The University of Central Florida’s unbeaten season and subsequent talk of being snubbed from college football’s playoff shifted to the political arena Monday.
Governor Rick Scott proclaimed UCF as national champions in Florida following that 13-0 season where the Knights defeated Auburn, the only team to defeat Georgia or Alabama — the two teams playing in Monday night’s national championship game — in last week’s Peach Bowl.
Based on Gov. Scott’s view that Florida is home to the country’s best college football with 11 national titles between Florida, Florida State and Miami, in addition to UCF winning the American Athletic Conference title, completing the NCAA’s lone unbeaten season this year and how Auburn defeated both national title game opponents, the proclamation was issued.
“Florida is home to the country’s best college football, and this season, UCF proved to the world that they can beat any team,” Scott said in a press release. “By having a perfect season and beating the only team that defeated both Alabama and Georgia this season, the UCF Knights are clearly champions. I wish both teams good luck (Monday) in Atlanta. Charge On.”
UCF’s football team’s Twitter account was changed to say “2017 National Champions,” and they were treated to a parade at Orlando’s Walt Disney World on Sunday.
Former UCF quarterback Blake Bortles, who led the Jacksonville Jaguars to a playoff victory Sunday, answered a reporter’s question about his alma mater’s victory in the Peach Bowl emphatically.
“National champs,” Bortles said.
Scott’s full proclamation is below:
WHEREAS, Florida is home to the country’s best college football, having claimed 11 national championships between the University of Florida, the University of Miami and Florida State University; and
WHEREAS, the University of Central Florida (UCF) Knights won the American Athletic Conference Championship by beating the Memphis Tigers, 62-55, on December 2, 2017; and
WHEREAS, on January 1, 2018, the UCF Knights completed an undefeated football season by beating the Auburn Tigers in the Peach Bowl, 34-27; and
WHEREAS, the UCF Knights are the only undefeated team in NCAA Division I football this season; and
WHEREAS, on November 11, 2017, the Auburn Tigers, who lost to the UCF Knights, beat the Georgia Bulldogs, 40-17; and
WHEREAS, on November 25, 2017, the Auburn Tigers, who lost to the UCF Knights, beat the Alabama Crimson Tide, 26-14; and
WHEREAS, the College Football Playoff final on Monday, January 8, 2018, is between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Georgia Bulldogs, who both lost to the Auburn Tigers, who lost to the UCF Knights;
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.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of Florida to be affixed at Tallahassee, the Capital, this 8th day of January, in the year two thousand eighteen.
Governor Rick Scott