UCF gave itself a parade and its players national championship rings to recognize its undefeated season, but Alabama coach Nick Saban doesn't have much use for the Knights' claims.
"I guess anybody has the prerogative to claim anything. But self-proclaimed is not the same as actually earning it," Saban told USA Today in a story published Tuesday. "And there's probably a significant number of people who don't respect people who make self-proclaimed sort of accolades for themselves."
Saban's team beat Georgia 26-23 in an overtime thriller to win the national championship that most people recognize, the College Football Playoff title. Alabama had routed defending champion Clemson 24-6 to reach the final game.Nick Saban holds up Alabama's championship trophy after beating Georgia to win the national title. AP Photo/David J. Phillip
UCF finished the regular season 12-0, the only undefeated team in FBS. However, because of their schedule, the Knights were ranked only No. 12 in the country when the four teams were chosen for the College Football Playoff.
Then the Knights went on to beat Auburn, which had handed Alabama its only loss, in the Peach Bowl on New Year's Day. Hence, the national champion claims.