Preview 2018: UCF Knights. Maybe Not National Title Good, But ...

Preview 2018: UCF Knights. Maybe Not National Title Good, But ...

UCF

Preview 2018: UCF Knights. Maybe Not National Title Good, But ...


Preview 2018: Previewing and looking ahead to the UCF Knights season with what you need to know.


Preview 2018: UCF Knights

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– What You Need To Know: Offense | Defense
Top Players, Key Game, Fun Stats
What Will Happen & Win Total Prediction
Recruiting Class AnalysisSchedule Analysis
– UCF Previews 2017 | 2016 | 2015

Oh go ahead, UCF. Have your fun.

UCF might have finished on top of the CFN Season Rankings, but no – obviously it didn’t win the national championship.

Not to feed into the troll job, but this isn’t like the pre-BCS/CFP days when the college football national champion was based mostly on theory – there actually is a true title game now, and the Knights weren’t a part of it.

But you know that, Alabama knows that, and obviously, UCF knows that, too. But who cares?

What’s it to you if UCF wants to play pretend while thumbing its nose at the system?

Yeah, so the joke isn’t funny anymore when the program looks more delusional than snarky, and it’s not okay that the PR stunt took away the luster from what the team accomplished. However, it’s been an interesting tact to take, and doing it has ramped up the pressure on all sides.

Now, if UCF just so happens to get through the season 13-0 with another American Athletic Conference championship, the public will turn the screws on the College Football Playoff types to let us all see what a Group of Fiver can do on the biggest of stages.

After all, the only reason Alabama got into the CFP was on the “because it’s Bama and we think the team is good” rationale, as opposed to anything it accomplished during the regular season.

And the pressure is really, really on new head coach Josh Heupel to try extending the winning streak to 26-0 so UCF can get into the discussion.

Heupel is in an interesting position. On the one hand, he’d love to have one or two big seasons so he can Scott Frost his way to a Power Five gig – and/or he keeps this all going, and the Big 12 wakes up and takes the school in expansion. But for any or all of that, it’s on Heupel to win and win big.

He’s being handed a heater here. There’s more than enough talent and experience returning to expect another big run, if not an unbeaten season. If UCF isn’t great again, the players aren’t going to bear the blame.

Heupel gets back QB McKenzie Milton, three starters on the O line, a ridiculously talented group of running backs, and a silly-good, young receiving corps that should blossom into something amazing. The offensive machine not only won’t stop, it’ll go faster – Heupel is all about tempo.

The defense is undergoing a change from the 3-4 to the 4-3, and it’s missing the stars of the show – LB Shaquem Griffin, CB Mike Hughes, and DE Jamiyus Pittman – but defensive coordinator Randy Shannon will be terrific.

Throw in the veteran kickers, and this is once again the best team in the AAC.

So go ahead and dream big, UCF.

You’re coached by a guy who won a real national championship when no one thought Oklahoma could pull it off back in 2000, and he’s going to help feed into the Us Against The Haters mentality you’ve set yourself up for.

You want people to believe and respect everything that happened in 2017? Then do it all again.

And go win a national championship … the one where Bill Hancock is handing you a trophy.

NEXT: Offense Breakdown, Defense Breakdown, Top Players, Final Prediction & What Will Happen

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