A few months ago, there was a huge discussion about whether or not the UCF Knights should have been included in the College Football Playoffs. The Knights, who complete their first undefeated season in school history are calling themselves the national champions. Their fans have been going back and forth with Alabama Crimson Tide fans over who the real champion is. Even with what we saw this season from the Knights, Florida State head coach Willie Taggart doesn’t think things will change. During an interview with Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel, Taggart said that Non Power Five teams will never play for a national title.
“No,” said Taggart, the former head coach at USF, when I asked him the question in a recent interview. “Not the way the system is now. It’s all about strength of schedule. We don’t want it to be that way, but that’s the way it is and I don’t see that changing.”
“With the system the way it is now,” Taggart said, “if you’re a Power 5 school, those non-conference games you play need to be against other Power 5 schools and you need to win them all to have a chance to get into the playoff.”
Taggart, who coached at USF knows just how hard it starting to get for non power five teams to schedule games against the elites. Strength of schedule is one of the many reason why this is starting to happen. The playoff committee looks down on teams who don’t play power five teams in non conference play. For schools like UCF and USF, the only thing they can hope that one of the power five conferences expand and add them. If they doesn’t happen, seasons like the Knights will always have us wondering “what if”.