ATLANTA — Outgoing UCF coach Scott Frost believes his team deserved a shot at the College Football Playoff and that it took a “conscious effort” by the committee to keep it lower in its rankings.
UCF, which plays outside the Power 5 in the American Athletic Conference, was ranked 12th in the country entering Monday, despite going 12-0 with a conference championship.
“It wasn’t right,” said Frost, who is leaving UCF to be the coach at Nebraska, his alma mater. “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.”
“Auburn is a great team,” Frost said. “I’m not taking anything away from them. I give them a ton of credit. But these guys deserve everything they get, and they deserve more credit from the committee than what they got.”
UCF quarterback McKenzie Milton, who combined for more than 350 yards and three touchdowns against Auburn, said, “You can go ahead and cancel the playoffs; I’m not changing my mind.”
“Like Coach already told us, only thing we can keep doing is winning games, and I don’t think we have any more games left to win,” linebacker Shaquem Griffin said. “I guess to the college committee, it’s just what more can we do? We won all of them, and I just feel that we should have had an opportunity to show our talents to any and every team that wants to go against us. There’s no more teams left for us to beat.”
One possible reason for UCF missing out on the playoff was the fact that before beating Auburn, the Knights had just one win over a team ranked in the committee’s top 25 in No. 20 Memphis.