How big is the gap between the Alabama and fellow reigning “national champion” UCF?

One ESPN analyst believes they’re closer to equals than most people think.

“(UCF is) right behind Alabama, without a doubt,” Andre Ware said during the broadcast of the Knights’ 48-20 win against SMU last Saturday. “Because of the speed and the way they play defense. The speed is hard to track. That’s going to give anybody problems. It’s the interior parts of this football team that you get enamored with.”

Ware’s comments are in response to a question posed by his broadcast partner about where UCF stands in relation to college football’s current powerhouses based on games he has seen. It sure seems like Ware believes the undefeated Knights, who own the nation’s longest active winning streak at 18 games, should be ranked higher than No. 10 in the AP Top 25.

UCF never got the chance to play the No. 1 Crimson Tide last season, getting left out of the College Football Playoff only to declare itself the national champion following its 13-0 campaign and Peach Bowl win over Auburn.

We may not get the chance to see this year’s squads play either, but both fanbases — and Ware — would surely welcome the opportunity.