Central Florida football's turnaround has been nothing short of spectacular. In just the second year of Scott Frost's tenure as head coach, which followed an 0-12 season, the Knights shocked the world by finishing 2017 with a 13-0 record.
Despite their undefeated regular season, UCF never ranked higher than 12th in the College Football Playoff Rankings. As a 'Group of 5' team, the best bowl they could find themselves in was the Peach Bowl against No. 7 Auburn.
They were 12-point underdogs heading into the New Year's Day matchup, as no one believed they had much of a chance against an SEC powerhouse that knocked off both Georgia and Alabama this year when each was ranked No. 1.
However, to the surprise of many, UCF beat the Tigers 34-27 and looked like the better team throughout. Although the Peach Bowl victory is mainly symbolic in nature, fans in the Orlando area think it means more.
UCF AD Danny White says #UCF will be hanging a National Championship banner at Spectrum Stadium.— 96.9 The Game (@969thegame) January 3, 2018
Sure, by the transitive win property, the Knights could be considered one of the best teams in the country. After all, Georgia and Alabama are playing for the national championship, and they both lost to a team that UCF beat. But they in no way can be considered the best of the best without playing a broader sampling of top teams.
It was a special year for the Knights and Scott Frost, but to call themselves the national champions is a little too much. They should let their bowl victory over Auburn speak for itself and hope they can get more respect next season.
Or attempt to join a Power Five conference and get it over with.