College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock has no qualms with how UCF was ranked late in the year, even after the No. 12 Knights won the Peach Bowl to cap a perfect season.
"The selection committee respected UCF," he told ESPN's Heather Dinich on Tuesday. "After all, they're the group that put the Knights in the Peach Bowl. To qualify for the playoff, teams need to play tough schedules against good teams - that is the way for all teams to stand out and be ranked high by the committee. UCF is an excellent team, but you still have to take into account who each team played and defeated during the regular season."
UCF won all 13 contests it partook in this season, and accumulated as many wins against teams that finished in the top 15 as playoff team Alabama did - zero. However, Maryland represented the Knights' only win over a Power 5 school, whereas the Crimson Tide faced a much deeper schedule.
"It wasn't right," departing UCF coach Scott Frost said after the Knights defeated Auburn in the Peach Bowl. "I was watching (the selection show) every week, the committee sitting in a room and deciding that this two-loss team must be better than UCF because UCF is in the American, or this three-loss team must be better than UCF.
"It looked like a conscious effort to me to make sure that they didn't have a problem if they put us too high and a couple teams ahead of us lost. And oh, no, now we have to put them in a playoff? But we just beat (Auburn) that beat two playoff teams and lost to another one by six points, and we beat them by seven."
UCF is the second team from the American Athletic Conference to cap an undefeated campaign in the Peach Bowl over the last three years, joining the 2015 Houston team that beat Florida State. Neither the Knights nor the Cougars were ever seriously considered for a playoff spot.
Copyright © 2018 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.