This week, the college football world will be a buzz over college gameday making its first ever appearance at the University of Central Florida. It’s a great reward for a team that has won 22 straight games and there is no doubt that it will be an electric atmosphere. Although gameday is a nice reward, what UCF really wants is an invite to the college football playoffs. However, sitting at #11 in the CFB Playoff rankings, that doesn't seem to be realistic at tis point.
After last years undefeated season which concluded with a victory over Auburn in the Peach Bowl, UCF has been claiming a national championship and making noise anyway they can, with the hopes that someone would get annoyed enough to just let them in. This has caused quite a stir among coaches, fans and media and you can’t have a playoff discussion without the name UCF coming up. Give credit to Danny White and their fan bas, because they have sort of taken on the bad guy role and much like the Yankees, Cowboys or Notre Dame, you either love em or hate em.
Why they Wont Get In
While some may question UCF’s defense or the close games they have had with Temple , Navy and Memphis, everybody knows the real issue is their schedule. There simply aren’t enough ranked or “blue blood” power 5 names on the schedule over the past 2 seasons. As a believer in playing better competition, I can understand the Strength of Schedule argument, but as I will soon show you, its not entirely their fault.
Same Old Story From AD's & Coaches
Any time the subject of scheduling comes up , we always hear how difficult it is for Power 5 Ad’s to round out their schedules. We hear the usual excuse of how far in advance schedules are made, but the truth is, the Power 5 simply does not want any part of UCF. You want proof? Just for fun, I went back into the archives and did some digging around UCF’s schedules and I was quite surprised as to what I found.
A Brief History of UCF Football
For those that don’t know the history of UCF football here is a quick recap. They played Division III from 1979 – 1982, than climbed to D2 in 1982. They played 8 seasons of D2 before joining the FCS ( I-AA) in 1990 and playing 6 seasons before making the jump to I-A as an independent in 1996, and that’s where the fun begins!
UCF’s first year as a Division I football school was in 1996 where they played as an Independent for 6 years. I went back and looked at their opponents during this 6 year transition period. So, when UCF was a lowly first time I-A school just trying to gain their footing , here are is a breakdown of the schools that were chomping at the bit to play them.
That’s right, funny how all the big boys had no problem setting up a game with UCF back than. I mean 1 more game in 1997 or 1999 against the SEC and they could have been an honorary member! Pick your school, Alabama, Georgia, Florida , Clemson, Virginia Tech, South Carolina, they all had no problem finding a way to get UCF on the schedule back when they thought it was an easy W.
So , this weekend when we are treated to the exciting matchups of the SEC against Citadel, UMASS, Liberty and Rice, we will hear about how difficult it is to schedule and all the reasons why nobody could find a way to play UCF. Fact is, they don’t want any part of UCF now because it’s a losing proposition. Just admit it guys, you don’t schedule them because you don’t want to. It’s easier to just play liberty, UMASS & UNC Charlotte. Three teams transitioning to the FBS just like that team UCF was back in the 1990’s.