The University of Central Florida declared itself the real national champion after finishing its season as the only undefeated team in major college football, winning a bowl game over Auburn, the team that beat the generally recognized national champion, Alabama. The NFL is staying out of that debate, but the league will recognize the UCF team at the Pro Bowl.
This year’s Pro Bowl is played in Orlando, where UCF is located, and the NFL has decided to honor UCF’s undefeated team at the game.
“When we thought about UCF and the amazing season they had going undefeated and their bowl game win, we thought there was really no better way, especially in the city of Orlando, to do something for that college celebration of football than to honor the UCF team in the stadium on Sunday,” said Matt Shapiro, director of events strategy for the NFL, to the Orlando Sentinel.
Three UCF players — Shaquem Griffin, Tre’Quan Smith and Jordan Akins — won’t be there. They’re trying to earn a place in the NFL, at the Senior Bowl.