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NY Times: Where's the respect for UCF, the best college team in Florida?

If you ask me, they've earned it

ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 2: A UCF Knights spirit team member waves the flag after a score in the third quarter of the ACC Championship against the Memphis Tigers at Spectrum Stadium on December 2, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 2: A UCF Knights spirit team member waves the flag after a score in the third quarter of the ACC Championship against the Memphis Tigers at Spectrum Stadium on December 2, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

ORLANDO, Fla. – "Where’s the respect?" That’s the question the New York Times asked Friday as it declared the University of Central Florida football team the “best college football team” in Florida.

That statement is hard to argue given the current state of play in the Sunshine State.

Perennial powerhouses Florida State and University of Florida have fallen on hard times as of late. Miami has shown signs of resurgence but isn’t the dominant force it once was during the '80s and '90s.

Other universities including South Florida and Florida Atlantic are showing signs of life, with promising records and big-name head coaches.

But over the last year and a half, no team in Florida has come close to the track record that UCF has compiled, including:

  • 19 straight victories leading up to Saturday’s game against East Carolina.
  • A self-proclaimed -- and later NCAA record book-supported -- national championship.
  • NFL draft picks including inspiring superstar Shaquem Griffin.

And yet – Knights fans still feel slighted.

Take this week for example. Despite a thrilling 31-30 victory over Memphis last Saturday, the Knights did not move up in either the Coaches Poll or the Associated Press Poll.

Who moved up? Notre Dame, who skirted by Pittsburgh. By the way, UCF beat Pittsburgh by 31 earlier this year.

So … where’s the respect?

Some college football “experts” argue UCF needs a tougher schedule, stacked with tougher teams from tougher conferences.

I argue – is The Citadel a tougher team from a tougher conference? That’s who the No.1 Alabama Crimson Tide faces on Nov. 17.

Is Idaho a tougher team from a tougher conference? That’s who the #11 Florida Gators face on Nov 17.

Who does UCF face on Nov. 17? #20 Cincinnati.  Undefeated currently.  The following week?  #21 South Florida. Undefeated currently, and the Bulls will be looking for revenge in Tampa after last year’s intense loss to the Knights last season.

The following week?  Possibly a shot at a second straight American Athletic Conference championship.
So… where’s the respect?  If you ask me, they’ve earned it.

Editor's note: The author, Jason Olson, is the news desk manager at News 6 and attended the University of Central Florida.  He is obviously a Knights fan.


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