Central Florida will be recognized for its undefeated season at the Pro Bowl.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, UCF players have been “invited to walk out on the field for a celebration after the first quarter” of Sunday’s game at Camping World Stadium in Orlando.
“When we thought about UCF and the amazing season they had going undefeated and their bowl game win, we thought there was really no better way, especially in the city of Orlando, to do something for that college celebration of football than to honor the UCF team in stadium on Sunday,” NFL director of events strategy Matt Shapiro told the Sentinel.
The league hopes honoring UCF can create some additional buzz for the Pro Bowl, which is in its second season in Orlando after 35 of the previous 37 were played in Hawaii.
The Knights won’t be introduced as the national champions, but the NFL still felt like UCF, which finished the year 13-0 with a Peach Bowl win over Auburn, was worthy of some additional recognition.
The school has not been shy in declaring itself the 2017 national champion and has celebrated accordingly. There was even a parade at Disney World. A banner at Spectrum Stadium is coming, too.
— Roger Simmons (@RogerSimmons) January 22, 2018
UCF athletic director Danny White explained earlier this month why they are going all out.
“We feel strongly that our football team is a national champion. In looking at research and what’s happened across college football through the years, there’s tons of examples whether there’s a dispute on one or two or three teams, even four teams in some years. They feel like they have claim to a national championship,” White said. “But I don’t know how you don’t call this team national champions when they went undefeated and in the last game of the year they beat the team that beat both the teams competing in the CFP championship.”
Per the Sentinel, Sunday will “likely” be the final time the 2017 season is celebrated. With head coach Scott Frost off to Nebraska, the Knights will move forward to 2018 with former Missouri offensive coordinator Josh Heupel running the program.
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