Never been a fan of the double standard.
It avoids the truth, creates confusion and, ultimately, just ticks off everyone – including the source applying the double standard.
Which brings us to the University of Central Florida football team, otherwise known as that ungodly annoying bane of existence to all things and people beholden to the almighty Power 5 alignment in the college game’s top level the last 13 months or so.
All because the Knights had the audacity to say, hey, look at us, we’re pretty good.
Oh, the nerve. Those peons. Don’t they know their place?
Apparently not. The process of winning 25 games in a row, regardless of quality of competition, tends to give those involved a little confidence.
Here’s the thing, though, why did that bother the elitist among the nation’s gridiron landscape?
If UCF were so inferior, there really was no point to get so upset. If the Knights had been given the shot they so desperately wanted to prove themselves, it stands to reason they would have been put in their place.
As things turned out, despite the narrative being put out there, were they … really?
While the excuses and rationales pour in for the likes of playoff wannabes Ohio State and Georgia, reaffirming that those two “deserved” to be in the final four, the sharks have only been too happy to dive in for the kill on UCF.
Major, MAJOR double standard, people.
Look, not gonna get any argument from me that this UCF team had some holes in it. That it may have struggled with a tougher schedule, perhaps not extended that string of success so long – this season.
Last season? No. Those Knights were legit. Their conference was stronger. Their head coach was better. Their star player performed at a higher level, and was healthier. They even played a more accomplished team in a New Year’s Day bowl than this season and won – FYI, in a physical sense, too.
Take note all those pointing out missing players from the Power 5 rosters this bowl season – the best player not on the field this postseason has been UCF quarterback McKenzie Milton. Bar none.
No one had a bigger impact on his team’s success, or, frankly, as Tuesday’s Fiesta Bowl loss to LSU showed, lack of it.
Yet, never heard that mentioned. Not once.
Meanwhile, let’s see, Georgia has been getting passes for not one, not two, but three losses – including one itself to LSU, and another New Year’s night in the Sugar Bowl to four-loss Texas, in convincing fashion, mind you.
Oh, what’s that, Georgia was down emotionally because it wasn’t in the playoff? Hmmm, funny, Never heard that come up as an explanation for UCF’s subpar performance.
Ohio State? Stop. A team loses by 29 to a squad that even UCF haters (or, really, non-Power 5 haters) couldn’t fabricate into being better than the Knights has no business being in the playoff, instead of UCF … or Notre Dame or Oklahoma, who, by the way, were good selections, going off the regular season.
Reality check: There are only two elite programs in the country right now – Alabama and Clemson. Everyone else proclaiming to be “right there” is just blowing smoke. There is LAAAARGE gap between those two and the rest of the country.
Too many get wrapped up in one game’s outcome. It’s why the Ohio State domination of disheveled Michigan had people completely ignoring a season that saw the Buckeyes, in addition to the pounding suffered at the hands of the Boilermakers, escape four-loss Penn State as one-point victors only due to James Franklin’s coaching hiccups, barely beat four-win Nebraska and slip outta five-win Maryland with a one-point decision in overtime.
That Washington team OSU beat in the Rose Bowl, that was loss No. 4 on the season for the Huskies.
The reality is, Alabama or Clemson could have lost a game this season … and they’d still easily be the best programs in the country, because they’ve been 1-2 since 2015. This is nothing new. They are dominant – for the long haul. With the two best head coaches in the country.
Heck, Alabama has been tops since 2009, winning five national titles in the process.
UCF, thus far, has been a two-year head-turner. It doesn’t have the history, or depth, to its program that others do. But Clemson was, and still often is, viewed the same way. Why? The double standard-beholden among us have no clue that since Georgia last won a national title in 1980, Clemson has won two.
That’s right. Not one, TWO … and is playing for a third this coming Monday night.
Truth be told, it could be playing for a fourth, as it outplayed Alabama back in the 2016 title game only to see the Tide pull out a 45-40 victory.
Georgia’s “almost” win in last year’s title contest – gee, ya think ’Bama bumping heads with Clemson in a semifinal had anything to do with the Tide being susceptible in that championship?
Yo, start looking at the whole picture out there, and don’t be dismissing UCF off one game … when you haven’t watched another damn game involving the Knights all season, or last season.
Otherwise, you’re everything you claim UCF to be – a fraud.
Don’t worry, though, the Knights may be fading.
Of course, you got the next "UCF" non-Power 5 wonder brewing in the Far West.
Oh, yeah. Say hello to Fresno State, which won 12 games this season and has the same coach in Jeff Tedford who managed to put together two future NFL Hall of Famers (Aaron Rodgers and Marshawn Lynch) and Pro Bowler (Justin Forsett) in the same backfield at California once upon a time. Hint: Tedford can recognize talent others do not (Rodgers was a no-name recruit) and convince prime-time talent (Lynch was the nation's No. 2-ranked running back coming out of high school) to join him.
Better bone up on those double standards. Might be in for a long run with those Bulldogs.
To be safe, save a few for Army, too.