College Sports

Who should be the final College Football Playoff team? Here’s what school the fans chose

Saban dismisses claim that UCF shares national title with Alabama

Alabama coach Nick Saban insists that his team is the true NCAA football champion, and not UCF, who went undefeated last season. Saban added that the College Football Playoff system is "not broken."
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Alabama coach Nick Saban insists that his team is the true NCAA football champion, and not UCF, who went undefeated last season. Saban added that the College Football Playoff system is "not broken."

UCF football fans have their own hashtag on Twitter, #UCFTwitterMafia, and it’s quite a vocal group on social media.

So when ESPN conducted a poll to see who the final playoff team should be among Georgia, Oklahoma, Ohio State and UCF, the results went the Knights’ way.

Garnering 35 percent of the more than 62,800 votes, UCF topped the fans’ choice as the final playoff team to join Alabama, Clemson and Notre Dame — assuming the College Football Playoff committee considers those three programs as playoff locks regardless of what happens in Saturday’s conference title games.

UCF hasn’t always been a darling of ESPN’s commentators and analysts. However, “College GameDay” saw favorable comments about the Knights.

And winning the popularity vote of an ESPN poll shouldn’t come as a surprise due to UCF’s undergraduate population of 66,183 is the most among any college in the country, according to U.S. News and World Report.

UCF’s product on the field has been stellar, with the Knights winning 24 consecutive games during the past two seasons. That’s the longest active FBS winning streak in the nation. UCF plays Memphis in the American Athletic Conference championship this Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at Orlando’s Spectrum Stadium.

The Knights are ranked No. 8 in the latest CFP rankings with Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame, Georgia, Oklahoma, Ohio State and Michigan in front of UCF with one game remaining before the selection committee decides the four playoff teams.

Alabama has been the No. 1-ranked team throughout the season. The Crimson Tide play Georgia for the SEC Championship. Unbeaten Clemson plays Pittsburgh, a team that UCF breezed past earlier this season, for the ACC title. Notre Dame is likely a lock for the playoff after finishing its season undefeated last week.

Oklahoma and Ohio State each have one loss and play Texas and Northwestern in the Big 12 and Big Ten title games, respectively.

Michigan’s regular season ended with a blowout loss to Ohio State last weekend. The Wolverines other loss this season was to Notre Dame.

Whether the committee will feel compelled to place the Knights in the top four following this week’s slate provided they remain unbeaten and chaos happens elsewhere is anyone’s guess. But they do have the fan support as evidenced by the ESPN poll.

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