Monday, July 23, 2018
  • USF Sports Bulletin
  • Joey Knight

A toast (and a roast) to UCF’s ‘national championship’ claims

As part of its relentless, shameless quest to afford national-title status to its 13-0 football team, UCF is holding a parade today at Disney World's Magic Kingdom and a "national championship" celebration Monday evening in downtown Orlando.

To which we say, more power to 'em. (By the way, Nick Saban echoes that sentiment). Clearly, a system that doesn't give the nation's only undefeated Division I-A team an opportunity to compete for a national title is broken, and these events help raise awareness of the flaw.

But it doesn't alter reality, no more than the American Athletic Conference devising a "Power Six" logo makes it a power league.

Under the current College Football Playoff format, UCF is not a national champ. Even if the system were equitable, a perfect season would've assured UCF only a playoff spot, not a national crown. And after a while, all the gestures and proclamations to the contrary get a bit silly.

But perpetuating the national-title narrative is UCF's prerogative, just as it's ours to poke a little harmless fun at it.

In that spirit, here are a few rumblings we've heard regarding the Knights' celebration festivities:

1) The route for today's parade begins in the Magic Kingdom — at Fantasyland.

2) We've firmed up the details of the Knights' visit to the White House. They'll be honored by President Al Gore in a Rose Garden ceremony next spring.

3) In lieu of crystal, the Knights' national title trophy will be plated in pure cubic zirconium.

4) During Monday's celebration, Knights athletic director Danny White will retroactively present QB McKenzie Milton a personalized Heisman Trophy and OLB Shaquem Griffin a personalized Butkus Award.

5) Fab Morvan, the only surviving member of Grammy Award-winning duo Milli Vanilli, will perform at the Knights' national title celebration Monday.

6) Tommy Tuberville, who coached 2004 unbeaten national champion Auburn, will serve as the parade's grand marshal along with Tommy Bowden, who coached 1998 unbeaten national champ Tulane.

7) To commemorate the national title season, the Star Spangled Banner at UCF's 2018 home opener will be performed by The Pretenders.

8) Pre-production has begun on an alt-reality series featuring the Knights.

9) The renderings for UCF's lazy river, part of a multi-million-dollar upgrade to the school's athletics facilities, are being re-drafted to honor the Knights' national championship football team. The attraction now will include a floating smoothie bar called Fantasy Island.

10) George O'Leary quietly contemplates adding "Coach, 2017 national championship team" to his resume.

Times staff writers Martin Fennelly and Traci Johnson contributed to this report.

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