Does adding Gus Malzahn as their new head coach give the Knights rightful claim to a National Title?
All jokes aside, Central Florida was caught off-guard this offseason when they lost both their Athletic Director (Danny White) and former head coach (Josh Heupel) to the Tennessee Volunteers football program. While the Vols possess the allure of the SEC, UCF can offer regular contention in the AAC, and the best recruiting grounds in football.
Malzahn brings his own pedigree to Central Florida, as he has a National Title appearance and a 68-35 overall record to show for his time at Auburn. That included a 39-27 mark in the SEC. Not bad for the team on The Plains.
However, the Tigers soured on Malzahn after several sub-par seasons didn’t fit their newfound expectations.
What can Gus Malzahn bring to Central Florida
Malzahn will instantly bring more name notoriety to a school that’s quickly rising up the ranks as a football powerhouse. Despite their constant Twitter trolling of Alabama, UCF really hasn’t been given the chance to prove themselves with the big guns, specifically in a potential College Football Playoff berth.
While we could argue for days about whether any Group-of-5 team will make the Playoff while it remains at just four teams, Malzahn has at the very least been to the pinnacle of college football in the past. If there is a path for UCF to reach that point, he’ll find it. He has the map.
In the end, UCF remains one of the best non-Power 5 jobs in the sport. Yet, in Heupel’s last few seasons in Orlando, the Knights struggled to meet their once-proud expectations. Just last year, they went 6-4, a far cry from their 12-0 2017-18 campaign which ended in a Peach Bowl win over…Auburn. Imagine that.
Leave it to college football for things to come full circle.