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Alabama’s Win Helps UCF’s National Championship Claim

The Crimson Tide may have won the playoff, but who’s more worthy to be called champions?

Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl - Auburn v Central Florida Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Yo, Bama, I’m really happy for you and I’mma let you finish, but UCF had one of the best seasons of all time. In all seriousness, congratulations to the University of Alabama for overcoming adversity and winning what seems like their 100th National Championship. With that being said, this was the worst scenario possible for the college football elites as it gives UCF the most legitimate claim for a share of the title and discredits the validity of the current playoff system.

The math is really simple here. Alabama’s only loss came to Auburn, Auburn lost to UCF and UCF finished undefeated. Check out the team comparison below and let me know who you think deserves to be called National Champions.

UCF vs. Alabama

Team Record Wins against opponents with 10+ wins Wins against AP Top-25 Avg. opponent record PPG Margin of victory
Team Record Wins against opponents with 10+ wins Wins against AP Top-25 Avg. opponent record PPG Margin of victory
UCF 13-0 4 4 7.0-5.6 46.2 +21.5
Alabama 13-1 3 4 7.7-5.2 35.6 +22.8

The Knights have more wins against 10+ win teams, the same number of wins against the AP Top-25 and a comparable average opponent record within 0.7 wins. The two biggest things that separate UCF from Alabama in my opinion are that UCF won their conference and UCF didn’t lose to Auburn or to anyone at all. These facts were enough for 4 AP voters to put UCF at no. 1 in the final rankings.

Despite the 4 no. 1 votes, the Knights were only able to climb to no. 6 in the AP Poll. That’s the lowest final ranking out of the 6 G5 teams to finish undefeated since 2000. There’s no doubt that the current system in place is worse for G5 teams than the BCS era.

To receive 4 no. 1 votes though is a huge accomplishment and a testament to the conversation UCF’s season has started. We’re still waiting for polls like Colley Matrix and Anderson/Hester to release their final rankings. If one of them ranks UCF no. 1, their National Championship campaign will go beyond self-proclamation.

UPDATE (Jan 9, 2018, 8:50pm EST)

The official final Colley Matrix ranking has been released ranking UCF no. 1 ahead of Alabama. For those who don’t know, the Colley Matrix ranking was a part of the BCS formula and is recognized by the NCAA as an official selector (page 108 of


Who’s your National Champion?

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  • 84%
    (389 votes)
  • 15%
    (70 votes)
459 votes total Vote Now