I can just see Paul Finebaum’s head exploding right now.
The same with fellow college football elitist Kirk Herbstreit.
Both of these ESPN heavy hitters will no doubt continue to rip and ridicule UCF after the Knights distributed national championship rings and displayed a “2017 National Champions” sign at Spectrum Stadium on Saturday night during the school’s spring game.
The social media outcry against UCF has been predictable — and pathetic.
I’ve stated my case on UCF’s national championship claims, ad nauseam. If you’ve read me for any length of time, you know I believe college football has the most biased, discriminatory championship-deciding system in the history of sports. How an undefeated team has no chance at competing for a national championship is both inexplicable and inexcusable.
I’m not saying UCF could line up with Alabama year-in, year-out, but I believe there are rare times when special players (see Shaquem Griffin) and special coaches (see Scott Frost) come together to form a once-in-a-lifetime team that deserves a shot to play for the national championship.
I’ve never understood the argument that non-Power 5 teams such as UCF must prove themselves for three, four or five years before they get a chance to play for a national championship. Can you imagine if Power 5 programs were held to the same standard?
Auburn never would have won the the 2010 national championship in Cam Newton’s senior season because, well, the Tigers were 8-5 and 5-7 the two previous years. Newton was a transcendent player who transformed Auburn and almost immediately turned the Tigers into national champions. Don’t kid yourself, programs such as UCF get those types of players, too.
I believe undefeated Boise State deserved a shot at the belt twice when the Broncos were undefeated under former coach Chris Petersen. Likewise, I certainly believe Urban Meyer’s 2004 undefeated Utah team, quarterbacked by Alex Smith, could have beaten anybody in the country and deserved a chance to play for the national championship..
What really disappoints me — besides the farcical system itself — is how national media members put their stamp of approval on it as if it’s legitimate. Instead of championing UCF’s cause and going to bat for the non-Power 5 programs that are being locked out of the playoff, they lampoon and lambaste UCF athletics director Danny White for defending his school and pointing out the obvious flaws in the system.
There was a time when the national media stood up for what was right.
Now, sadly, they simply lie down for what is wrong.
Email me at [email protected] Hit me up on Twitter @BianchiWrites and listen to my Open Mike radio show every weekday from 6 to 9 a.m. on FM 96.9 and AM 740.