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UCF Is Really A National Champ in Football!

Taking a break from politics:  Everybody probably knows I am an Alabama alum (Law 1983) and I root hard for the Crimson Tide.

But I started to follow last year the University of Central Florida Knights – they ended up undefeated with a magnificent win in the regular season over their cross-state rival U South Florida (they traded leads and the outcome was not certain until the end!), then won their conference championship over Memphis in OT (62-55!) and then finally, in a huge upset, defeated Auburn in the Sugar Bowl.  I also thought their colors and symbol were neat.

So the UCF Athletic Director, Danny White, “declared” the Florida college to be the national champion!  They gave out rings, placed the feat on their stadium wall, and you can buy national championship gear.  A group of Knights fans bought a billboard deep in enemy territory:  TuscaloosaSome thought the school went too far!  I think it’s gutsy and a commentary on the unfair (in my view) exclusion from the Playoff.

But financially it was a brilliant move!

According to a study UCF commissioned, its undefeated season was worth $200 million to the university in equivalent advertising exposure. UCF has sold more than 8,000 new season tickets this year, more than double the new-sales total from a year ago. In addition, the school added seven more field cabanas in the north end zone at Spectrum Stadium. All 15 loge cabanas have sold out.

And UCF is ranked this season in the preseason polls (I think 21 and 23)!

Well, sometimes, not often enough in bigtime sports, but sometimes the underdog has the last laugh.  And UCF is about to laugh hard!  For the NCAA record book lists TWO National champs for 2017 (The NCAA does not recognize a formal championship in football due to the playoff being outside the NCAA system) and one of them is the Knights!  Here’s two stories about this feat!

Something called the Colley Matrix declared by a tiny margin the Knights number one and the NCAA includes that rating as an authoritative in their record book (pg 115, apparently!) here is the number one and number two teams in 2017 according to Colley:

1. UCF     0.975472 13-0 0.548621: 49 3 5 W: #13 Auburn
2. Alabama     0.969225 13-1 0.607685: 16 4 7 W: #4 Georgia

So have the laugh, UCF.  You did it!  I plan to continue to root for the Knights in most every game except one:  Against Alabama.  I am not sure what I’ll do in that game…

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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