It’s gonna be a fun December for Nick Saban.
As Alabama was making appearances in each of the first five College Football Playoff extravaganzas, players across the country started electing not to play in postseason games that didn’t have a national championship at stake.
Former LSU running back Leonard Fournette, former Auburn cornerback Carlton Davis and former Georgia cornerback Deandre Baker were among the notable Southeastern Conference players who elected to bypass bowl games and get a head start on their NFL preparation. Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide didn’t have to concern themselves with such departures, but that won’t be the case in the weeks ahead.
Alabama didn’t qualify for this year’s playoff and instead will play Michigan in the Citrus Bowl on New Year’s Day.
“I’m sure that guys are going to make individual decisions based on their circumstance and their situation,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said Sunday. “What we want to focus on are the guys who want to look to the future and look to try to improve themselves as players and to improve our team in getting back to the standard that we want to play to.
“This is something that has been a bit of an issue in the past with other programs. We will have those conversations, and we will let you know if any of those decisions are imminent.”
Oh, they’re imminent, alright. Thing is, Saban’s not wrong about this:
“When you have guys who don’t play in bowl games and they do play in the playoffs, that in itself tells you the view of the players in terms of how they look at the bowl game. We have made everything about the playoffs in college football.”
Obviously, there’s only one fix for that. More cowbell!