Call this Distraction Bowl.
The Peach Bowl features a coach at Scott Frost of Central Florida who has determined that his future is already on the other side against another in Aus from Gross Malzahn who faces questions about whether he will remain with the Tigers. 19659002] The unbeaten, tenth-ranked Knights (12-0, No. 12 College Football Playoffs) will play No. 7 Auburn (10-3, No. 7 CFP), the runner-up of the Southeastern Conference, on January 1.
Frost was hired as Nebraska's coach shortly after UCF won 62-55, a double play in overtime with Memphis to capture the American Athletic Conference. Frost was introduced on Sunday as coach of Cornhuskers and reiterated that he would train the Knights in the bowl game. "I do not want to leave the players there without a coach," he said. "They deserve to have the best possible chance, especially in a bowling game for which they qualified."
Malzahn's team fell to Georgia in the SEC title game on Saturday amid questions about whether he is a candidate for a vacant position. in Arkansas.
Everything leads to many questions for the two teams not related to the next bowl – questions that Malzahn did not want to answer.
Malzahn said several times that he planned to stay in Auburn. "That's where I want to be," he said.
Malzahn has done well to keep the words of the Tigers away, said Auburn's running back Kerryon Johnson.
"If you know Gus, he does not even look at the noise from outside," Johnson said after the Georgia victory 28-7. "He has a mind as unified as he can, that man was focused on winning the SEC championship."
Frost, the former Nebraska quarterback, could not hide his decision from his players, and the team tweeted a celebratory photo after his victory in the AAC title with the caption: "Good luck at home, Coach. "
UCF interim coach Troy Walters said Saturday was an emotional day, one of great joy with the victory and sadness of the championship after learning of Frost's departure. "It was a whirlwind," Walters said.
But the players met on Sunday to watch the selection show and were revitalized, Walters said, with the Peach Bowl selection.
"This team is tough," Walters said. . "We're not going to make any excuses."
Sports director Danny White said Saturday night that Frost and his team are committed to the team. "And we'll find out what that means at the end of this week," White said during a press conference Saturday night.
Here is something you should know about the Peach Bowl pairing:
DIFFICULT STRETCHING: Including UCF, the three most recent Auburn opponents in Alabama, Georgia and the Knights have a combined score of 35- 2.
GREAT VOLUME: Knights have gone from aspiring to the cup to being part of the New Year's Six during Frost's term. The second year coach took charge of a 0-12 program and won six games in his first year. This season, UCF has been one of the biggest surprises in college football.
EDGE SERIES: Auburn is 3-0 against UCF, with three victories between 1997 and 1999.
RETURN TO MERCEDES: The Tigers will end their season with a second consecutive game at the new Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta , where they lost to Georgia 28-7 in the game for the SEC title. Malzahn said his team will focus on playing better there against UCF than against the Bulldogs.
IN THE MIX: UCF interim coach Troy Walters said he hopes to be among the candidates to replace Frost. Walters joined the program two seasons ago as offensive coordinator and receiver coach. He is also trained in Colorado, North Carolina State and Texas A & M. Walters, however, he had faith in sports director Danny White to make the proper hiring to keep the Knights moving.
AP Sports Writers John Zenor in Birmingham, Alabama, and Eric Olson in Lincoln, Nebraska, contributed to this report.
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This story has been corrected to reflect that Frost said "They deserve to have …" instead of "They deserved to have …"