CFB notebook: UCF lays claim to national title

The Sports Xchange

January 03, 2018 at 3:26 pm.

Central Florida claims it has won a national title and will place a championship banner inside Spectrum Stadium in recognition of its undefeated season, athletic director Danny White said on Wednesday.

The Knights posted a 34-27 win over Auburn in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl to complete a 13-0 season, finishing as the only undefeated team in college football.

Central Florida plays outside the Power 5 Conference and was never given an opportunity to play for a national championship. UCF was the only unbeaten FCS team, but the American Athletic Conference champion got little respect in the College Football Playoff rankings, finishing 12th.

While also told ESPN that the school is planning a parade for the team, although Central Florida will not receive a trophy or official acknowledgement as a national champion.

–Alabama linebacker Anfernee Jennings, one of the defensive stars of the Crimson Tide’s victory over Clemson in the Sugar Bowl, won’t play in the national title game against Georgia.

Jennings, who suffered a knee injury in the fourth quarter of the 24-6 win on Monday, wrote on social media Wednesday that he underwent successful surgery.

Jennings, a 6-foot-3, 262-pound sophomore, started all 11 games in which he played this season, making 41 tackles, including six for loss. He had five tackles vs. Clemson, including his first career sack as part of his three tackles for loss.

His size against the powerful running game of Georgia would have been important in Monday night’s meeting in Atlanta.

–President Donald Trump plans to attend the national college football championship game on Monday between the Georgia Bulldogs and Alabama Crimson Tide.

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Trump will be hosted by Nick Ayers, a Georgia native who is Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff.

First Lady Melania Trump is also expected to attend the game.

–Junior cornerbacks Carlton Davis of Auburn and Josh Jackson of Iowa declared for the 2018 NFL draft.

Davis is rated as a late-first round prospect by NFLDraftScout.com, which projects Jackson as a potential second-rounder.

Also declaring for the draft Wednesday was Florida State tight end Ryan Izzo. The redshirt junior reeled in 20 receptions for 317 yards and three touchdowns in 13 games this season.

Michigan received good news when defensive end Chase Winovich announced he would stay for his redshirt senior season. He made 77 tackles, including 18 for loss and eight sacks this season.