UCF is taking the celebration of its unbeaten, untied season to a whole new level: The No. 12 Knights gutted out a Peach Bowl win over No. 7 Auburn, the only team to beat both Alabama and Georgia, the College Football Playoff finalists.
So, to heck with the championship game, Central Florida athletic director Danny White resolved. The Knights have anointed themselves national champions.
White said via Twitter that UCF will hang a national championship banner at Spectrum Stadium, where it plays its home games. The Knights will have a national championship parade, rings, the works.
“We’re going to have a parade to celebrate the success of our team,” White said during an ESPN Radio interview on The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz. “We’ll be announcing that later [Tuesday].”
Camping World Stadium in Orlando, host of the Cure Bowl, Camping World Bowl, Citrus Bowl and soon the Under Armour All-America Game, offered up its services in case UCF wants to challenge the winner of Georgia and Alabama.
There is a long and storied history of college football teams declaring themselves champions. Then-Auburn quarterback Jason Campbell told Sports Illustrated after his Tigers went 13-0 in 2004: “We’re 13-0. I don’t care what anybody says. We’re national champions.”
Alabama claims a share of the 1941 national title after finishing 9-2 and winning the Cotton Bowl. The Tide was the top team in the “Houlgate System,” a mathematical ranking created by a publicist. Minnesota is widely considered that year’s rightful champion, as crowned by the Associated Press.