Sport Alabama coach Nick Saban praises UCF but says that 'self-proclaimed is not the same'

05:25  16 may  2018
05:25  16 may  2018 Source:   usatoday.com

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

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

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Alabama coach Nick Saban had nothing but positive things to say for the coach who abruptly left his team to go to Atlanta today. I know nothing about the coaching carousels in elite rugby, cricket or other international team sports but I’m guessing it’s more of the same .

Nick Saban et al. posing for the camera: Alabama head coach Nick Saban, flanked by the Amway Coaches Trophy and the CFP trophy, speaks to fans at a celebration of the Tide's national championship on Saturday in Tuscaloosa, Ala.© Brynn Anderson, AP Alabama head coach Nick Saban, flanked by the Amway Coaches Trophy and the CFP trophy, speaks to fans at a celebration of the Tide's national championship on Saturday in Tuscaloosa, Ala. TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Nick Saban says he has “a tremendous amount of respect” for UCF’s accomplishment last season, because he knows how difficult it is to go unbeaten. But he’s not exactly aboard with the Knights’ claim on the 2017 national championship, either — not that you’d expect him to be.

Alabama beat Georgia in overtime to win the College Football Playoff’s national championship. UCF athletic director Danny White said the idea of claiming a crown, too, sprouted from his original proclamation on the field after beating Auburn in the Peach Bowl (“National champs. Undefeated!”), then “grew organically” into a celebration that included national championship bonuses paid to coaches, national championship rings for players and signage at Spectrum Stadium in Orlando: “2017 NATIONAL CHAMPIONS.”

Scott Frost takes shot at Alabama's national title count

  Scott Frost takes shot at Alabama's national title count Scott Frost helped Central Florida to an undefeated record last season, capping the season with a bowl win over Auburn."Alabama probably has one or two national championships they claim that weren't necessarily recognized by everybody," Frost told Omaha TV station KETV (via espn.com).

UCF Knights. 2d. Alabama coach Nick Saban hopes his team can recover its identity in playoff rematch with Clemson AP Photo/David J. Phillip. "We belong in the playoffs," safety Minkah Fitzpatrick said .

When Nick Saban has flourished, Cochran, the team's strength coach , has been by his side “They’re different voices, but they’re on the same page,” two-time Alabama All-American lineman Barrett Jones told Bleacher Report. McElroy: Auburn Would've 'Dusted' UCF in CFP 🤔. College Football.

If it has been a source of pride for the Knights and their fans, it has been a source of amusement for many around college football … and a source of irritation for some in Alabama. Saban seems to fall somewhere between bemused and mildly annoyed.

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“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 Sports. “I guess anybody has the prerogative to claim anything. 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.”

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In Auburn, UCF beat a team that had beaten both Alabama and Georgia during the regular season. And the Knights and their fans point to the Colley Matrix, a computer system that was once part of the Bowl Championship Series formula, which had the Knights No. 1 in its final rankings. But former UCF coach Scott Frost, now at Nebraska, expressed reservations with the national championship claims.

“All I’ll say,” Frost told USA TODAY Sports earlier this month, “is if we had stayed there, I would have had a hard time getting behind it.”

He added: “At the end of the day, the Playoff system is that the national champion is the team that wins the Playoff.”

But that’s part of White’s argument — that UCF didn’t have a legitimate shot at advancing to the College Football Playoff. And Frost agreed, contending the Playoff’s selection committee underrated the Knights in every weekly ranking. UCF was ranked No. 18 in the first rankings; in the final Top 25, UCF was No. 12. Frost called the ranking “almost criminal.” White called the Playoff “a flawed system.”

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Alabama coach Nick Saban has shown no inclination to deviate from the monotonous cycle of climbing to the top of the college football mountain, going back to the bottom, and then climbing the same mountain again. 52 responses to “Should NFL teams be calling Nick Saban ?” edukator4 says

That removes from this discussion Alabama 's 1973 championship, when the coaches ' poll Updated from the book " Nick Saban vs. College Football". But here's a snapshot of how a good of a coach Bryant was "He wasn't just a coach ," former Southern California coach John McKay once said .

a group of people posing for the camera: Central Florida Knights head coach Scott Frost, linebacker Shaquem Griffin and quarterback McKenzie Milton celebrate their Peach Bowl victory against Auburn.© Brett Davis, USA TODAY Sports Central Florida Knights head coach Scott Frost, linebacker Shaquem Griffin and quarterback McKenzie Milton celebrate their Peach Bowl victory against Auburn.

Alabama, which finished 12-1, didn’t win the SEC West but was chosen for the four-team bracket instead of Big Ten champion Ohio State, which had two losses. Of the five national championships won by Alabama in the last nine seasons (three BCS, two Playoff), Saban noted only the 2009 team finished unbeaten. (His 2003 LSU team, which won the BCS championship, wasn’t undefeated, either).

“We’ve only had one undefeated team, and that is really hard to do,” Saban said. “So I have a tremendous amount of respect for their team and what they were able to accomplish. … And they can make every claim that they should have been in the Playoff. I get that. But we have a system, and it’s not fair to the people who went through the system and earned their way playing really, really good teams — I mean really good teams — and really tough games. It’s not quite fair to them for somebody else just to decide to (claim a national championship).”

Texas vs. Alabama worthy of celebration, especially if it starts a trend

  Texas vs. Alabama worthy of celebration, especially if it starts a trend Alabama and Texas will play in Austin in 2022, and in Tuscaloosa in 2023. College football fans should celebrate the development. Hopefully more matchups like it will come.It’s too much to suggest Alabama’s and Texas’ fortunes pivoted with a pinched nerve.

Alabama ended the season the same way it started -- ranked No. 1 in the AP poll. Undefeated UCF , meanwhile, finished at No. 6, but was the only other school to receive first-place votes. The national championship is the 12th for the Crimson Tide and fifth under coach Nick Saban since 2009.

Alabama coach Nick Saban . Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images. “What I try to emphasize with our players is, there’s so much emphasis now on outcomes – immediate self -gratification,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said .

Saban paused, then continued:

“It has no impact or significance on my feeling of what our team accomplished,” he said. “I mean, I’m so proud of the adversity they overcame, the togetherness that they had to have, the work that they put in, you know, and the resiliency that they showed throughout the season to overcome injuries, the resiliency in the Georgia game to come back to win. These are characteristics that, I don’t care what anybody else says or does, it would not fundamentally affect what I feel about our group of players and what they’ve been able to accomplish.”

White noted that college football’s history is littered with seasons with more than one team claiming a national championship. Alabama claims 17 national championships, including some that are disputed and several claimed retroactively. But those came in the era when titles were bestowed by polls and other ranking systems. The advent of the BCS, which matched two teams in a championship game, led to fewer split titles. With the College Football Playoff, there’s been occasional, mild controversy over the four teams chosen by a selection committee, but no real debate about the national champion.

“That’s not how it’s done anymore,” said Saban, referring to the era before the BCS and the Playoff. “All the national championships that we won, we had to play somebody to win them. And we got in the game because of the season we had.”

Alabama reportedly hires Nebraska recruiting director .
Nebraska losing a recruiting director in the middle of spring evaluation isn't the most ideal situation.According to multiple reports, Alabama is set to hire Bob Welton as a director of player personnel. Welton was hired by Frost to serve as Nebraska’s recruiting operations director after previously working at Tennessee, but now it appears Welton will be staying in the SEC after all. The timing is less than ideal for Nebraska, given the current spring evaluation period on the recruiting calendar currently in effect.

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