Nick Saban, “so far out”

Nick Saban’s over a nine-game conference schedule now.

He wants ten games.  And more.

“We should play all teams in the Power 5 conferences,” Saban said Wednesday. “If we did that, then if we were going to have bowl games, we should do the bowl games just like we do in the NCAA basketball tournament — not by record but by some kind of power rating that gets you in a bowl game. If we did that, people would be a little less interested in maybe bowl games and more interested in expanding the playoff.”

“You eliminate the six wins to get in a bowl game and now you can have a different kind of scheduling that is more fan interest, more good games, bring out the better quality team,” he said, “and whether you expand the playoff or have a system where it’s like now — we take the top 12 teams and decide what bowl game they go to — just take them all.

“In this scenario, there would be more opportunity to play more teams in your league, as well as to have more games that people would be interested in. We all play three or four games a year now that nobody’s really interested in. We’d have more good games, more public interest, more fan interest, better TV.”

Saban suggested a 10-game SEC schedule, for example, plus two Power 5 nonconference opponents during the regular season.

Other than why this would need to lead to playoff expansion, I’m in love.  How can you argue with any of “more good games, more public interest, more fan interest, better TV”?  That’s why I question his embrace of the basketball tournament format.  An expanded tourney waters down the regular season; there may be more good regular season college basketball games by his standard, but March Madness dilutes them of much meaning and, thus, public interest.

But combine the rest of what he’s talking about with the current four-school football playoff?  Jeez, talk about heaven on earth…

Advertisements

62 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, College Football, Nick Saban Rules

62 responses to “Nick Saban, “so far out”

  1. That doesn’t happen unless the P5 breaks away from the NCAA to form their own organization, and you can only play schools from the new organization.

    Nick, if you want 10+2, feel free to schedule 2 SEC schools as OOC opponents and go on the road to play somebody rather than play them on a neutral field. No one is stopping you from doing that now rather than playing Fresno, Bobo State and Mercer.

    Like

    • If Saban can get two more SEC teams to agree to play Alabama, he’s even more powerful than I thought. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • I was joking about it as well, but he seems to like to flap his gums about what he would like knowing full well it’s not going to happen. My big point about scheduling is that if he thinks no one should play cupcakes, then tell his AD to stop scheduling them.

        Like

        • Why should he unilaterally disarm?

          He’s not arguing that ‘Bama should upgrade its schedule. He’s proposing that every P5 school upgrade.

          Like

          • 92 grad

            I think the disconnect between some commenters and yourself is centered around the idea that Saban will not ever place his program at a disadvantage, so, he wants better scheduling across the board. He won’t do it unless everyone does it. I think he’s right and I think it would be akin to going back to the pre-split SEC days, which would be great.

            Liked by 1 person

          • How often has Alabama played two P5 programs per year? That would be a good start for them.

            2007 – Florida State
            2008 – Clemson
            2009 – Virginia Tech
            2010 – Penn State / Duke
            2011 – Penn State
            2012 – Michigan
            2013 – Virginia Tech
            2014 – West Virginia
            2015 – Wisconsin
            2016 – USC
            2017 – Florida State
            2018 – Louisville

            Like

            • Again, what does that have to do with what Saban is proposing?

              Like

              • They don’t do it now. Saban has had 10 years to upgrade his own OOC scheduling and convince the SEC office to mandate it if he thought it was so damn important. I would like to see it because it would benefit those (including Georgia) who typically do schedule more than 1 P5 game per year as it is.

                I don’t like the phony posturing when he knows it’s never going to happen.

                Like

                • Bob

                  Two per year? I would like to see him schedule something other than “neutral” site games that have seldom been truly “neutral”. Alabama has played 4…count them…4, away road games against Power 5 teams this century. UCLA, Oklahoma, Penn State and Duke. That is it. The neutral site games are fine, once in a while. Counting this year, Georgia will have played 6 without even counting the 9 against Tech. Hell, even the Gators, who get blasted for not leaving Florida, have played FSU and Miami 11 times away from the Swamp.

                  Like

                  • I know … I didn’t even want to get into the neutral site discussion. He’s very good at playing the media for his own benefit because he knows no one will ever call him on what he says.

                    Like

                  • Otto

                    Who else is playing high level out of conference, out of state competition as regularly as Bama?

                    Like

                    • PTC DAWG

                      Georgia has played more IMHO…

                      Like

                    • PTC DAWG

                      Also not sure what “out of state” has to do with it….Bama plays usually ONE team a year that is worth a damn out of conference.

                      Like

                    • Otto

                      Out of state was to exclude FSU/Florida, a game that tradition doesn’t force on the program.

                      I disagree with UGA scheduling more. Yes UGA plays GT every which is lesser competition than what Bama has scheduled.

                      Like

                    • We typically play 2 P5 schools per year including the Trade School and have been willing to go on the road to play OOC opponents. Alabama has played 2 P5 opponents in a season once in Little Nicky’s tenure. I think they have traveled once in that time to play an OOC game on someone else’s home field.

                      Like

                    • Otto

                      We rarely play 2 P5 OOC schools.

                      Like

                    • 2007 – Oklahoma State / tech
                      2008 – Arizona State / tech
                      2009 – Oklahoma State / Arizona State / tech
                      2010 – Colorado / tech
                      2011 – tech (Boise – top 10 team)
                      2012 – tech
                      2013 – Clemson / tech
                      2014 – Clemson / tech
                      2015 – tech
                      2016 – UNC / tech
                      2017 – Notre Dame / tech

                      Facts are difficult things. Sure, we play tech every year, but we also will have traveled to opposing stadiums 5 times in that span outside of Historic Mark Richt Stadium at Vince Dooley Field.

                      Like

                    • Otto

                      I know the list Colorado was a basement dweller. Az St and Colorado were both under another HC and AD. Many were saying UNC was lesser competition.

                      Bama has faced a team that regular contends for their conference title dating back a decade.

                      Like

                    • Moving the goalposts … your comment was Georgia rarely plays 2 OOC opponents … the fact is that we do more often than not do what Saban is asking for (that he doesn’t do).

                      Saban also hasn’t taken his team to opposing stadiums OOC unlike what we have done. Have they played some high-profile opponents on neutral fields? Yes. Has he typically put those games in places where his side has a home field advantage? Yes.

                      My point through this whole thread has been that Saban is a phony when he talks about scheduling.

                      Your comments about our schedule are classic Dawgrading at its best.

                      Like

                    • Otto

                      2007 – Florida State
                      2008 – Clemson
                      2009 – Virginia Tech
                      2010 – Penn State / Duke
                      2011 – Penn State
                      2012 – Michigan
                      2013 – Virginia Tech
                      2014 – West Virginia
                      2015 – Wisconsin
                      2016 – USC
                      2017 – Florida State
                      2018 – Louisville

                      Like

                    • Otto

                      What does UNC have after ND? UVa and Kent St. B-M especially under McG does not make it a priority to seek out P5 out of conference games.

                      Like

                    • I have a problem with scheduling under this AD like I’ve had a lot of problems with the performance of his job. The Gatorization of the schedule is laughable in my opinion. The Arizona State trip was one of the best I’ve done, and I didn’t even go to the game (my wife and the couple we were with didn’t want to sit in the heat).

                      Like

                    • Otto

                      *does UGA

                      Like

            • Otto

              Why should they when there is only downside in the current landscape?

              Like

    • PTC DAWG

      Yep, his schedule speaks while his mouth flaps.

      Like

      • I was joking before, but exactly how does Nick Saban go about persuading two more SEC schools to agree to play ‘Bama?

        Like

        • Retire or start losing are my guesses.

          Like

        • 1smartdude

          Right now he’s got Auburn and UT trying their best to get OUT of playing them every year. That’s two long standing rivals, much less getting an agreement from some of the less well off SEC programs. If it’s not mandated, it’ll never happen. Give me better football every time. The cupcake games ruin my football Saturdays.

          Like

  2. ASEF

    I think the point of his proposal is that everyone would have to come along at the same time and that the enlarged playoff pool would be the sweetener to get everyone to buy in.

    But yeah, that would be preferable to what we have now. I would gladly add a couple of rounds of playoffs if we got an actual 12 game schedule rather than the 9 or 10 we get now.

    Like

  3. doofusdawg

    I’m just happy that somebody got to adgm and convinced him that night games were better. Footloose!

    Like

  4. More interesting games might result in more per commercial TV revenue which would make the proposal to shorten games by cutting the number of commercials viable. More good games ought to increase viewership. Expanding the playoffs? Not so happy about that.

    Like

  5. Brandon

    This would definitely turn the river that separates the power 5 from everyone else into the grand canyon. Most smaller schools fund a vast majority of their athletic programs with the paycheck they get from playing an Alabama or UGA once a year. As wonderful as it sounds, like ee said above I think the only way this ever happens is if the Power 5 ditches the NCAA and forms their own organization.

    Like

  6. Boz

    Of course he wants that.. he’s got the deepest bench of all the land… not that against the idea.

    Like

  7. mdcgtp

    Personally, I am in favor of an expanded play off for the simple reason that 4 teams does not reduce the debate, poor judgment, and undue influence by guys like Delaney in picking teams. ultimately, the retort to “every game counts” is that when 3 games are against patsies, that is really not true. As for teams without perfect records, having an 8 or 10 or 12 team playoff (you can give byes to top 4 or have play in for bottom 4 or simply pick 8) would hardly render the regular season meaningless.

    The other point I would make is that the NCAA tournament has become the focal point of college basketball because the quality of play has declined significantly. TV ratings for the regular season have fallen precipitously since “one and done” became the norm. The product is not as good, but the tournament weeds out the worst, offers unpredictable results, and incorporates a bit of Fantasy sports with brackets.

    Saban is correct. Imagine if our home schedule this year had Bama, LSU, A&M or Arkansas. My twist to Saban’s request is to have conferences play each other. Have and SEC-Big ten challenge weekend in Late September or even Late November. Figure out the math of 5 P5 conferences or disband the big 12 and split it up among the other 4 for football so that you could have one or maybe even 2 inter conference challenge days….

    Those non conference games would be vitally important in determining power rankings and which conferences get teams in the playoffs.

    I understand that what I advocate is a sea change to the status quo, but is the status quo really worth preserving in its current form? Can’t we do better?

    Like

    • Part of the reason that other sports have suffered is that the regular season no longer matters. A 6 seed can win a natty in CBB. A wild card team with a 9-7 record can win the super bowl, and has. Second place division teams make the MLB playoffs. Everyone is in postseason play in the NBA.

      If you tell everyone that the season doesn’t matter, they’ll listen.

      Personally the 4 game play off is at my limit. I’d rather go back to the days of “mythical” natties than go to 8 or more.

      Belue to scott is meaningless in your scenario. Michael Johnson’s catch at auburn is a side note. I like the fact that every Saturday means something.

      You want to watch a college football playoff? Watch starting the Thursday before labor and it will go on for more than three months and be spectacular.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Bob

        Amen Derek. We are marching toward the Regular Season equaling Spring Training.

        Like

      • Southernlawyer11

        Agree on 99% of that. I do wish it was a 6 team playoff. 1 from every P5 conference (most always the champion) and the highest ranking group of 5 member. I don’t think it hurts anything to include somebody from every power 5 conference and have 1 potential Cinderella every year. And I’m ok with even putting a contingency on the G5 member (i.e must be conference champion and no more than 1 loss)

        Interestingly, if the G5 conferences have a shot at a playoff spot, you may actually see them take an interest in NOT being scheduled as a cupcake in order to avoid that loss as well. Kinda solves Saban’s problem for him. Just fundamentally however, I think there has to be an avenue (however small) to get past the reality that so many universities begin the season with pretty much zero chance to win the big trophy. I’m not saying those conferences need to be treated equitably, but I think there needs to be a place at the table for 1 per year, provided they meet whatever criteria the powers that be decide.

        Like

      • Chopdawg

        Gotta respectfully disagree with Derek. Ga-Fla and GA-Auburn will always mean just as much as they do now, expanded playoff or not.

        Of course, the argument that expanded playoffs would cheapen college football’s regular season is totally valid. I can’t wait for those September matchups in good old Sanford with those two powerhouses from North Carolina and Alabama.

        Like

        • garageflowers

          So the 2002 lose to Florida will sting the same even if UGA had made a four team playoff? Not to me.

          Like

      • I tend to agree with Derek here, I kind of miss the old system when even going to a Bluebonnet bowl meant a little something and the New Year’s day bowl games were the end of the season. I know that is old school out of date thinking that is never coming back but college football seemed better back then IMO.

        Like

  8. ApalachDawg

    If this were to happen, Saban would schedule Kansas and Purdue as his two P5 OOC schools.

    Like

  9. I saw the interview and immediately thought he was taking a dig at Ohio State and Irvin Meyers. He made a comment (paraphrasing) that, sure, you can pad your schedule with non-P5 teams to get your win total up each season but that doesn’t make for good football.

    Like

  10. Create a system of promotion/relegation to the P5. That would get rid of the perenial underachievers and give meaning to every game in every team’s schedule, including the non-P5 teams looking to get in. What the hell I say.

    Like

    • College football isn’t a professional soccer league. Relegation in the abstract is fun to discuss, but it ain’t happening.

      Like

      • Yeah, and if I had told you 20 years ago that Mizzou would be in the SEC you would have laughed in my face. Point is, I don’t know of anything that could be labeled as “not happening” in college football anymore when it comes to conference alignment. It is all about the TV money. Promotion/relegation…abstract? Maybe. Crazy? Not really.

        Like

        • I stopped laughing about college football possibilities a long time ago.

          The reason relegation is crazy is because no P5 program is going to agree to a format that runs the risk of it being kicked off the broadcast revenue teat. And no network is going to be thrilled about a small market mid-major getting in on big-market bucks.

          You’re right — it is all about the TV money.

          Like

      • There are way too many D1 teams though.

        Like

    • Always liked this idea. What’s the cut off? 32?

      How do you decide who the first 32 are?

      What if tech drops out? No game in those years?

      How many drop out/move up every year?

      Besides the issues the host raises that make it unlikely, as a mental exercise this is an intriguing idea with a lot of wrinkles to iron out to make it work.

      Howver the general idea of two conferences of 16, 4 divisions of 8 and a 4 team playoff is a great idea. You drop the bottom 4 and the top 4 of the lower division move in each year.

      Chances are that we drop Vandy and UK while picking up teams like FSU, Clemson, LSU and alabama. Great game every week.

      Like

      • I have not given it too much thought in terms of how it would effect a playoff, or even how you could realign everyone, but I do like the idea of dropping the lower two finishers in a conference. The SEC could have ties with one or more conferences from our region, ex. Sunbelt, and pick up their top two. Every game counts, especially late in the season when teams will scramble to avoid relegation. But yeah, if Tech were to drop out, then no game that year. I think CFB is past giving a damn about tradition and rivals anyway.

        Like

  11. Stoopnagle

    We all know the conferences and schools won’t go down this route, right? That said, the major drawback to limiting P5 programs to playing only each other is that it will reduce opportunity for student-athletes across the country. While fan interest is not as high for UGA-Appalachian State, the money ASU is getting is going to keep alive the possibility for scholarships for not just football at ASU, but other sports as well. Yeah, we don’t care now, but when our medal count at the Olympics goes into the toilet, imagine the hand-wringing!

    I’m all for more, better games; but there is a cost associated with it that might not be obvious.

    Also, pro/reg is so awesome — but so anti-American. We don’t even do it in our soccer league!

    Like

    • mdcgtp

      I just don’t get the “plight” of the G5 schools. I have little sympathy for ULL,ULM, FAU, FIU, etc.

      What do they add to the public good? Athletic scholarships for more football players? More football to be watched in the US, albeit at a lower lever of competition? A larger pool of institutions to develop talent for the NFL? A vehicle for school spirit?

      Why should elite college football programs be responsible for subsidizing their sports and athletics programs?

      I despise the fact that such games exist in college football, as they simply dilute the product. If one of them happens to be competitive and innovated like Boise St was under Peterson. they should be willing to go on the road without being paid more than a standard visitors share to try to build a resume of wins that gets them in the playoff. That said, the notion that college football has program that plays games against teams that it has no natural affiliation or rivalry with little to no hope of winning purely for sake of money is bizarre to me.

      Like

      • southernlawyer11

        While it has certainly morphed into a cash grab, the “pay to go on the road” is consideration for not playing a return game. The payout very much directly correlates to who (and how big) of an opponent said G5 school could actually get to agree to a Home-and-Home. Budget conscious Power 5 schools play home-and-homes with American schools on the reg so as to save some cash. Until the monetary explosion and particularly before the BCS, home and homes with whoever were the norm… but then again, it was all still very regional. The university of memphis had a couple HOME games vs alabama in the 80s / early 90s. Not a snowball chance in hell that happens now… and probably not a chance Bama pays that higher AAC “road game buyout,” a buyout that can be commanded because memphis can still get lower P5 plus ole miss, state and UT to come to the liberty bowl. UCLA comes to Memphis this year.

        Like

  12. KershDawg

    In my opinion, this would further separate the SEC from the other P5 conferences and especially the non P5 schools. The TV contract would absolutely be in favor of the SEC because our smallest fan is likely either Vanderbilt or Missouri. Every conference game would have guaranteed regional viewership and the P5 non conference games for SEC teams almost always have a prime time TV spot.

    Like

  13. Macallanlover

    Golf clap for Little Nicky, if he means it. Why would you not want more good CFB games every week/season? Or value for your season ticket? And why be in a conference with teams you don’t play every decade in your stadium? To hell with nine conference games, let’s go straight to 10!

    Like

  14. I am all for it for everyone of the P5. Now those season tickets would be worth something and maybe even a little more.

    Like