The University of Central Florida Knights

Back on the second Monday in January of this year, a college football national champion was crowned in Atlanta, Georgia. However, there is a vocal crowd of football fanatics that proudly wear the black and gold of the University of Central Florida who think otherwise. The Knights marched their way through the season without a blemish on their record. UCF fans roared with enthusiasm as their team held off Auburn University in the 2018 Peach Bowl on New Years' Day. While the BCS trophy was hoisted by another team from the state of Alabama, Central Florida faithful quickly boasted of beating a team that defeated both of the BCS National Championship finalists.

Football fans certainly feel last season was "out of this world" exciting, but space exploration students at UCF see their time on the Orlando, Florida campus from another angle. Central Florida is one of 52 networking schools focused on outer-space related research. They have one of the most renowned space exploration programs in the world. One of the primary areas of study grew out of the original campus, Florida Technological University. UCF was founded on a land-grant from the Florida legislature in 1963. Its single-foremost purpose was to train students to become part of the growing US space program. Yes, the original Golden Knights had an imposing opponent in the race for space, the old Soviet Union. UCF continues to offer hundreds of degree programs to prepare graduates for the challenges of the world today. Not to be lost on the uniqueness of the initial academic focus, UCF students participate in one of the most spirited on-campus traditions in the country. Spirit Splash it held during homecoming weekend. Students, cheered on by spectators, race for a plunge into a large reflecting pond. The event earned recognition as the best campus tradition, according to the National Association of Campus Activities.

While young when compared to the standards set by colleges over a century old, UCF is well on its way to establishing its own legacy. There aren't any legendary ivy walls, or famous brick halls. However, with bragging rights as the only undefeated team in major college football, Knights fans are wearing the black and gold with pride. Over the last decade, UCF has been ranked at or near the top of the list representing the fastest growing universities in America. The future is bright for this upstart university from the Sunshine State. If you're a true UCF Knights fan, it might be so bright you need to wear shades.