When it comes to football, the American Conference’s crown jewel is the University of Central Florida. The self-proclaimed National Champions have a 9-0 record this season and are ranked as the No.12 team in the country. Michael Logan and Neil Simmons debate whether or not they are worthy of the College Playoff discussion.
Michael Logan: No, they are not worthy of the discussion at all. Yes, they are undefeated, which is all well and good, but who have they actually beaten? They just got by against a mediocre Memphis team 31-30, and Navy gave them a run for their money this past weekend, but the better team came out on top 35-24. If you are a fan of the American, then you want UCF to be in the playoff, but maybe they have to strengthen their non-conference schedule before that is truly possible.
I am not saying that they are a bad team. I just think that they do a poor job of showing that they are a great team. Ranking them at 12 is fine with me, but until they put a team like Georgia, Florida or Texas on their schedule, then I just cannot take them seriously.
Neil Simmons: I think UCF deserves more credit than they get.
Staying undefeated this late into the season is no easy feat, and putting together a 22-game win streak is even harder to do. They crushed a solid Pitt team who are on course to win the ACC Coastal division and have an opportunity to get a statement win this weekend against a ranked Cincy squad.
It’s the same situation as last year when the committee consistently underestimated the Knights until the very end. They certainly shouldn’t be in the top-4 discussion, barring a string of shocking upsets, but they at least deserve to be in the top-10, especially with some teams ahead of them not playing well.
Logan: Beating a solid Pitt team doesn’t make them worthy of being a top-10 team. I can think of several teams thats are better than UCF. There is no way that they are even on the same planet as Alabama, Georgia, Clemson, Notre Dame, LSU or Ohio State. But the main problem is that we do not know where they should rank. There are too many unknowns about this team because of their lack of top-competition.
Last season, UCF beat an impressive Auburn team in the Peach Bowl. However, I am not sure that this team is as good as they were last season. And if they are, then shame on them for not scheduling tougher non-conference games.
Simmons: There are fewer unknowns about this team than you think. A majority of the core players who won that Peach Bowl are back and playing just as well, including stud QB McKenzie Milton. While last year’s results shouldn’t factor into this year’s rankings, their offense is still statistically among the best in the country and could easily hang with most Power Five teams. If they win out and beat another Power Five team in a New Year’s bowl game, what will the excuse be then?