Florida Governor: ‘The UCF Knights Are Clearly Champions.’
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — UCF had a second straight day of celebrations for its undefeated season while receiving a proclamation from Florida's governor declaring the Knights national champs.
In signing the proclamation, Gov. Rick Scott said on Monday: "Florida is home to the country's best college football, and this season, UCF proved to the world that they can beat any team. By having a perfect season and beating the only team that defeated both Alabama and Georgia this season, the UCF Knights are clearly champions."
The Knights were also honored with a pep rally and block party in downtown Orlando Monday evening during the run-up to the College Football Playoff final. On Sunday, the Knights receive a parade at Walt Disney World.
The Knights (13-0) capped the only perfect season in the Football Bowl Subdivision with a 34-27 victory over Auburn in the Peach Bowl on Jan. 1. UCF feels its accomplishment in winning the American Athletic Conference championship was undervalued by the CFP selection committee, which listed the Knights 12th in the panel's final rankings.
"The stuff with the rankings we can't handle. What we could was going out and winning every week," right tackle Wyatt Miller said.
After beating Auburn, UCF athletic director Danny White said the Knights were declaring themselves national champions. The school intends to hang a championship banner at the school's stadium. In addition, the coaching staff is going to be paid bonuses for winning the self-proclaimed title.