Alabama won the national championship last college football season with an unbelievable second-half effort from freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa leading a rally and eventually lifting the Crimson Tide to a dramatic victory over SEC champion Georgia in overtime. But ask anyone who sports the black and gold of UCF and they will tell you there was another national champion last season as well. How much legitimacy you want to place on UCF’s claim at a national title is up to you, but Tagovailoa and UCF quarterback McKenzie Milton apparently have not shied away from joking about the national championship debate this offseason.
In an interview with Orlando sportswriter and radio host Mike Bianchi, Milton said he is friends with the Alabama quarterback. Both were born in Hawaii and played on the same Pop Warner team in their younger days. And as friends do, they have some fun at each other’s expense.
“We’ll joke around about the national championship stuff, but it’s all in good fun,” Milton said. “He’s goodhearted and doesn’t take it personally. He’ll be the first one to give us praise about going unbeaten and he’ll say things like, ‘You guys were the only ones to go undefeated and beat the team that beat us.’ He’s such a humble guy. He doesn’t bash UCF like some of the other Alabama guys.”
UCF defeated Auburn in the Peach Bowl to complete the only undefeated season in the FBS last season. Auburn defeated Alabama in the Iron Bowl to close out the regular season to clinch a spot in the SEC Championship Game as the SEC West champion. Alabama still was selected to play in the College Football Playoff and the rest is history.
Going into the 2018 season, both McKenzie and Tagovailoa are being discussed as potential Heisman Trophy candidates.
Maybe the two quarterbacks won’t face off on the field, but there could be a chance they sit side-by-side in New York City when the Heisman Trophy is awarded.