Nick Saban isn’t on board with UCF’s claim on the 2017 national championship.

The Knights celebrated an undefeated season last year that mutated into the players receiving national title rings and “2017 NATIONAL CHAMPIONS” signage appearing in the stadium.

But it was Alabama that won the College Football Playoff National Championship Game in an overtime contest against Georgia. And in a recent interview with USA TODAY Sports’ George Schroeder, Saban shared his thoughts on UCF’s championship claims.

“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.”

To cap its perfect season, UCF beat an Auburn team that had defeated both Alabama and Georgia during the regular season. UA, which finished its 12-game slate at 11-1, didn’t win the SEC West but was chosen for the four-team playoff instead 2-loss Ohio State.

Of the five national titles the Crimson Tide has won in the last nine seasons, Saban made sure to mention only the 2009 team finished with an unblemished record, giving UCF its due there.

“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).

“... 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.”

Contact Charlie Potter by 247Sports' personal messaging or on Twitter (@Charlie_Potter).