Nick Saban identifies the key issue to settle around Playoff expansion
Alabama coach Nick Saban knew how the narrative around college football would unfold once the sport went to a playoff format. Now he wonders what would happen next if the College Football Playoff is expanded to eight or more teams.
Saban outlined the issues during a recent visit with The Rich Eisen Show, where he explained how the focus around college football shifted from bowl games in general, to the four-team Playoff.
“Way back when we decided to have two teams, pick the best two teams and let the play in a championship game, and everybody wanted to expand to four teams, it was my comment then that if we expand to four teams and have a playoff, everything is going to be about the playoff,” Saban said Friday. “All the media interest, everything is going to be about the Playoff. The shows they do all year, the shows like who gets into the NCAA Basketball Tournament, that’s what it’s going to be. All the other bowl games and teams that had good seasons, but didn’t quite get there, the interest in what they do in the offseason is going to be diminished. And that is exactly what’s happened.”
The importance of teams who are ranked outside the top eight or 10, even though they’re good teams, has shifted, according to Saban, as teams that are still good and understandably proud of their accomplishments are largely not given the kind of attention they used to get.
“So I just wonder sometimes if having a Playoff and bowl games, and that was the unique thing about bowl games in college football, a lot of players got self gratification for having good seasons,” Saban said. “They got to go to a bowl game, their families, the program, everything sort of got some positive self gratification of what they were able to accomplish even though they weren’t national championship caliber or Playoff caliber. Now that’s all been diminished a little bit. You just wonder to yourself, can Playoff and bowl games co-exist, or should we just have more teams in the Playoff? I’m not saying I’m for it or against it. I think that’s the question people need to answer.”
Really interesting answer from @AlabamaFTBL head coach Nick Saban when we asked him about #CFBPlayoff expansion:#RollTide pic.twitter.com/7X4u3MmrKC
— Rich Eisen Show (@RichEisenShow) February 12, 2021