Last season, the American Athletic Conference gained some spotlight action, and they have UCF to thank.
The Central Florida Knights were the only college football team to finish their season undefeated, ending with a Peach Bowl victory over Auburn. Despite their perfect record, the Knights did not make the playoffs, or even come close for that matter. UCF ended with a No. 12 ranking while Alabama was victorious against Georgia in the national championship game.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but Alabama should be the only team celebrating, right? Wrong.
Nick Saban on UCF's national title claims: 'Self-proclaimed is not the same as actually earning it" https://t.co/2QuOf8fvsU— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) May 16, 2018
We can see where the Knights are coming from. They got jipped in the playoff rankings and they want to give themselves some credit. But handing out national champion rings? That might be a bit too much. And it's fair for Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide, the true national champions, to be a little tweaked.
"Put some respect on our name!" -Knight Nation pic.twitter.com/PO4odnNGBu— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) January 3, 2018
UCF is rebelling against the playoff rankings, claiming that they were overlooked since they are not a Power 5 Conference team. Though their schedule was not as competitive, they still had a record-breaking season, and they deserved more than a 12 spot.
But calling yourselves national champions without winning the title is a little ambitious, and this might cause issues for other non-Power 5 teams in the future.