By Tommy Rezac
UCF athletic director Danny White strongly beliefs the Golden Knights, who finished the 2017 season at 13-0 and champions of the Peach Bowl, deserve to be called national champions.
The Knights were the only FBS team to go undefeated in the 2017 season.
“We feel strongly that our football team is a national champion,” White said on Orlando’s 96.9 The Game Wednesday. “Looking at research and what’s happened across college football through the years, there’s tons of examples where there’s a dispute on one or two or three teams, even four teams in some years some years that feel like they have claim to a national championship.
“I don’t know how you don’t call this team national champions when they went undefeated, and in the last game of the year, they beat the team that both teams competing in the (College Football Playoff) Championship.”
UCF defeated Auburn in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowln on New Year’s Day 34-27 in Atlanta. Auburn beat both Alabama (26-14) and Georgia (40-17) in the regular season.
Alabama and Georgia will square off in the national title game on Monday night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA; ironically the same venue where UCF beat Auburn.
On Sunday, UCF will hold a championship parade at Disney World in Orlando.
— 2017 National Champions (@UCF_Football) January 3, 2018
White said the team also plans to hang a championship banner at Spectrum Stadium.
“We’re definitely getting a banner,” White said. “We won a national championship and we’re going to treat it as such. These kids deserve that, and like other football programs do all across the country, you claim a national championship, the only undefeated team in a season, we’re going to hang a banner.”
Since UCF has claimed themselves as the national champion, Scott Frosts’ assistants received $300,000 bonus for winning the national title. They also received bonuses for the following achievements:
- Reaching a bowl game: $189,167
- Reaching AAC championship game: $50,000
- AAC Championship win: $25,000
- Winning a New Year’s Six bowl: $75,000
- National championship: $300,000
Frost himself did not receive a bonus for the “national title.” He already exceeded his bonus cap of $250,000 by getting UCF to the AAC title game, winning the conference championship, and beating Auburn in the Peach Bowl.
Frost said after UCF’s win over the Tigers that the Knights didn’t get enough respect from the College Football Playoff Committee.
“It looked like a conscious effort to me to make sure that (the committee) didn’t have a problem if they put (UCF) too high and a couple teams ahead of us lost and, ‘Oh, no, now we have to put them in a playoff,'” Frost said. “But we just beat a team that beat two playoff teams and lost to (Clemson) by six points, and we beat (Auburn) by seven.”
At Nebraska, Frost would get a $650,000 bonus for winning a national title, $350,000 for a national championship appearance, $300,000 for making the College Football Playoff, $300,000 for winning the Big Ten, $250,000 for making a New Year’s Six bowl, $200,000 for appearing in the Big Ten title, $150,000 for a bowl appearance outside of the playoff and $100,000 for winning the Big Ten West.
You can contact Tommy at 402-840-5226, or you can follow him on Twitter @Tommy_KLIN.