Sport Saban on UCF's national title claim: 'Self-proclaimed' is not the same as earning it

05:00  16 may  2018
05:00  16 may  2018 Source:   thescore.com

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Activate your digital access. UCF ' s claim to national championship is legit. You can find many instances of two teams claiming the title in the same year, including when Nick Saban won his first national title with LSU in 2004.

Nick Saban , Kirby Smart both OK with UCF ' s national title claim . "If I were UCF, I'd probably do the same thing," Smart told reporters on Saturday in Atlanta. Saban was congratulatory of the Knights, but less enthusiastic about their title claim , adding: “I’m fine with it .

a group of people posing for the camera© Jamie Squire / Getty Images Sport / Getty Nick Saban sat atop the college football mountain for the fifth time in January after Alabama took down Georgia in the 2018 National Championship Game, but that wasn't the end of his team's fight to be anointed the country's best.

UCF, which went undefeated and beat the one team that took down Alabama in Auburn, proclaimed itself the true national champions, even going as far as giving national championship rings to players after winning the Peach Bowl.

However, while Saban has "a tremendous amount of respect" for UCF's accomplishment last season, he dismissed the notion that the program's success devalues the Crimson's Tide title.

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ATLANTA – UCF ' s self -awarded national championship has become a minor topic of conversation before Monday's College Football Playoff national title game. "I'm thinking about Alabama. If I was at UCF, I'd probably do the same thing." Said Saban : "I'm fine with it .

Self - proclaimed unbeaten national champion UCF would be a 21-point underdog in a neutral site game "If you think the level of focus in a potential real national title game is the same as Auburn in the SEC commissioner Greg Sankey was dismissive of UCF ' s bold title claim , saying the national

"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. I guess anybody has the prerogative to claim anything," Saban told USA Today's George Schroeder.

"But self-proclaimed is not the same as actually earning it. And there's probably a significant number of people who don't respect people who make self-proclaimed sort of accolades for themselves."

Saban isn't alone. Former UCF head coach Scott Frost, now in charge of Nebraska, said earlier this month that he would've "had a hard time getting behind" his former team's claim.

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