The UCF Is National Champions Gimmick Needs To Stop

UCF capped off their undefeated season with a win over Auburn in the Peach Bowl and claimed to be “undefeated National Champions.” At first, it was funny and lighthearted that UCF claimed to be National Champions and held their own block party before the real championship on Monday.

And then UCF paid their coaches a national championship bonus.

Okay still a bit cool. Nice to see they’re rewarding their coaches for a great season. And then Governor Rick Scott stepped in.

And now they’re releasing shirts too because why not try to profit off of this?

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Little bit too far — undisputed? Not quite. The Alabama team we saw against Clemson & Georgia absolutely wipes the floor with Scott Frost’s Knights. This was funny and lighthearted to start with but now is entering the territory of insufferable. The 2017 UCF Knights were likeable and a nice underdog story — and now they’re doing everything possible to ruin it. I don’t know what UCF diehards are running to buy these shirts but if you do, you’re a joke and so is this program.

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Josh Rosen & Sam Darnold Both Declare for the NFL Draft

The California QBs that were touted as top picks before the season have both officially made their statements and declared for the draft within 1 hour of each other. Rosen, the UCLA product, made his statement on twitter first — followed up by USC’s QB Darnold doing the same but on Instagram.

There obviously was talk of both of them not wanting to go to the Browns because of the state of the franchise and I’m not going to get in depth in their abilities because Danny did so here. However, these two were selected as pre-season favorites to go early in the draft for a reason. Both slumped a little during their seasons and the records aren’t exactly eye-opening, but they both managed to have solid seasons.

If I had to choose one? And I’m sure Cleveland or the Giants will select a QB, if not both — I’m going Rosen. USC QBs never really pan out well  in the NFL(see: Leinart, Barkley, Sanchez, Kessler). I’d be shocked if the Browns went Darnold here as I feel even Josh Allen is a better prospect than him.

Either way, it is now official and the Browns are on the clock — let’s see if Rosen can be the game-changer to turn a franchise around.

UCF Completes Their Perfect Season and Beats Auburn

Two years ago, the UFC Knights were 0-12. Coach Scott Frost was hired and they are now crowned Peach Bowl champions after finishing a perfect season with a 34-27 win over Auburn. The American conference champions weren’t given a shot at the playoffs despite their perfect season, which is fine — the best opponent they played all season was Memphis. They came to play against Auburn though, who beat both Alabama & Georgia and came through with a victory.

“It was the right thing to do to come coach these guys,” Frost said, holding the game ball. “I’m not happy for me. I’m so happy for these guys.”

Frost, who has been confirmed as the next Nebraska coach, agreed with UCF to coach the last game and what an amazing way to go out. QB McKenzie Milton led the way with 242 yds and 2 TDs through the air. Though not outstandingly efficient, he added 116 yds and 1 TD on the ground which was huge for the Knights. Auburn almost was able to send it to overtime but a game-ending interception (set to Titanic music below) clinched it for UCF.

Frost was quoted after the game as saying “it wasn’t right” for UCF to not be even mentioned in the playoff talk.

This is going to be the problem with college football is that nobody knows what to do with these teams that aren’t in the power 5 conferences. Would UCF have beaten any of the top 4 teams? It’s hard to say — did they deserve a shot? Well they just proved themselves on a pretty big stage. Obviously UCF will have a drop-off next year without coach Frost but I think something needs to be done to let these little schools have a chance at the big title. I’m sure the Knights are happy with their win and will enjoy being the only undefeated team in the playoff era but it would have been awesome to see if they would have been able to compete for a national title. Could be time for an 8 team playoff already.

 

PS – The Auburn pile-driver was my favorite thing from this season.

 

Saquon Barkley Declares For The Draft

 

Penn State’s superstar running back Saquon Barkley is officially forgoing his senior year and has declared for the 2018 NFL Draft. He announced it through a post on his instagram

 

The pre-season favorite for the Heisman trophy started off the season in fire and helped lead Penn State make it all the way up to #2 before they ended up hitting a slight slump. Though they hung around, they were never in the playoff hunt and teams started to zero in on Barkley. He did have one of the better bowl performances of the year in Penn State’s 35-28 Fiesta Bowl win over Washington in which he had 137 yards and 2 TDs including a real casual 91 yard TD — ending his season total at 1,271 yards and 18 TDs.

He ended his Penn State career with 3,843 rushing yards which was just 90 yards shy of the Penn State record. He won’t care though as this was absolutely the right decision.

Barkley is a game-changer and an electric player who can run and catch. He’s top 2 on both Mel Kiper and Todd McShay’s board and I have to imagine he doesn’t make it out of the top 5.

The Colts pick third and GM Jim Irsay said that they might look to take a running back early — which makes sense with Frank Gore being as old as dirt. I think they like Mack but it’s hard to pass up on Barkley. It’d be interesting to see him paired up with a healthy Luck and a competent coach (if they get one). The Giants, who haven’t had a solid running back in forever, would also be an intriguing landing spot at #2 if they don’t decide to take a QB. Lots of intrigue this draft but this kid is absolutely going to be a stud.

Lane Kiffin Signs Ten-Year Extension with Florida Atlantic

What is coming off as a surprise to most people, Lane Kiffin has extended his contract with Florida Atlantic to stick around for another ten whole years. While he most likely won’t stay for the entire time, this type of deal should not be taken lightly. When he left for FAU, most people were under the impression that he would stick around for a couple of years, and then head back to a Power Five Conference. That does not seem to be the case.

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Already a potent offense before his arrival, FAU has an opportunity here to make a true impact on the College Football landscape. Since his arrival to FAU, out-of-state applications for the university have gone up by 35%, which just goes to show you that not only will Lane bring in more talent for the football team, but more brand recognition for the school.

FAU absolutely demolished Akron the other night in the Boca Raton Bowl. Many people criticized Lane when they went for two up 31 points in the third quarter. Kiffin fired back by saying an Akron athletics official was talking trash before the game, and that it was “his bad”. Absolutely love the move. Akron never stood a chance, so not too sure why one of their athletic officials would think that’s a good idea.

I am very curious to see what type of recruiting class Lane can bring in for the upcoming years. Do we have a new best team within the state of Florida? Only time will tell. If you haven’t already, it’s time to hop aboard the Lane Train.

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