Central Florida is calling itself the 2017 national champion. The school is paying coaches like it won a national title, too.
The Knights finished the 2017 season with a 13-0 record and capped off the campaign beating Auburn 34-27 in the Peach Bowl on Monday. As the only undefeated FBS team in the country (and with a win against a team that beat both Alabama and Georgia, the College Football Playoff finalists), UCF declared the program 2017 national champions.
— 2017 National Champions (@UCF_Football) January 3, 2018
The program is going to hang a banner at its home stadium and is planning a parade. UCF athletic director Danny White is also putting his money where his claimed national title is. White confirmed in a tweet on Wednesday that UCF will be paying its coaches the national title bonuses in their contracts.
— Danny White (@UCFDannyWhite) January 3, 2018
This is an even more interesting move because Scott Frost has left UCF for the Nebraska job and took most of his UCF staff with him. Frost and his assistants, however, did stay to coach in the bowl game and finish the season on the Knights sideline.
Frost has a $200,000 national championship bonus in his contract, but he has already hit his bonus cap for the season, according to Chris Vannini of The Athletic.
UCF confirms it will pay “national championship” bonuses to its assistant coaches. Scott Frost already reached his bonus cap.
— Chris Vannini (@ChrisVannini) January 3, 2018
It still appears UCF is in line to give out national title bonus money to assistants who are leaving the program, something the school is certainly not obligated to do. But when you declare yourselves national champions, you really have no choice except to go all-in.