What Nick Saban said during special appearance on Monday Night Football
ESPN held a MegaCast on Monday Night Football between the Raiders and Saints with hosts Kirk Herbstreit and Rece Davis, and the show had several high-profile guests featured.
Peyton Manning and Charles Barkley were certainly an entertaining duo, as they were trolling each other about Tennessee and Auburn.
Nick Saban was also one of them, and he continued ringing the bell for a permanent 10-game SEC schedule.
“I would, absolutely,” Saban said on ESPN. “I’ve always wanted to play more SEC games. I think from a fan standpoint, it’s great for the fans to see quality games. I’ve even said I think we should only play Power 5 schools, all 12 games. I think it would actually make it a little easier to determine, because of the cross-section of teams that you have in the five different conferences playing each other, it would be a little easier to figure out who has the best teams.
“But it’s also great for the players. I think every player who plays in the SEC, Big Ten — whatever conference they’re in — it’s a good experience for them to have an opportunity to play every team in the league. A player shouldn’t come to the University of Alabama and not get the opportunity to play Florida or play Georgia or some of the other schools in the East that have great programs. I think if we played more games in the SEC, it would players the opportunity to do that. It’s an opportunity for players to create great value for themselves because they’re playing against outstanding competition every week.”
Saban has long been a proponent of this type of scheduling model, and due to the pandemic, that’s coming to fruition for this year only. Greg Sankey has said that the regular 8-game SEC model will return next season assuming things are back to normal.
An 8-game conference season has helped allow the SEC become the most dominant force in college football, and changing the schedule permanently certainly could impact that.
Saban also said he loves the spirit of his team this year.
“I like the spirit of our team,” he said. “I think our guys have had a lot of uncertainty, a lot to overcome. They worked hard in practice for a long time, not even knowing whether they were going to play. But the attitude has been great and they’ve done a great job.
“I told them early on — there’s going to be a lot of uncertainty. There’s going to be a lot of things that happen that have never happened before. But the teams that manage this uncertainty are going to be the ones that come out the best on the other end.
“I think they kind of bought into that. They’ve done extremely well. I think they have something to prove. I don’t think we were real happy with the way things sort of transpired for us a year ago. Hopefully that will inspire us and be a motivating factor for us this year.”
Saban touched on other subjects