Nick Saban understands the criticism the Alabama program receives due to the level of non-conference opponents it plays throughout the season. It’s manifested itself in the stands of Bryant-Denny Stadium, with those matchups not seeing nearly the attendance the bigger-ticket games attract.

One of Saban’s concerns is programs intentionally scheduling weaker opponents to pad their win total and increase their chances of getting the 6 wins necessary to get themselves bowl-eligible. During a Tuesday interview with 247Sports’ Josh Pate, he proposed an interesting solution.

“Why don’t we do it like basketball, have some rating system that even if you went 5-7, but you played a really good schedule and you beat some pretty good teams, you could go to a bowl game, rather than trying to create a schedule where you play 4 teams that you know you’re gonna beat, and ‘if I can just win 2 other games I’ll be bowl eligible’,” he said. “And that’s important to my program, and it’s important to me keeping my job.”

The Crimson Tide host Utah State, Louisiana-Monroe, and FCS Austin Peay in 2022, but have scheduled a 2-year series beginning this season with Texas — visiting Austin on Sept. 10 before hosting the Longhorns in Tuscaloosa on Sept. 9, 2023. They also have a trip to USF scheduled for a week later.