Well, if we’re all going to start claiming titles now …

Central Florida is taking things into their own hands concerning the national championship in football.

They are hanging their own “National Champions” banner and declaring themselves the top team in the world of college football.

UCF athletic director Danny White said Wednesday the program has decided to claim a national championship and will place a championship banner inside Spectrum Stadium to recognize its undefeated 2017 season.

The Knights beat Auburn 34-27 in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl to cap a 13-0 season, finishing as the only undefeated team in college football.

But because UCF doesn’t play in a Power 5 conference, it entered the bowl game ranked No. 12 by the College Football Playoff selection committee and was not given an opportunity to play for the national championship.

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White told ESPN Radio’s Dan Le Batard on Tuesday that the school is planning a parade for the team. He initially told Orlando radio station 96.9 The Game about plans for the banner.

“If you take the long view of the history of college football, there’s an awful lot of national championships being claimed by universities that didn’t accomplish what we accomplished this year in those respective seasons, so we feel we’re more than justified to claim our first national championship, and we think it’ll be the first of many,” White told ESPN.

“I don’t think our kids should be penalized because we weren’t respected by the College Football Playoff committee, nor should our program be penalized because we weren’t around 20 or 30 years ago when people were claiming national championships left and right. We’re trying to build our program and we feel very strongly as the only undefeated team and having beat Auburn, who beat both teams competing for the national championship, that we have an extremely sound case to claim the crown.”

Maybe Arkansas should just claim a national title for 1977, too. For those too young to remember, the Razorbacks had lost only to No. 1 Texas, 13-7, in October, then ran the table, went to the Orange Bowl and beat No. 2 Oklahoma, 31-6.

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The winner in the wire service polls that year was Notre Dame after the Irish beat Texas in the Cotton Bowl and jumped all the way from fifth to No. 1, leapfrogging No. 3 Alabama, who beat Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl.

That left a bunch of teams with one loss for the season and Notre Dame took the top spot followed by Alabama and Arkansas, then Texas.

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Based on what Central Florida is doing (and what Oklahoma State did recently awarding itself a national championship from the 1940’s or something), then the Hogs might as well give themselves one for that magical 1977 season.


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