Bobby Bowden on UCF: ‘As good as Florida, Florida State and Miami.’

Since losing not one, but two regular-season games, UCF detractors have crowed about it on social media.

The Knights went undefeated the past two regular seasons, winning the Peach Bowl over Auburn two years ago and losing the Fiesta Bowl to LSU last year in pushing their program into the national spotlight.

They held a parade, had championship rings made and appear in the NCAA’s official record book as national champions from that 2017-18 season.

Those things created a polarizing view from the UCF fans that defended the Knights about getting an equal shot in the perceived invitation-only College Football Playoff and those Power Five fans that thought the opposite.

Well, let’s check in with Florida State legendary coach Bobby Bowden.

Speaking with Orlando-based NBC affiliate WESH, Bowden was asked about any advice he would give UCF, which led to an interesting comparison of the Knights with the Sunshine State’s traditional Big Three comprising of Miami, Florida and Florida State.

Here’s what he said:

“I couldn’t say too much. They’ve been so darn successful, what more could you tell ’em? Every now and then, they’re going to lose one. You can only win so many so long. ... I think all of a sudden, they’ve got a program there that looks like it’s about as good as Florida, Florida State and Miami. They [may] be better than a couple of us.”

Sports reporter Jason has covered high school, college and pro sports since joining the Bradenton Herald in 2010. He’s won Florida Press Club awards for sports feature and column writing. He currently writes college and pro sports stories for the McClatchy East Region real-time team.