Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby is not on board the UCF hype train.
Speaking with ESPN’s Heather Dinich, Bowlsby said UCF’s 13-0 season should not be enough to spark talks for expanding the College Football Playoff, and that the American Athletic Conference is so far below the Power 5 that it shouldn’t even merit too much consideration.
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby told me he’s not ready for any serious talks about expanding the playoff, and that the current 4-team CFP is fair to undefeated UCF because the Knights likely wouldn’t be undefeated if they played a Power 5 conference schedule. “It’s fair because playing in the American Athletic is not the same as playing in the Big Ten or the SEC or the Big 12, it’s just not. They have some big games, but they don’t have an Iowa State who can beat a second-ranked Oklahoma. The depth of those leagues and the quality at the top, getting ready for one game against Auburn, that’s a lot different than playing Auburn every week. … TCU, if TCU and UCF played 10 times, I defy anybody to convince me that UCF would win the majority of the games. Of course I’ve only been looking at it for 35 years.”
Bowlsby does have a point here, in that UCF’s schedule doesn’t compete with that of most Power 5 teams. That said, this is also a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy in some way; Power 5 teams have little reason to risk playing a team like UCF, meaning that Group of 5 schools that can be competitive will have a hard time beefing up their out-of-conference schedule.
Of course, that’s not stopping UCF from claiming victory with what they were able to accomplish this year. UCF athletic director Danny White said that the school is planning a “national championship” parade and will hang a banner in honor of the season.