From CF News...
Among current American Athletic Conference programs, USF beat Georgia Tech and Illinois in back-to-back weeks early last season, and as part of the Big East, famously made the cover of Sports Illustrated – pour one out; sky point to SI – back in 2007 after beating Auburn and North Carolina and West Virginia in back-to-back-to-back games.
2014 East Carolina took out Virginia Tech and North Carolina in a two-week span, and in 2016, Houston destroyed Baker Mayfield and Oklahoma to start the season, and rolled Lamar Jackson and Louisville later on.
Since becoming an FBS program back in 1996, UCF has played Power Five programs in back-to-back weeks 14 times – if you include the old Big East as a major conference back in the day, and including one run of four straight games against P5ers as two. How many times has the program come up with two straight wins over the big boys?
How many times has UCF beaten two Power Five schools in the same regular season?
With this loss to Pitt, what is UCF’s all-time regular season record vs. Power Five and Big East schools?
So, you’re trying to figure out your perception problem, UCF? Winning seven Power Five games in one regular season doesn’t even get you a College Football Playoff can cozy, and you haven’t won more than that in almost 23 seasons.
And that’s why the loss to Pitt was so devastating. It didn’t matter that the Knights lost in a thriller – and it wouldn’t have mattered to the College Football Playoff committee if UCF won by 50 – but the loss is the entire point of why the program isn’t on the CFP philosophical or theoretical radar.
Worse yet, it was against Pitt. You know, amazing uniforms, suspect defensive scheme that leaves its corners out to dry, probably won’t go bowling this year, bad food, worse weather … Pitt.
It’s not like UCF lost late to Ohio State, or LSU, or Oregon.
Yeah, UCF can absolutely hang with or beat anyone in a one game shot – the program really is that good now – but no one’s arguing that. Beat Stanford, and then beat Pitt on the road, and then beat more teams with Power Five talent over and over and over again.
Don’t you see? This is a beauty contest, and to have any shot to make a reasonable case to be included in the judging, UCF couldn’t have stumbled in the swimsuit competition.
THIS was the chance to do it. THIS was a shot to take down two mediocre teams with ease, like any normal and decent Power Five program could and would do in back-to-back weeks.
Does this loss by 2019 UCF to Pitt mean the 2017 UCF team wouldn’t have obliterated these Cardinal and Panther teams? Of course not … again, that’s not the point.
It’s not that the system is rigged against UCF or the Group of Five programs, it’s that they’re not even in the system at all because they don’t play the biggest and best programs with Power Five talents, facilities and resources week after week after week after week.
It’s about the grind, and in this one chance to finally do something the program has never been able to do, it lost.