ORLANDO, Fla. -- UCF unveiled a 2017 national champions sign before its spring game Saturday, keeping a promise athletic director Danny White made after the Knights finished last season undefeated.
A few minutes before kickoff, the video board played season highlights, then another video with clips from UCF's 34-27 win over Auburn?in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl to cap a 13-0 season. Then a black tarp covering the sign was uncovered at Spectrum Stadium to cheers from the crowd.
White made national headlines after UCF's win because he decided to declare the Knights national champions, as the only undefeated team in FBS football. He promised parades and banners, and both have now happened.
UCF got a parade at Walt Disney World in January and a street party in downtown Orlando to celebrate, and national championship T-shirts were quickly printed up. National-champion signage covers the fences around the UCF practice field as well. All that was left was placing the sign inside the stadium.
UCF fans in Central Florida embraced White's bold move, while others across the country questioned why he'd claim a mythical national championship when Alabama had won it on the field. The Crimson Tide beat Georgia?26-23 in the College Football Playoff National Championship a week after UCF beat Auburn, earning the trophy and banner that comes with it.
White explained in January: "We're trying to build our program, and we feel very strongly as the only undefeated team and having beat Auburn, who beat both teams competing for the national championship, that we have an extremely sound case to claim the crown."