As a pair of one-loss teams prepare to play for college football’s national championship, the University of Central Florida Golden Knights’ season is no more—concluding with 13 victories, zero losses, and a 34-27 victory over Auburn in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on Monday.
But that doesn’t sit well with outgoing head coach Scott Frost, despite the Knights’ playing in the American Athletic Conference, outside the Power 5 conferences.
“It wasn’t right,” said Frost, who’s bound for his alma mater Nebraska this offseason. “I was watching [the selection show] every week, the committee sitting in a room and deciding that this two-loss team must be better than UCF because UCF is in the American, or this three-loss team must be better than UCF.
“It looked like a conscious effort to me to make sure that they didn’t have a problem if they put us too high and a couple teams ahead of us lost. And oh, no, now we have to put them in a playoff? But we just beat [Auburn] that beat two playoff teams and lost to another one by six points, and we beat them by seven.”
Before besting Auburn, ranked seventh in the nation, the Golden Knights’ only victory over a nationally ranked opponent came when they beat fellow AAC dweller Memphis, No. 20, on December 2. Auburn, meanwhile, played four games against College Football Playoff participants, topping Alabama, losing narrowly to Clemson, and trading one-sided victories with Georgia.
“Auburn is a great team,” Frost said. “I’m not taking anything away from them. I give them a ton of credit. But these guys deserve everything they get, and they deserve more credit from the committee than what they got.”
After the Peach Bowl win, UCF athletic director Danny White declared his squad the national champions.
— Orlando’s Hometown Team (@UCFKnights) January 1, 2018
“Like Coach already told us, only thing we can keep doing is winning games, and I don’t think we have any more games left to win,” said linebacker Shaquem Griffin. “I guess to the college committee, it’s just what more can we do? We won all of them, and I just feel that we should have had an opportunity to show our talents to any and every team that wants to go against us. There’s no more teams left for us to beat.”