Nick Saban on UCF national title claims: 'Self-proclaimed is not the same as actually earning it."
Alabama head coach Nick Saban respects UCF's undefeated season but says it's not fair for the Knights to proclaim themselves national champions.
UCF was the only FBS team to win all of its games last season, capped off by a victory over Auburn in the Peach Bowl.
Alabama's only loss in 2017 was to Auburn but the Tide still managed to get into the playoff. They ultimately won the national championship with an 26–23 overtime victory over Georgia after a semifinal victory over Clemson.
Despite that, UCF threw a parade and gave its players national championship rings recognizing the undefeated season.
"I guess anybody has the prerogative to claim anything. But self-proclaimed is not the same as actually earning it," Saban told USA Today. "And there's probably a significant number of people who don't respect people who make self-proclaimed sort of accolades for themselves."
Even UCF's former coach Scott Frost, who is now at Nebraska, had reservations about the national championship claims.
"All I’ll say,” Frost told USA Today earlier this month, “is if we had stayed there, I would have had a hard time getting behind it. At the end of the day, the Playoff system is that the national champion is the team that wins the Playoff.”