College Football 77 in 77: #51 Central Florida Knights


shanna mclaughlin

We’re talking University of Central Florida college football, they’re probably the only FBS program to let a Playboy Playmate into their locker room for a photo shoot. Miss July 2010 Shanna McLaughlin is a UCF grad, and her photo shoot last year for something called Axis Magazine inside the UCF locker room has gave us another UCF football memory other than Daunte Culpepper.

But they’re actually a pretty good program. Head Coach George “fake resume” O’Leary has turned out to be a surprise great hire.

Remember him? The disgraced Notre Dame head coaching candidate from five years ago. Well today he’s got a winning program and scorching hot chicks hanging out in his locker room.

“I approved the magazine,” O’Leary told a Sentinel reporter. “The guy called my office and basically wanted to know if they could do a magazine shoot. There was a UCF girl who had her MBA and all that. And the only thing I asked is, ‘Is that a magazine that is distributed on campus?’ And they said, ‘Yes.’ They’ve done I think four, since I’ve been here at least four, initial copies of football [previews] opening up the football season.”

O’Leary said he was shown a copy of the magazine cover.


That’s true! Ms. McLaughlin has a MBA! Have I mentioned that ZERO girls looked like her at my B School? And how terrible the guy/ratio is at MBA school. I’m assuming this is the first bunny in history to have an advanced degree?

2010 was: a rousing success. UCF beat an SEC team (Georgia) in the Liberty Bowl and finished the nation 8th in scoring defense and run defense. They were 87th in passing, but that was their only major weakness. They finished 11-3 and beat SMU in the C-USA conference title game.

BMOCs: QB Jeff Godfrey- a stud dual threat, RBs Latavius Murray, Ronnie Weaver, and Brynn Harvey. They are extremely set at the tailback position. WRs A.J. Guyton (good to see he’s having a solid college football career, a decade after his basketball career with the Indiana Hoosiers….no I’m not being serious) and Quincy McDuffie. DB Ray Shipman gave up playing college basketball for the Florida Gators in order to play football here. Juniors Kemal Ishmael and Josh Robinson lead a fantastic secondary which will be tested in a very pass-happy league.

2011 will be fruitful if: Godfrey takes another step forward, and shows the leadership, poise and productivity that he did last season. UCF was also #1 in kickoff returns last year, led by McDuffie’s electric return game. Therefore, if the Knights can find stability and reliability at the WR position, they should be in good shape.

2011 will be awful if: The defense fails to follow the offense’s lead and Central Florida struggles to replace their 19 seniors and 12 starters. But with two solid recruiting classes, it shouldn’t be a problem.

Bottom Line: They should have enough to compete with Southern Miss for the C-USA East title and be one of the most exciting offenses in college football.

UCF Rankings: #51 Athlon, #39 Lindy’s, #61 Phil Steele


#52 Washington Huskies

#53 SMU Mustangs

#54 Houston Cougars

#55 Iowa State Cyclones

#56 California Golden Bears

#57 Cincinnati Bearcats

#58 UConn Huskies

#59 Louisville Cardinals

#60 Oregon State Beavers

#61 Purdue Boilermakers

#62 San Diego State Aztecs

#63 Rutgers Scarlet Knights

#64 Kentucky Wildcats

#65 Tulsa Golden Hurricane

#66 Navy Midshipmen

#67 Toledo Rockets

#68 Duke Blue Devils

#69 UCLA Bruins

#70 Nevada Wolfpack

#71 Ole Miss Rebels

#72 Hawaii Warriors

#73 Colorado Buffaloes

#74 NIU Huskies

#75 Army Black Knights

#76 Indiana Hoosiers

#77 Minnesota Golden Gophers

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports You can follow him on Twitter


  1. Eric Flanagan says

    Thanks for the write-up on my Knights, good stuff! I just want to let you know that we dropped the Golden in 2007 so we’re just the Knights now ( If it’s not too much trouble, could you please switch us over to the Knights. Keep up the good work and hopefully we’ll keep climbing up your rankings

  2. paulmbanks says

    Thanks Eric! I appreciate your 1. readership and 2. civility and professionalism in pointing out an error. Most readers who catch such things are not very gracious.

    Your boys look really good this year, I’m thinking the O’Leary hire will prove to be a program turning point in time.

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