3. Oooooooooh, UCF is 11. Oooooooooh
Okay, great. So UCF is the highest-ranked Group of Five team ever.
That and an extra 12,000 votes will make you a Florida senator.
We’re all so conditioned to the AP and Coaches polls that we take a top 25 ranking as a set list of the best teams. But in College Football Playoff ranking reality, there’s the top four, and then there’s a bunch of teams.
The only reason the rankings after No. 4 matter is for the New Year’s Six bowls. So if UCF is 11th, or 5th, or 25th, it’s all the same, as long as it’s the highest-ranked Group of Five team.
If you care about getting into a New Year’s Six game.
There’s still way too much traffic ahead of the Knights to get even close to the top four. They might destroy Cincinnati this weekend, but that won’t mean more than a few moves up if no one else high loses.
UCF isn’t getting in ahead of Alabama. It’s not getting in ahead of a one-loss Clemson – if that happens – one a 12-1 Pac-12 champion Washington State. And it’s not getting in over a one-loss Big Ten or Big 12 champion.
It’s not getting in over an unbeaten Notre Dame, and it’s not getting in over a one-loss Notre Dame, either.
So yeah, UCF might be blazing a bit of a trail here, but all that’s doing is showing Knight fans a better view of the top of a mountain it can’t reach.