Does UCF deserve a shot?


Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

It’s a packed house at Spectrum Stadium as the fans of UCF gather for another exciting game. The Knights won the game 45-14 against Pittsburgh extending their winning streak to 17 games.

Another college football regular season has gone by and once again we see the UCF Knights missing out on the college football playoffs. They finished undefeated with a record of 12-0 which is tied for the best record in the nation with Alabama, Clemson and Notre Dame. One would think that the college football playoffs would consist of the four undefeated schools, but this is not the case as Oklahoma, who has an f 11-1 record, got the fourth seed in the playoffs over UCF. UCF did not finish one place out of the playoffs either, they finished eight in the race behind some teams that even lost twice. So even though UCF is currently on a 25 game winning streak with wins over some solid football teams like Auburn and Maryland, the College Football Playoff Committee still won’t give UCF a playoff spot.  Why is that?

The playoff committee considers strength of schedule, record, quality of wins and quality of losses into account when deciding who deserves the chance to hold the coveted national championship. Due to these factors, UCF will never get a shot at playing in the national championship because they play in an average conference that won’t give them a hard schedule or any quality wins. Whereas teams like Oklahoma and Michigan  can still lose a couple of games and still be in contention because of their strong schedule, providing the strength of schedule criteria for making the playoffs. In essence, the college football playoffs is basically the four best power five conference teams going at it year in and year out.

“You look at what this program has done for two straight years, this team has got the heart of a champions. They deserve the chance to go prove it on the field”, UCF coach Josh Heupel said on an ABC broadcast after UCF won their the AAC championship.

They’ve battled through the injuries of their star quarterback McKenzie Milton and still have that winning mentality. Many WJ students believed that UCF should be able prove their ability in the playoffs.

“UCF deserves a shot to play in the playoffs, they’re on an unheard of winning streak but still don’t get the recognition they deserve,” junior Mason Stern said. “Not to mention if the committee does include them and say they lose, then the committee can use that as an example as to why these type of teams shouldn’t be in the playoffs and end the argument of whether or not power five schools deserve a shot.”

By including UCF, it will set the example for the future of the playoffs. If they get blown out, then the argument is settled that these teams just don’t belong. If UCF does win a game or at least keeps it close, it sets a precedent that maybe these types of teams should be included. But with the current format it is doubtful that teams like UCF get a shot, so a possible expansion could be the best of both worlds.

“The playoff format should be expanded to put more emphasis on the conference title games for power five schools and give smaller schools a shot to make the playoffs. The playoffs should include the conference winner from the ACC, SEC, Big-10, Big-12, and PAC-12, the best non power five team, and two wildcard teams,” junior Kai Walters said.

This expansion would allow the top teams to still be present in the playoff, give the smaller schools a shot at making it to the playoffs, and most importantly allow the true national champion to be crowned with no disputes.