Believe it or not, Greg Sankey can relate to UCF’s plight.
During his Thursday appearance at the SportsBusiness Journal and Daily’s Intercollegiate Athletic Forum from New York City, the SEC commissioner was asked about UCF missing the College Football Playoff for the second consecutive season after going undefeated once again.
UCF has won 25 games in a row, including a 34-27 win over SEC West champion Auburn in last season’s Peach Bowl.
While you may not initially think Sankey could understand being left out of the postseason given the league’s strength in football, the SEC commissioner has been in a similar situation during his tenure running the league.
Sankey pointed back to the 2016 NCAA Tournament. You may recall that the SEC only got three teams in the field that season: Vanderbilt, Texas A&M and Kentucky. That was a black mark for the league but one that Sankey helped to correct relatively quickly. Just two seasons later, the league sent an all-time high eight teams to the latest NCAA Tournament.
Instead of complaining about the selection process, Sankey said the league made that turnaround by looking inward. That’s the advice Sankey gave UCF during his Thursday appearance in New York.
“We had a similar issue in men’s basketball a couple years ago, when we only had three schools selected for the tournament,” Sankey said according to ASU Sports Law & Biz. “Rather than looking at the committee, the schedule, etc., we need to look inward. How can we do better for ourselves?”
Based on that response, Sankey believes if UCF continues to progress and improve the program, they will eventually break through and gain the respect they so desperately desire.