Nov 3, 2017; Boca Raton, FL, USA; Florida Atlantic Owls head coach Lane Kiffin takes to the field prior to the game against the Marshall Thundering Herd at FAU Football Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Former University of Alabama football offensive coordinator – and current Florida Atlantic University head coach – was asked if the Knights would have kept the game close to the Crimson Tide.

UCF has been at the center of controversy in the college football world after going undefeated in the regular season and conference play, with a finish on New Year’s Day against Auburn.

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Alabama managed to reach the College Football Playoff even though they didn’t win their conference, inciting controversy from fans outside of the American Athletic Conference (which UCF belongs to). ‘Bama would sweep its opponents and defeat Georgia in a way only Nick Saban could to win the CFP National Championship.

“Who knows? Why couldn’t they beat Alabama?” Kiffin told SEC Country of UCF. “They could beat Auburn. Why couldn’t they beat Alabama? We don’t know that.”

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Pundits would knock down the Knights’ performance game-after-game, including the age-old, aimless lose prediction against a P5 team or post-win-scenario, where an excuse or two usually comes up, regardless of the G5 team.

Kiffin paralleled Loyola-Chicago’s streak to the NCAA Basketball Final Four and an alternate universe where the Knights were given a chance at the CFP.

“[Some say,] ‘UCF couldn’t have won two playoff games.’ OK. Did you think Loyola-Chicago could win four?” Kiffin said. “They were a No. 11 seed. So what did that make them, the 44th team in the country? UCF was a lot higher ranked than that during the regular season. So that would have been neat to see. It would be neat if [the playoff] at least went to eight [teams]. Then you would have one Group of 5 team in there. UCF could have gone in there.”

While we may never know, 2018 holds promise for another run in the green. Should the Knights manage to go undefeated again, one would think the CFP has no choice but to let them in.