UCF, No. 12 ranked and fresh off a 62-55 double-overtime victory against Memphis in the American Athletic Conference championship yesterday, has been selected to play in the Peach Bowl.
The Golden Knights face No. 7 Auburn (10-3) on New Year’s Day. The Peach Bowl will be played on Jan. 1, 2018 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium and slated for a 12:30 p.m. kickoff.
The Knights finished the 2017 season as the only undefeated FBS school and were not seriously considered for one of the four spots in the College Football Playoff. Clemson, Oklahoma, Georgia and Alabama were the four teams announced on ESPN clinching berths into the CFP.
Though the news of UCF being selected to play in a New Year’s Six Bowl Game is good news for the program, the Knights are currently in the process of searching for the team’s next head coach. Reports starting coming out during the Memphis-UCF game that Knights head coach Scott Frost had accepted to a vacancy at Nebraska. Frost accepted a seven-year, $35-million deal to become the next head coach at Nebraska.
Former Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin has emerged as the lead candidate to replace Frost, who told reporters after the AAC championship that he and his staff would coach UCF in the bowl game. UCF athletic director Danny White said that offensive coordinator Troy Walters will serve as the team’s interim coach in handling day-to-day responsibilities.
“We have a special opportunity to make the season even more historic,” White said about UCF’s upcoming bowl. ”We have to figure out how that plays out on game day but Scott’s mind is focused on preparing our team. There’s no one else that can do it and be as competitive as we want to be.”
Sumlin went 51-26 in six seasons at College Station and would bring plenty of experience to UCF. Despite inconsistency at Texas A&M, Sumlin would walk into a stable situation, as UCF is slated to return many starters on offense and defense.