Have some pity for Paul Finebaum and the rest of the special little snowflake apologists for the SEC (Sprinkle Encrusted Cupcake) Invitational Football Tournament. Every argument they and the College Football Playoff Committee have made for excluding UCF is simply a cowardly deflection from their own insecurities and inadequacies.
Witness as I deftly emasculate, eviscerate, immolate, humiliate, eliminate, and de-legitimize all their arguments one by one. And in the end, I'll also reveal the REAL reason UCF was not ranked higher by the CFP Committee.
They say UCF didn't play anybody
For the record: UCF is now 3-0 in its last 3 games against Alabama, Georgia, and Auburn. And all three of those teams are too scared to schedule Home-and-Home series with UCF to prove those wins were flukes. Until they do, we will continue to humiliate those little Sprinkle Encrusted Cupcake teams and their precious pitiful little fanbases with one simple word: SCOREBOARD!
They say UCF's conference is weak
For the record: Auburn had a month to prepare for the Peach Bowl and allowed a season-high 34 points against the best team they faced all season. The SEC West Champion also scored only 27 points, well below their season average.
By contrast, AAC (American Athletic Conference) opponents Navy and SMU held UCF’s top-scoring offense to 31 points, proving those defenses are superior to Auburn’s. And fellow AAC opponents USF (42 points) and Memphis (55 points), along with FCS Austin-Peay (33 points), all scored more against UCF, proving those offenses are superior to Auburn’s.
So there are five teams on UCF’s 2017 regular season schedule that were better than Auburn based on their performance against a common opponent. That’s the only valid way to measure a team’s strength. The more you know...
Finally, they say it doesn’t profit them to play UCF
I know tens of thousands of Alabama, Georgia and Auburn fans live in the Orlando area and would love to see their team play here live. Miami fans have shown up in droves when the Canes played in Orlando. South Carolina fans showed up in the thousands when they played in Orlando. Surely the fans who went to school at Alabama, Georgia, and Auburn would show up and cheer loudly to support their traveling team. Alumni Chapters from those schools would love to host all kinds of events for traveling support staff and visiting fans.
Heck, with the right deal I bet Florida Citrus Sports would pay all the travel costs for those SEC teams and host the Orlando games at Camping World Stadium to let more fans enjoy the game. UCF could get their normal home game revenue guaranteed, the visitors could get a free trip (and perhaps local attractions would throw in passes for players the day after the game), and the City of Orlando could make money on the game as well.
The Athletic Departments of those schools could ask their fans to buy through the university ticket office and sell add-on packages of logo clothing and other commemorative merchandise for a healthy profit.
It would also be a great recruiting trip to the heart of Florida as well. Poach some talented Florida kids considering Miami, FSU, and the Gators on the trip. And maybe even try to flip some UCF verbal commits.
Me 3, Apologists 0: Scoreboard
There you have it: indisputable proof that SEC fans have made exactly zero valid arguments for why UCF deserved to be kept outside the playoffs. Now for my honest assessment: would UCF beat Auburn, Alabama, and Georgia all in consecutive games, or even all three in the same season? That I don’t pretend to know—because the CFP Committee didn’t give UCF a chance to test if they could.
And now... the real reason
All of the fans have been duped to believe that the "CFP" system would resolve all the arguments about the better team. College football bowl games were started as a way of making money for areas that don't have high profile college football teams, and that tradition has simply grown into a multi-billion dollar annual cash cow--if you can get the most popular matchup.
ESPN pushed for a playoff and is sometimes cited as developing the four-team arrangement. ESPN is also owned by Walt Disney Co., which is a very conservative (financially) company that only likes making safe bets. That's why they buy brands like ESPN, Star Wars, and Pixar. They want us to think they are in the entertainment business, but they are really in the money printing business.
And in college football, there's no more certain way to print money than to have an exhibition game between teams that have played football for over 100 years and have nationwide followings. If you limit your playoffs to four teams and you only consider the top ten teams or so to be those who have been around a long time and are affiliated with traditional football conferences, then you guarantee yourself to make a lot of money when your invitational tournament championship game is played.
And it works.
Of course, the most important game of New Year's Day to me was the Peach Bowl--because my alma mater was playing. But you know my DVR was also recording the Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl because those games are compelling matchups--worthy matchups or not, they are compelling. And despite what my fellow UCF fans may do, my TV will be on the big Bama vs. Georgia game next Monday night because that is an entertaining matchup. Sure, it's a meaningless exhibition game for an invitational tournament trophy, but it's still going to be entertaining to watch.
After all, what's the best possible dessert for the full meal that was the 2017 college football season than a pair of sprinkle-topped cupcakes?