UCF’s loss to Navy is one of costliest in school history | Commentary

Did somebody forget to set the snooze alarm for the 20th-ranked UCF Knights on Saturday morning?

How else do you explain them inexplicably, inexcusably sleepwalking through a rare 11 a.m. kickoff that resulted in a devastating 17-14 loss to Navy – a defeat that potentially could be one of the costliest in UCF history.

This loss cost UCF a chance to host the American Athletic Conference Championship game and may have – depending on what happens in the final weekend of the regular season – even cost them a chance to play in the that game on Dec. 3.

“It’s a frustrating loss,” a somber UCF coach Gus Malzahn said afterward. “At home on Senior Day, we lost to a team that we really felt like we should have beaten. We didn’t get it done, and we’re going to have to live with that.”

Good luck living with this one. This is going to be like living with a lingering toothache considering the Knights had everything in front of them heading into Saturday’s game – hosting a conference championship game, winning a conference championship and getting an invitation to the Cotton Bowl.

That’s right, this potentially could have been a $6 million loss for the Knights and the American Athletic Conference. The highest-ranked Group of Five conference champion gets a New Year’s Six bowl bid to the Cotton Bowl and the $6 million payday that goes with it. Now even if UCF (8-3) somehow plays for and wins the AAC championship, there’s a chance that Coastal Carolina – if the Chanticleers win the Sun Be