The College Football Playoff National Championship saw the Alabama Crimson Tide storm back from the brink of defeat to beat the Georgia Bulldogs in an overtime thriller. Finally, after a year of being the runner up, the Crimson Tide faithful could finally relish in their very own championship again. Or could they?
The Governor of Florida and University of Central Florida (UCF) would dispute this claim. The Knights of UCF are claiming that they not Alabama are the true champions. They are going to make their own championship banner, have a Disney World parade, and championship bonuses for the coaches. The claim that the UCF Knights are national champions sounds ridiculous but does have some merit.
No way they could beat Alabama you say? This year the only team to beat Alabama was the Auburn Tigers. UCF played Auburn in the Peach Bowl this year and UCF won. In a roundabout way, fans could say that then in theory UCF would at least have a chance to beat Alabama.
Another argument in favor of UCF is the fact that they are undefeated. Every single team to suit up this year against UCF left with another loss to their record. So, shouldn’t they have an opportunity to play in the playoffs? According to the Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, the answer is no. Bowlsby said that a team that was not in a power five conference, which UCF is not from a power five conference, should not be allowed in the playoffs. That hardly seems fair to me. The team did everything that was asked of them and beat every single team that they played. At the very least they should get a chance to play in the playoffs.
Many Alabama fans would scoff at UCF claiming a national title that is not technically theirs but Alabama has done the exact same thing. Alabama fans claim that they won the national title in 1973 when in fact they lost to Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl that year. The only reason they were voted as the national champion was because the voting happened before the Sugar Bowl was played. Seems hypocritical.
Hopefully, the UCF national title fiasco leads to an expansion in the playoffs so that teams like UCF can try to fight their way into a national championship game. But for right now I believe that if Alabama can claim 1973 as a National Championship season then so can UCF in 2017. More power to them and while I think Alabama would blow UCF out of the stadium, in the current system they at least have a few reasons to claim that they are National Champions.
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