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.