Nick Saban, fan advocate

As much shade as we throw Saban’s way, there’s one topic for which he deserves unabashed credit for being on the side of the angels.

“I think somebody needs to step up in college football and get ahead of dwindling attendance and people not coming to games — too many games that people are not interested in,” Saban said. “I think every player in the SEC should play every team in the SEC in their career and we don’t do that since we expanded to 14 teams and we only play eight SEC games. I’ve been for that for a long time.”

Yes, he has.  And it’s clever on his part to pitch this as a value-related matter.  Better games mean more ticket sales.

Saban also calls for playing only Power-5 level schools.

“So, when people go to buy tickets and you have to pay premium for all of that, they are not seeing Division II schools,” Saban said, “they’re seeing, oh we’re playing five SEC schools and Oklahoma this year at home. I think it’s a good thing for college football. It’s a good thing.”

“I just think from a big-picture fan standpoint, playing a bunch of games nobody is interested in is not good for the game,” Saban said. “And, you know, players, when you’re playing SEC games, they’re not interested in playing somebody that doesn’t matter.”

I didn’t know the players felt that way; I kind of assumed that second and third stringers liked the occasional cupcake game so they’d get a chance to play.

In any event, this is why I tend to brush off articles that criticize Alabama’s scheduling.  To borrow an analogy, Saban’s not going to pay any more taxes than he has to.  But he’s more than willing to pay his share if the law is rewritten.

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37 Comments

Filed under College Football, Nick Saban Rules

37 responses to “Nick Saban, fan advocate

  1. Biggen

    Since A&M joined the conference, we still haven’t played them. That is silly…

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    • Greg

      They had their chance, all they had to do was win their division. But I could see it now, they lose the SECCG, have only 1 loss and the committee still puts them in the playoffs.

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    • Otto

      Why is it silly? Prior to the expansion in ’92 UGA would go a decade and not play LSU.

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      • Biggen

        Yeah Austin Peay or Middle TN really gets that blood pumping…

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      • ATL Dawg

        Actually, we played LSU in 91, 90, 87, 86, 79, and 78.

        But we didn’t play them from 54-77, so I get your point. However, my rebuttal to that would be that it was silly then and it’s silly now.

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        • Otto

          My rebuttal is an 85 scholarship limit will reduce the season to a gamble of who can keep injuries to a minimum if an SEC goes to a 10 game schedule. I had rather see 2 cupcakes, GT and another P5 team.

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        • Otto

          In my opinion being in the same conference does not mean a rivalry, tradition, or even a need to play more than once a decade. A conference is 1st a way of sharing expenses and revenue which is not to say conference stability and rivalry is not important. I am not close friends with all my close friend’s friends nor do I need to be but we all like to keep a strong group of close friends.

          Clempson has more tradition for UGA and I had rather play them in a home and away once a decade than play A&M more often.

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      • South FL Dawg

        Yes but we used to play 11 games instead of 12. And we used to play South Carolina every year before they joined the SEC anyway so that’s not really an extra game.

        It isn’t just Georgia that changed though. To me the biggest change is there are very few independents left and once teams join a conference their schedules are mostly set. The shame of it is that we end up playing Missouri every year and teams like Arkansas every few years, but we can’t play teams that are close to us like Alabama or Clemson unless the stars align just right.

        It ain’t about what the fans like anymore; it’s like we got hooked on the good stuff and now we’ll accept anything.

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  2. Greg

    Easy for him to say.

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  3. Saxondawg

    You would think Nick Saban would know the difference between “Division II” and FCS.

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  4. ATL Dawg

    The season starts in a little over a month and the only home game that is sold out is Auburn.

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  5. The other Doug

    Would season ticket buyers pay the same total amount for the season if the schedule was cut to 10 or 11 games, but those games were all against Power 5 teams?

    The extra week off might make it work for the players.

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  6. LakeOconeeDawg

    I can see it now….the future gives us Saban in place of Sankey.

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  7. Spur 21

    “I didn’t know the players felt that way; I kind of assumed that second and third stringers liked the occasional cupcake game so they’d get a chance to play.”

    The new red shirt rules should jump that hurdle.

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  8. Bright Idea

    Cupcakes don’t help but these ticket prices have gotten pretty damn high. $165 for an end zone seat at LSU. That’s discouraging to many.

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  9. I think he advocates for this because it would help him.

    I don’t think it would help us at the moment, but we’re getting there.

    If we had a 9th game on this schedule where would we want it to be?

    Who would we want it to be?

    Opening at College Station on 9/1?

    Doesn’t sound good.

    Playing a road SEC game after Sakerlina?

    Playing a legit team the week before Tech?

    I know it sucks when its 3 bad teams and Tech, but we had ND last year and we’ll get them here next year.

    All in all, unless you’ve signed the No. 1 class every year (except last year!), I don’t think you’re looking for another tough week.

    Also Alabama doesn’t have an annual non-conference foe. Its not our fault that Tech sucks. Florida and USC have legit comp there.

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  10. Cojones

    Gurley. $60M!

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  11. PTC DAWG

    I might not sure the FCS Schools could survive with the FBS games, and so on down the line…not sure that would be good for football overall.

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  12. AceDawg

    I wouldn’t completely eliminate cupcake games, but I’d limit non-Power 5 games to one or two per year at most. I’d also add an additional game to each team’s schedule that the NCAA randomly draws from a list of all Power 5 teams that are from a different conference of each team. That would create a big viewing event to watch the drawing and create a lot of nontraditional match ups. Those games would draw great attendance, and the extra cross conference game would make resume comparisons easier.

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  13. WHB209

    The Fla game causes a problem for Ga when trying to put this together.
    There would be years (every other one) when we would have 4 maybe 5 home games..

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  14. DaddyRichATL

    Senator, what if the 9th conference game for every SEC team was played at a neutral site?
    UF/UGA – EverBank Field, Jacksonville
    ATM/ARK – AT&T Stadium, Dallas
    UM/VAN – Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis
    LSU/ALA – NRG Stadium, Houston
    MSU/AUB – Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans
    USC/MIZZ – Nissan Stadium, Nashville
    TN/UK – Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinatti OR Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte

    Like