Nick Saban Dismisses UCF National Title Claim

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The story that won't die got more oxygen Tuesday.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban respects UCF's undefeated season but says it's not fair for the Knights to proclaim themselves national champions. "But self-proclaimed is not the same as earning it".

"If you honor and respect the system that we have, (despite) some of the imperfections that you understand that the system has, then you wouldn't do something out of respect for the system that we have", Saban told USA Today.

UCF was the only undefeated FBS team in 2017.

Later Wednesday afternoon, Smart appeared on The Paul Finebaum Show and revealed that some Alabama fans needled the Georgia coach with references to "second-and-26", which was the situation when Crimson Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa completed a game-winning 41-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver DeVonta Smith against the Bulldogs in the National Championship Game in January. "But yes...congrats on being the best of those invited four teams", he tweeted. It had a parade, made T-shirts and built a sign in its stadium celebrating the accomplishment.

"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. I don't want anything that I said in an answer to have the appearance of diminishing from what they accomplished and how grateful we are to be a part of it".

However, Saban also said there is a system in place for the playoff and it's not fair for UCF to claim a national title when there are teams that qualified for the playoff.

However, he didn't believe this was enough to justify the Knights' claim of being national champions.

But anyone who watched college football past year, and those who didn't but have a modicum of common sense knows it was Nick Saban's team crowned kings of the sport.

Kanell is clapping back, saying Alabama didn't "earn" its national title, either.

Read the full interview from USA Today Sports.