UCF is putting their money where their mouth is.
The UCF Knights won the Peach Bowl over Auburn on New Year’s Day to finish their season undefeated. By virtue of their undefeated record, UCF athletic director Danny White is calling the team national champions, despite the school not playing in the College Football Playoff to determine the national champion.
UCF did beat the team that was the only team to beat Georgia and Alabama this season, the two teams that are playing for the national championship, so the transitive property was hard at work to say the Knights are the rightful owners of this claim.
This isn’t the first time a school has claimed a national title, but it raised some eyebrows the college football landscape. If UCF claims they are the national champions, people on Twitter openly asked White if the school would be paying Scott Frost and his coaching staff the national champions bonus as a result.
Sure enough, White put his money where his mouth is and said “Of course we are! That’s what National Championship programs do. Our coaches were informed of that earlier this week.”
This is an incredible gesture to fork over the bonus money when they didn’t have to. The school has been totally accommodating of Frost who announced he was leaving to take the job at his alma mater, Nebraska. But Frost continued to prepare UCF for the Peach Bowl, working double duty recruiting for Nebraska and preparing to beat an Auburn team that was ranked as high as No. 2 before losing to Georgia in the SEC Championship Game. Frost also took his entire UCF staff and employed them at Nebraska. It should be noted that Frost already reached his bonus cap, so the payout was for the assistants, according to The Athletic’s Chris Vannini.
The bonus payment is a nice drop in the bucket for the program that was winless when Frost took it over two years ago and just went undefeated. Forget what conference they play in or what their strength of schedule was, this team was one of the best in the country all season and credit AD White for paying for the success they experienced this year. This type of behavior will be noticed by other coaches around the country and make UCF an even more attractive destination for coaches than it already is, thanks in large part to their outgoing coach who will now try to resurrect Nebraska just like he did for UCF.