UCF Football: Undefeated Knights claim national title

By Alex Butler  |  Updated Jan. 3, 2018 at 10:45 PM
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Jan. 3 (UPI) -- The University of Central Florida went 13-0 in football this season and claim to be the national champions.

The only problem? The Knights failed to make the College Football Playoff cut.

"National champs," UCF athletic director Danny White said Monday, according to the UCF Football Twitter account. "Undefeated."

The UCF Knights Twitter account has "National Champions: The Only 2017 Undefeated Champion" boldly displayed as its banner photo.

University of Central Florida fans reacts during the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl NCAA football game Monday at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Photo by David Tulis/UPI

A 34-27 win against Auburn Monday in the Peach Bowl cemented the Knights' perfect run.

Associate athletic director for communications Andy Seely told USA Today that the school is giving out $300,000 to nine on-field assistants and $25,000 to the support staff as national championship bonuses.

Coach Scott Frost, who left the team for the Nebraska job, will not receive a bonus because he already reached his bonus cap, according to the Athletic.

White also said the school will have a championship parade and hang a banner at Spectrum Stadium for the title.

"We're definitely getting a banner," White told 96.9 The Game on Wednesday. "We won a national championship and we're going to treat it as such. These kids deserve that. Like other football programs do all across the country, you claim a national championship, you're the only undefeated team in a season, we're going to hang a banner."

That parade is set for 4:30 p.m. Sunday at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort.

Alabama and Georgia might have something else to say next week when they faceoff at 8 p.m. Monday in the College Football Playoff national championship game. College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock backed up the decision to omit the Knights from the playoff field in an interview with ESPN.

"The selection committee respected UCF," Hancock told ESPN. "After all, they're the group that put the Knights in the Peach Bowl. To qualify for the playoff, teams need to play tough schedules against good teams -- that is the way for all teams to stand out and be ranked high by the committee. UCF is an excellent team, but you still have to take into account who each team played and defeated during the regular season."

White told 96.9 that there is a bias when it comes to the College Football Playoff selection committee.

"I know Bill and I think Bill is a great guy and I think there is a lot of high integrity people on that committee and I think they are doing their best," White said. "But I think that there is an inherent bias that is going on that needs to be called out.

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