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Can I buy you a new UCF t-shirt? No? Okay.

Posted on Friday, January 5, 2018 at 6:00 pm

Ken Jackson
Picks of the Weak

In 2008, I openly advocated the upstart University of Utah, the nation’s only undefeated college football team once the smoke from the bowl games cleared, have a claim to the national championship.

It was the last one won by the Florida Gators, so nobody around here listened to me anyway.

I’m not even wearing my black-and-gold colored glasses yet, and 11 out of 10 of you know what’s coming next.

No, I don’t think UCF should be crowned the national champion. I don’t think they’re a better team than Alabama, the nation’s best one-loss team.

But don’t blame Knights fans for celebrating a 13-0 season as they are. Two years ago they were winless, and after a year that started with a hurricane and finished with saying goodbye to its head coach and staff twice, it’s fun to talk about making “National Champions” t-shirts after accomplishing something no other FBS team did.

If you don’t like it, don’t buy the t-shirt.

It’d be nice if the champion conversation would include giving an undefeated UCF a chance to prove itself without men in suits, or fans without clues, drowning out the discussion.

UCF-Alabama or UCF-Georgia would be apples-to-apples. The Knights would be underdogs but not like when the Winnebago States of the world play Alabama. Besides, you telling me UCF wouldn’t have given Alabama a better game than overrated Clemson?

We don’t need an eight-team playoff. It would lessen the impact of a regular season that’s so fun to sweat out. It’s already happened with four teams. Remember that one-loss Alabama? That loss was in it’s most important game of the regular season, an Iron Bowl clanker against Auburn.

And it didn’t matter. The Crimson Tide stayed in the top four and are still the favorite to win it all. Again. Like Nick Saban needs any more mantle knick-knacks.

“Every game matters?” I guess the one Alabama lost doesn’t — nor do the 13 that UCF won.

After years of whining about the two-team BCS format, the best thing to do was to keep that BCS formula, add two teams and “Plus One” our way to a championship game, and use the same computer data and human polls that everyone would be able to see, digest and add up with a calculator.

Now, we have rich people from hand-picked organizations going into locked meeting rooms. They choose teams that best serve the rich people who run television networks and decades-old football conferences in order to produce a made-for-TV invitational event consisting of four football programs ESPN can sell to a national audience.

It makes me wonder how the CBS family of channels pays eleventy billion dollars to broadcast the men’s basketball tournament while allowing it to remain completely democratic based on results of games that mean the occasional Virginia Commonwealth or George Mason slide into the Final 4 or Butler can sneak into the title game.

Since this is the last football column until fall, and the rich hand-pickers have done their “job” and won’t put out any more rankings, I give you this, the Mighty News-Gazette Final Top 10 College Football Poll.

  1. and 2. Georgia and Alabama. Or Alabama. Whichever.
  2. Oklahoma
  3. Ohio State
  4. UCF
  5. Clemson (never been sold on them this year; wish Auburn won the opener)
  6. Wisconsin
  7. Penn State
  8. New England Patriots (How’d they get in there?)
  9. Auburn (I met some really classy fans in Atlanta on Monday).

And now for some playoff picks and big trophy predictions …

Tennessee at Kansas City (-8): I love Andy Reid to death, but he hasn’t won a single playoff game with the Chiefs. Titans by 3 in Big Red Curse Upset Special.

Atlanta at L.A. Rams (-6.5): After last year I’m not sure Falcons are even allowed back in a Super Bowl any time soon. Rams by 4.

Buffalo at Jacksonville (-8): Jags in the playoffs. Been awhile since we’ve even talked about that team as legit. They’d be a bloody goldfish among sharks in the playoffs … if they weren’t playing the Bills. Jags by a bunch of sacks.

Carolina at New Orleans (-6.5): I implore Drew Brees to have a big game and give us less of Cam Newtown’s act, which is always a good thing. Saints by 7.

Georgia vs. Alabama (-4.5): These two teams playing a huge college football game in Atlanta is like settling the NASCAR championship by having Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt on a North Carolina short track. Crimson Tide by 7.