UCF lost a game, the Clemson schedule issue, and the top remaining games, in the latest Cavalcade of Whimsy.
Sorry if this column sucks, it’s not my fault …
Like Tennessee, I can’t figure out how to call anyone on this new iPhone 11, either …
I’m not exactly Spartacus, but …
UCF fans, I am with you.
Group of Five fans, I hear you.
One loss doesn’t end what should be an ongoing discussion, but unfortunately, that’s it for now.
There won’t be any debates, no theoretical discussions, no arguments, and no pushing the system to make any sort of a change to the College Football Playoff format.
That’s what the Pitt Special to beat UCF did to the cause.
UCF was never really in the College Football Playoff discussions over the last few years – at least not in Grapevine, Texas – but it was nice to make the program think that it might be on the the same footing as the Power Five teams.
It wouldn’t have mattered if UCF beat Pitt by 50, or lost on a gimmicky play – there was never, ever, ever any real chance of getting into the four-team playoff. A win over the Panthers would’ve continued to push the false narrative, but at least it would’ve kept the issue alive for the public to talk about.
Now the CFP gets off the hook.
UCF fans, you’re absolutely right. Things have to change up so that over 60 teams aren’t already eliminated from the 2020 national championship chase, and the 2021 run, and 2022, and so on.
The playoff has to expand to six or eight teams with a provision to automatically include the top-ranked Group of Five champion. So what if the team might get walloped by a No. 1-seeded Alabama or Clemson? It can be seen as a sort of reward for being in the top spot for the Power Fiver.
All the Group of Five programs are looking for is a path. All they want is to go into a season knowing that there’s a shot to have a shot.
Better yet, UCF deserves to go TCU and Utah and make the jump from TV to movies. Big 12 … expand already and be a real 12 or 14-team league by bringing aboard UCF, USF, and maybe Houston and Cincinnati.
With all of that said …
Help me … Help you …
UCF fans, ENOUGH of the whining about not getting a shot in the last two CFP s unless you can reasonably and rationally say who should’ve been out.
What team in each of the last two College Football Playoffs should’ve not been in?
2017 No. 4-seed Alabama didn’t win its own division – it won the national title.
UCF should’ve been in over a Big 12 Champion Oklahoma team that beat Ohio State on the road and took down four teams that finished with ten wins or more? A Georgia team that won the SEC Championship? A Clemson team that beat Auburn AND a ten-win Miami AND nine Power Five teams that finished with winning records?
And who should’ve been left out last year? 13-0 Alabama? Of course not. 13-0 Clemson? Of course not. 12-0 Notre Dame? Look at the the Irish schedule full of Power Five programs – of course not. 12-1 Oklahoma? Of course not. 12-1 Ohio State that won the Big Ten Championship? Of course not. A Georgia team that came within a fake punt of beating that amazing Alabama team? Of course not.
Again, UCF, I’m with you. I want the system to be changed to include you and the rest of your Group of Five brethren. But this only works if you fully embrace the valid argument against the cause …
“You don’t have one of these, do you Jack?”
Among current American Athletic Conference programs, USF beat Georgia Tech and Illinois in back-to-back weeks early last season, and as part of the Big East, famously made the cover of Sports Illustrated – pour one out; sky point to SI – back in 2007 after beating Auburn and North Carolina and West Virginia in back-to-back-to-back games.
2014 East Carolina took out Virginia Tech and North Carolina in a two-week span, and in 2016, Houston destroyed Baker Mayfield and Oklahoma to start the season, and rolled Lamar Jackson and Louisville later on.
Since becoming an FBS program back in 1996, UCF has played Power Five programs in back-to-back weeks 14 times – if you include the old Big East as a major conference back in the day, and including one run of four straight games against P5ers as two. How many times has the program come up with two straight wins over the big boys?
How many times has UCF beaten two Power Five schools in the same regular season?
With this loss to Pitt, what is UCF’s all-time regular season record vs. Power Five and Big East schools?
So, you’re trying to figure out your perception problem, UCF? Winning seven Power Five games in one regular season doesn’t even get you a College Football Playoff can cozy, and you haven’t won more than that in almost 23 seasons.
Click for the CFN Podcast Quick Hit: Our UCF Rant …
And that’s why the loss to Pitt was so devastating. It didn’t matter that the Knights lost in a thriller – and it wouldn’t have mattered to the College Football Playoff committee if UCF won by 50 – but the loss is the entire point of why the program isn’t on the CFP philosophical or theoretical radar.
Worse yet, it was against Pitt. You know, amazing uniforms, suspect defensive scheme that leaves its corners out to dry, probably won’t go bowling this year, bad food, worse weather … Pitt.
It’s not like UCF lost late to Ohio State, or LSU, or Oregon.
Yeah, UCF can absolutely hang with or beat anyone in a one game shot – the program really is that good now – but no one’s arguing that. Beat Stanford, and then beat Pitt on the road, and then beat more teams with Power Five talent over and over and over again.
Don’t you see? This is a beauty contest, and to have any shot to make a reasonable case to be included in the judging, UCF couldn’t have stumbled in the swimsuit competition.
THIS was the chance to do it. THIS was a shot to take down two mediocre teams with ease, like any normal and decent Power Five program could and would do in back-to-back weeks.
Does this loss by 2019 UCF to Pitt mean the 2017 UCF team wouldn’t have obliterated these Cardinal and Panther teams? Of course not … again, that’s not the point.
It’s not that the system is rigged against UCF or the Group of Five programs, it’s that they’re not even in the system at all because they don’t play the biggest and best programs with Power Five talents, facilities and resources week after week after week after week.
It’s about the grind, and in this one chance to finally do something the program has never been able to do, it lost.