Even though the National Championship game is being played between Georgia and Alabama on Monday night, the undefeated University of Central Florida football team is still acting like the national champions they believe they should be. Ever since UCF defeated Auburn in the Peach Bowl, the school’s athletic director Danny White (not to mention the team’s many fans) has been insisting that UCF should be the national champions.
Now Florida Gov. Rick Scott is getting in on the fun. On Monday, Scott issued a proclamation declaring UCF the national champions.
By order of Florida Gov. Rick Scott, UCF is the national champions (in Florida). Really. pic.twitter.com/5X7WjRCe9P
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) January 8, 2018
The proclamation gives plenty of supporting evidence as to why UCF should be the national champions — they’re the only undefeated team in Division I, they beat Auburn in the Peach Bowl, and since Auburn beat both Alabama and Georgia, the title should belong to UCF. It’s not unconvincing, but the kicker is in the final paragraph:
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Scott, Governor of the State of Florida, do hereby proclaim that the UCF Knights are this season’s best college football team and will be recognized as the 2017 College Football National Champions in Florida.
UCF is football’s national champion in Florida and Florida only. When you step outside of Florida’s borders, the national champion will be whoever wins Monday’s national title game. Inside? It’s UCF all the way.
Scott’s proclamation (which is not a legal document and in no way affects the actual national championship) is just the latest development in the ongoing UCF-thinks-they-should-be-national-champions saga. The UCF coaches got national championship bonuses after beating Auburn in the Peach Bowl (which was not the national title game). The school has been selling UCF-branded national championship gear and has even put a national champions banner up in their stadium. And on Sunday, the team celebrated their undefeated season (and imaginary national title) with a parade at Disney World.
Jimmy Patronis, Florida’s chief financial officer, has invited the team to the state Capitol to celebrate their season. It’s no trip to the White House, but considering that UCF isn’t actually the national champions and aren’t playing in the national title game, it’s not bad at all.
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