (@sbtrey23)
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