McKenzie Milton has a trait that every great quarterback needs. Confidence.
Confidence can sometimes lead people to say and do things that only they believe are true or possible. That may be the case with Milton’s thoughts on Notre Dame.
Central Florida’s star quarterback told Bleacher Report in a story published Friday that he doesn’t believe the Irish are a better team than UCF. Both teams are undefeated. Notre Dame is No. 3 in the College Football Playoff rankings. UCF is No. 11.
“You look at the [Pitt] film against us and Notre Dame,” says Milton, UCF’s star quarterback. “You can’t tell me Notre Dame is a better team than us.”
He is asked: You don’t see a difference?
“Oh, I see a difference,” Milton says. “We’re better.”
It’s hard to get worked up about Milton’s bravado. He’s supposed to think that. His team is on a 21-game win streak and its work against Pitt is irrefutable. The Knights demolished the Panthers and Notre Dame had a tough time.
But by this principle, UCF was a better team than Alabama in 2017 because Auburn beat the Tide and UCF beat Auburn. No one outside of Orlando believes that because a season is based on more than matchups involving a common opponent.
UCF’s 45-14 win over Pitt was the Panthers’ fifth game of the season and came after a Pitt loss to awful North Carolina. A switch has flipped for Pitt since then. Pitt beat No. 12 Syracuse the week after the UCF game and is on a three-game win streak after losing 19-14 to the Irish on Oct. 13. At 5-1 in the ACC, Pitt just needs to win one of two games to make it to the ACC title game.
There’s another common opponent for the teams too. Just last week beat a 2-8 Navy team by only 11 at home. Notre Dame beat Navy on a neutral field by 22.
If the Navy and Pitt games cancel out we have to look at the rest of the season. With wins over No. 4 Michigan, Stanford, and Northwestern, Notre Dame gets the edge. UCF’s best win outside of Pitt is against Temple. Notre Dame gets the edge here.
The easiest way to find the truth about Milton’s assertion would be to have UCF and Notre Dame play each other. But we all know that’s probably not going to happen.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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