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Here's what Alabama Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban thinks of UCF national title debate

The Bradenton Herald — Jason Dill The Bradenton Herald

May 16--On the heels of College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock's comments at the Atlantic Coast Conference spring meetings, Alabama football coach Nick Saban weighed in on UCF's ongoing claim it's the 2017 national champions, not the Crimson Tide.

Of course, Saban doesn't agree with the Knights.

Alabama beat Georgia, 26-23, in overtime to win the national championship. Before that, the Crimson Tide defeated Clemson in a national semifinal.

"I guess anybody has the prerogative to claim anything," Saban told USA Today. "But self-proclaimed is not the same as 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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UCF went undefeated during the regular season, before capping a 13-0 season with a Peach Bowl victory against Auburn, the only team to defeat Alabama and Georgia in the regular season.

Nebraska coach Scott Frost, who guided UCF to an undefeated 2017 season, told USA Today earlier this month "I would have had a hard time getting behind," the national title claim had he stayed with the Knights.

Frost clarified his comments last week during an Orlando radio show appearance.

"I don't regret saying it," Frost told the Open Mike radio with Orlando Sentinel columnist Mike Bianchi. "I answered it honestly. I'm so proud of that team and I will be forever. ... 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."

Saban said he has a "tremendous amount of respect for their team and what they were able to accomplish," in the USA Today story.

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.

Meanwhile, it was announced Wednesday that Alabama and Texas are set to play a home-and-home series starting in 2022. The first game is scheduled for Sept. 10, 2022 in Austin, Texas. The other game is in Tuscaloosa, Ala. on Sept. 9, 2023.

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