We are in the midst of one of most successful Fall semesters in UCF Athletics history. Never in the program’s history have Football, Women’s Soccer, Men’s Soccer, and Volleyball all made the postseason in the same semester in the Division I era. The closest was in 2010 when Football won the Conference USA Championship and the Liberty Bow,l while Men’s and Women’s Soccer made the NCAA Tournament.
What are the chances of all four making postseason in 2018? Here’s a breakdown on where everyone in stands and what could be in store.
UCF Football: 7-0, ranked 10th in both the AP and Coaches’ Poll
The reality is the UCF Knights will not be in the College Football Playoff. The polls have already begun to drop UCF, as they seem to cap the Knights’ movement like they have done in the past with Boise State, Utah, Western Michigan, Houston, etc., not to mention UCF’s schedule strength is weaker at this point than it was in 2017, which will be brought up in the coming weeks.
Below is a breakdown of where UCF stood at this point last season vs. where they stand currently.
Comparing UCF in 2018 to 2017
|Through 7 games||2018||2017|
|Through 7 games||2018||2017|
|Strength of Schedule||90th||59th|
|Colley Matrix SOS||131st||54th|
|Colley Matrix Rank||11th||6th|
|BCS Ranking (if used today)||11th||7th|
So UCF will not be in the playoff, but do have a chance to be in a major bowl for the second consecutive season, as long as they win The American. The question is which bowl game would UCF be placed in?
The Fiesta Bowl this year has the last pick in bowl selections and has not hosted the Group of 5 champions since Boise State in 2014. That said, the Peach Bowl makes more geographic sense for UCF, and a possible UCF-Florida or UCF-Georgia matchup could be attractive enough for the Peach Bowl to take the Knights. It will depend on what at-large teams the Peach Bowl will have to pick from to go against an SEC team.
Bowl Scenario Projections
UCF Volleyball: 18-3, 9-0 AAC, ranked 25th in AVCA Coaches’ Poll
- RPI: 9th
- Schedule Strength: 8th
- Conference RPI rank: 7th
- Marquee wins: RPI #6 USC, #27 Cincinnati
It’s an historic season for UCF Volleyball as for the first time in program history, the Knights are ranked in the top-25. They also have RPI of 9, the best in program history. They are currently on top of The American, which is rated the 7th-best conference in Volleyball.
PrepVolleyball.com projects two bids for The American, with Cincinnati as the second team from the league. They have UCF ranked 21st, which would be just on the outside of hosting the NCAA Tournament in the first two rounds. More than likely UCF would be sent to Gainesville as a 2-seed to possibly face Florida State in the first round. It is worth noting that UCF is ranked ahead of Florida in the RPI, as the Gators come in at 16. According to PrepVolleyball, their projections have only three teams from the state of Florida in the NCAA Tournament, which may hurt chances of a second Florida team hosting in the first two rounds.
Projection: UCF to NCAA Tournament in Gainesville
UCF Men’s Soccer: 10-2-2, ranked #13 in United Soccer Coaches’ Poll
- RPI: 12th
- SOS: 48th
- Conference RPI Rank: 6th
- Quality Wins: #22 West Virginia, Draws vs. #16 UConn and #8 Virginia Tech
TopSoccerDrawer.com has UCF ranked 9th on its poll on Monday.
CollegeSoccerNews.com has UCF hosting a first round NCAA Tournament game vs. Florida Gulf Coast with a road trip in the second round at #15 Virginia Tech. UCF and UConn are two teams projected to make NCAA Tourmament according to College SoccerNews.com.
UCF is coming off a 2-1 win over South Florida Saturday night. Here is how the team reacted after the win.
Currently UCF is just one point behind UConn for first place in The American with two matches left in the regular season. The winner of the regular season title gets to host AAC Tournament. UCF has a game at Memphis and home against Cincinnati left, while UConn hosts defending AAC Champions SMU, who are also one point back of UConn, and finishes at Tulsa.
Projection: UCF to NCAA Tournament as At-Large, Host First Round
UCF Women’s Soccer: 9-5-1, second place in The American
- RPI: 68th
- SOS: 109th
- Conference Ranking: 7th
- Quality wins: at #17 Memphis, #70 Florida
Normally a win over Florida would be a win vs. a top-20 team instead of top-70. It’s been that kind of a bad break for UCF this season.
Still the Knights go into a showdown in Tampa Friday vs. South Florida with a chance to win The American’s regular season title. The Bulls’ RPI is 22, so a win for UCF would mean not only the AAC regular season title for the second straight season and hosting AAC Tournament, but also a huge boost to their RPI and resume. When UCF knocked off Memphis two weeks ago, UCF jumped from the 80s in the RPI to 60. Needless to say, a win in Tampa may mean that UCF gets back on good side of bubble. However, a loss or a draw means that UCF may need to win the conference tournament outright to get back into the NCAA Tournament.
Which UCF team has had the best season so far?
This poll is closed