Black and Gold Banneret was at the Bills-Jaguars playoff game this past Sunday. Not that the result of said game matters too much around these parts; I was more interested in getting some takes from a pair of Jags who are two of UCF's Football's most prominent active pros: quarterback Blake Bortles and cornerback AJ Bouye.
Following Jacksonville's 10-3 win, Bortles was asked about the Knights' Peach Bowl victory from earlier in the week. But before the question was fully uttered, this happened:
Reporter: "Your alma mater wins the Peach Bowl this week—"— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) January 7, 2018
Blake Bortles "National champs." @UCF_Football pic.twitter.com/PNuTWcQy81
Here is Bortles' full answer to the question, which asked for his thoughts on following UCF's accomplishment with a triumph of his own in his NFL playoff debut within the same week.
"Yeah, it's pretty cool. It's always kind of been special for me to be able to play in Jacksonville and be so close to home and where I grew up and where I played. And then obviously, the year they [the Knights] had this year, being able to watch that. I got a chance to go down for a game earlier, but they were incredible. Scott Frost and McKenzie, that offense was electric and fun to watch.
"I guess to kind of combine those things within a two-hour drive is pretty special."
Bouye wouldn't explicitly call the Knights national champions, but he did say that he enjoyed watching the "butt-whooping" UCF delivered to Auburn in Atlanta.
From yesterday: #Jaguars CB and #UCF alum AJ Bouye called the Peach Bowl a "great butt-whooping." pic.twitter.com/bh3T5NkAqS— Brian Murphy (@Spokes_Murphy) January 8, 2018
I also asked Bortles whether UCF's season should lead to an expansion of college football's playoff system in order to give deserving non-power conference teams a shot at the title. He said he has no idea, but "they're national champs in my book."
Of course, thanks to the Colley Matrix, the Knights are more than just champions in the eyes of their alums. They are actually indeed national champs.