No. 13: UCF Knights

UCF continues to carry the flag for the AAC and for all non-Power 5 conference teams.

In one very real sense, UCF (that would be the University of Central Florida) has been the Alabama of the "have nots''--the schools from non-Power 5 conferences for the past several years.

Consider: a 25-1 and back-to-back CFB Bowl bids the past two seasons.

Consider four American Athletic Conference titles in the past six seasons.

Consider an unbeaten AAC record for the past two seasons.

Which begs a bigger question.

How does UCF match it, or top it coming into a season come up with an encore performance this season, especially with a hole at QB, where most of the energy was generated in the last two seasons.

Here's the problem for UCF coach Josh Heupel, who matched Scott Frost's unbeaten record in his first season in Orlando last year before dropping a Fiesta Bowl game decision to LSU.

He has a qualified starting QB in McKenzie Milton, but Milton went down with a catastrophic knee injury in last season's regular season finale and will not be ready until the start of NEXT season, if ever.

So Heupel went shopping and came up with Notre Dame graduate transfer Brandon Wimbush who looks good enough to run the potent UCF offense. An offense that was under the brief control of Milton's back-up Darrel Mack Jr., injured in spring, but who may make a bid for the job in the fall.

The Knights top rushers are back, so are their top receivers, but there are holes to fill on defense and the bar is set so high at UCF that anything less than 11-1 will be regarded as a failure. And, even the margin of victories will be analyzed since UCF's two main non-conference opponents (at home against Stanford and home against Pitt) are marginal Top 25 programs this season.

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Mark Blaudschun
EditorMark Blaudschun
Mark Blaudschun
EditorMark Blaudschun
Mark Blaudschun
EditorMark Blaudschun
Mark Blaudschun
EditorMark Blaudschun
Mark Blaudschun
EditorMark Blaudschun
Mark Blaudschun
EditorMark Blaudschun
Mark Blaudschun
EditorMark Blaudschun
Mark Blaudschun
EditorMark Blaudschun
Mark Blaudschun
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Mark Blaudschun
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