ORLANDO — As Spectrum Stadium waited for a review on a fourth quarter fumble that would eventually go UCF’s way, the crowd full of Knights fans did something really lame. Something you’re never supposed to do at a sporting event. They broke out the wave. Nobody really knows why the wave stinks, but it’s universally agreed upon that the wave should stop being attempted at large gatherings of people.
Yet, without fail, Spectrum Stadium had one going. Kirk Herbstreit, a popular punching back for the UCF faithful, incredulously said on broadcast “The wave? I haven’t seen that in…10 years?” He sounded amused because here was this annoying fanbase that’s always in his Twitter mentions screaming about the Playoff doing the wave while they dominate a good Cincinnati team. The wave is annoying. UCF fans are annoying. It’s just so fitting isn’t it?
UCF decided it had to be annoying late last season. It was the only way to properly get the attention it wanted. They were in the midst of an undefeated season where they kicked the absolute snot out of everybody on their schedule and eventually defeated Auburn in the Peach Bowl. Throughout that magical season, the College Football Playoff committee never once put UCF in the Top 10. The AP eventually put them in its Top 10 after that Peach Bowl, but as far as the Playoff committee was concerned, UCF was never in consideration.
From that point on, UCF and their fans decided it was going to be the loudest most obnoxious school in the country. You were going to hear about them whether you liked it or not and it all started with a National Championship claim. The championship claim is a point of contention among a lot of fans. I asked a Notre Dame fan that was checking out College Gameday in Orlando if he wanted to comment about UCF and the Playoff. He said he probably shouldn’t do that. When I told him that he didn’t need to say anything nice, his response was that’s because he wouldn’t have anything nice to say.
For some fans, the National Championship claim is a mockery of the sport. “How dare they!” the fans yell. Ironically enough, it’s never Alabama the actual team that won the National Championship last season, but usually a fan of a school that has never even sniffed a title that finds the title claim to be the most insulting — also because Alabama knows disputing questionable national title claims would be the ultimate throwing stones in a glass house.
Other fan bases have sympathy with UCF. Maybe it’s because they know it could happen to them one day, or it’s because underdogs in sports are fun. Either way, everybody has an opinion about UCF whether you want to or not.
“I think they got robbed.” David Rowe told UPROXX. A 49 year old Cincinnati alum, Rowe was in attendance Saturday morning for Gameday. “I think this is the biggest game of the year for them and I think if they win this game they should definitely be in the running for the Playoff. I think it needs to move to probably eight teams because UCF is 22-0 (and) they can’t help who they play. They can only beat the people in front of them. They beat everybody that’s in front of them and don’t get a chance to into the Playoff seems wrong.”