Why UCF was never seriously mentioned for the College Football Playoff shows a flaw in the system.
The UCF Knights just wrapped up their first perfect season in school history in their spectacular win over the established Auburn Tigers in the Peach Bowl on New Year’s Day.
So, tell us why the Knights weren’t seriously considered to play for inclusion in the College Football Playoff. We can answer that question. It’s because they’re not a traditional power, that’s why.
The College Football Playoff was supposed to be the solution to the convoluted Bowl Championship Series (BCS) format, but all the playoff format has done was add even more power to the power football conferences that routinely get mentioned as favorites to compete for a national title.
Take into account that out of the Top 25, UCF was the only team that went undefeated this season, with the four teams in the hunt for a title — Clemson, Oklahoma, Georgia and Alabama — all having one defeat on their resumes.
Sure, the argument will be that UCF didn’t “play anybody,” but why should that even matter? The Knights have promptly displayed that they were among the best teams in the country, and it was a slap in the face to this up-and-coming program that their name wasn’t even brought up in the talk of title contending teams because the formula to get into playoff consideration is based on strength of schedule.
So on that end, maybe UCF should schedule better non-conference opponents to help their resume, but regardless, the Knights should have at the very least been in the conversation. Until we go to a similar format like college basketball, which is set up to allow smaller programs to shine, programs like UCF are sadly going to continue to be left out in the cold. And this needs to change, ASAP.