Even if it tops LSU in the Fiesta Bowl, a second consecutive national title doesn't appear to be in the cards — or computers — for UCF.
The Knights (12-0) enter their final game ranked only seventh in the latest Colley Matrix, a computer-generated ratings system once used to help determine BCS title game participants.
UCF finished first in the Colley Matrix after going 13-0 last season. But the Knights boasted a No. 2 Colley Matrix ranking following the Peach Bowl, where they topped Auburn, 34-27. The No. 1 team, Georgia, fell to Alabama in the ensuing College Football Playoff national title game.
This year, climbing six spots with only a game to play — and all four playoff teams ranked ahead of the Knights — seems implausible. Elsewhere, UCF currently is ranked seventh in the AP poll and was eighth in the CFP rankings released Sunday.
NCAA records still recognize the Colley Matrix as a major selector for the national title, prompting UCF's polarizing national-champ proclamations at the end of the '17 season. A series of celebrations, including a parade and the unfurling of a national title banner at Spectrum Stadium, ensued.
Knights athletic director Danny White was non-committal when asked recently if the school would claim another national title if it wins the Fiesta Bowl.
"We'll continue to evaluate what happens both with what our team has accomplished…and what other teams accomplish across the country," White said after the Knights' 56-41 win Saturday against Memphis in the American Athletic Conference title game. "We'll make that decision at that time."