Bowden: I Don't Think UCF Deserves Playoff Chance

The 21 straight wins are nice, but Tommy Bowden doesn't think UCF "would fare very well" in a Power Five conference

The DA Show
November 13, 2018 - 12:20 pm

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No. 11 UCF (9-0) has won 21 straight games but still can’t crack the top 10, much less the top four.

Tommy Bowden doesn’t have a problem with that.

“I’ve been in that position before,” Bowden said on The DA Show. “I coached in the SEC for 11 years and at some of the dominant programs before that – at Florida State – before I became a head coach. When we went undefeated,  they asked me, ‘Do you deserve a chance to play for the national championship?’ And I said no – because of strength of schedule. That needs to be a huge part of the puzzle as you put these teams together and (rank) them. Their schedule does not merit it. The head coach there (Josh Heupel), you just do what Scott Frost did – go to Nebraska. You see that Scott Frost hasn’t mentioned very much about how high Central Florida should be rated because he’s experienced his own difficulties.”

Like playing at Michigan, at Wisconsin and at Ohio State. That probably makes playing at Memphis and at East Carolina seem a little more manageable.

“I know he knew that at Central Florida when he was there because of the experience with Nebraska back when he was playing there,” Bowden said. “I don’t think they deserve a chance simply because of strength of schedule. Will they end up playing maybe one team in the Top 25, possibly, at the end of the year?”

As of now, UCF has not played a ranked team this season. The Knights host Cincinnati (9-1) this Saturday. The Bearcats were ranked No. 20 after their 6-0 start but lost at Temple in overtime on Oct. 20.

Bowden said UCF likely wouldn’t be undefeated if it played in a Power Five conference.

“I think that’s where depth is going to really show up,” he said. “I’m sure Central Florida puts 11 quality players on the field offensively and defensively. But going back-to-back to Gainesville to Tuscaloosa to Starkville to Knoxville to Athens and you start taking a beating and then your second-teamer comes in and your third-teamer comes in and there’s tremendous drop-off. 

“That’s where the problem arises,” Bowden continued. “It’s not a one-game (scenario) where you go out and beat an Auburn in one shot. Can you do it back-to-back-to-back? Which these other teams are having to do. They’re having to sustain injuries or discipline or transfer casualties, guys leaving and going home. You do that and all of a sudden you’ve got to go to Tuscaloosa after losing somebody with an injury. It’s a different story. I don’t think they would fare very well. They have some quality players, but it’s the depth that you need in college football. It’s not a contact sport; it’s a collision sport. And when you have collisions like that, injuries usually occur.”