CFP Exec Dir Bill Hancock Defends Selection Committee Leaving Out Undefeated UCF
CFP Exec Dir Bill Hancock "stood behind the selection committee's reasoning" for ranking UCF No. 12 at the end of the season despite the school being the only undefeated team in FBS, according to Heather Dinich of ESPN.com. Hancock: "UCF is an excellent team, but you still have to take into account who each team played and defeated during the regular season." When asked if he had any regrets about the committee's final ranking, CFP selection committee Chair Kirby Hocutt said, "No, absolutely not." Hancock said of title game participants Georgia and Alabama, "The CFP is all about teams, not conferences. And these are two really great teams coming off landmark semifinals victories over tremendous opponents." Hancock also said that there was "no talk about expansion" of the CFP field (ESPN.com, 1/2). ESPN’s Pablo Torre said if UCF’s legacy is to be the team that "finally pushed us toward an expanded playoff, I am in favor of that legacy.” L.A. Times columnist Bill Plaschke said, "This will push us ultimately to the eight-team playoff" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 1/2).
TOUGH CHOICES: ESPN’s Jemele Hill said of UCF not being in the CFP, "It’s a tough choice. Sometimes you have to make them. I don't hate the SEC, but the SEC gets the benefit of the doubt." ESPN’s Michael Smith said of excluding UCF, “You know what it proves? … That nobody knows anything, least of all the committee. It goes to show when UCF was (ranked) at twelve and in the teens all this time, they had no idea who was good enough to beat somebody else. So this is a statement that no matter how far you expand, you may not get the best teams" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 1/2). ESPN's LZ Granderson said he was "upset" about schools like UCF not making the CFP, "because there's no route whatsoever for them to get even in the conversation because of their strength of schedule" ("SportsNation," ESPN, 1/2). ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan said this is "still the good-old-boy big conference network, this is still the good-ole-boy college national championship and that’s just the truth of it” ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 1/2). ESPN’s Dan Le Batard said UCF "didn’t get a legitimate chance." Le Batard: "In sports, you should be offended by that." ESPN’s Domonique Foxworth: “What happened to UCF is unfair, but you’re choosing between two pretty unfair options. Of all the four teams that got in, someone has to come out to make room for UCF and I'm not sure that I can pick a team." Foxworth: “We all hated the BCS because it was a computer and it was annoying. But now we have people and people show bias and I don't think the committee wants to be responsible for putting a team in that has the potential of getting blown out. They don’t want to be embarrassed" (Highly Questionable, ESPN, 1/2).
UNCROWNED CHAMPS? UCF AD Danny White yesterday on ESPN Radio's "The Dan Le Batard Show" said that the school is "expected to announce plans for a parade" to celebrate the season. In Birmingham, Creg Stephensen noted White "wasn't arguing" that UCF should be included in the CFP this year necessarily, but that its accomplishment "should be recognized as national-championship-worthy" (AL.com, 1/2). In Orlando, Mike Bianchi writes, "We now present to you the real college football national champions -- the UCF Knights." Bianchi: "Who cares what the College Football Playoff cartel, er, committee says? All they are is a kangaroo court for college football’s privileged and powerful who have somehow convinced the American public that there is a legitimate playoff going on that excludes the nation’s only unbeaten team." AAC Commissioner Mike Aresco said, "In our eyes and our minds, they are national champions" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 1/3).