“They will all have a choice to make.”

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!


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Nick Saban Rules

21 responses to ““They will all have a choice to make.”

  1. I mentioned it after the Iron Bowl. This bowl preparation season is likely to be brutal in Tuscaloosa because Little Nicky wants to identify those who are going to play to his standard … especially on defense. I’m not sure if it was the migration to more spread, the injuries or attrition (or a combo), but this Alabama defense wasn’t physical or fundamentally sound.

    I would be very surprised if any of the 3 upperclassman receivers and Najee Harris play.


    • gastr1

      I personally look forward to more Saban commentary about over-emphasis on the playoffs, though. What a laugh Nick is! It’s both enjoyable on a “schadenfreude” level and also on comparison to pretty much anything he would have said the five years prior.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Reverend Whitewall

    I’m already starting to dread bowl season when your team is one of the ones who missed out on the playoffs right at the very end. You already know your team isn’t gonna be particularly motivated in the bowl game. I can already hear all the “overrated” chatter from fans of other conferences when disinterested UGA and Bama teams with all their best players out for the game end up losing.

    Assuming Swift doesn’t play, anybody know if McIntosh has any games left without burning his RS? Wouldn’t mind seeing him get 10-12 carries to see what we have to work with next year.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Gaskilldawg

    I read the linked article. Writer is proud of himself for doing a Larry Culpepper (Dr. Pepper vendor guy) and figuring brackets but he did not figure out how to make the schedule fit fall semester exam schedules, or what how Appalachian State’s increase in insurance premiums will be for covering injury risk for 3 extra games, or how to sell universe presidents on extending 2 teams’ players to playing more competition games than the NFL regular season.
    But, sombitch can draw brackets, though.


  4. sniffer

    College football at the P5 level is changed for ever. Every game is on tv, 24 hour team news and game predictions and so on. There’s no point in waiting to expand the Playoffs. I have no interest in the Sugar Bowl this year or any year from now on and I’m old enough to remember when it was the promised land. I told a friend last night during the Pittman saga that it’s exhausting these days being a Dawg. Every Saturday since mid September has been mostly a nail-biter. Doubt I watch much bowl season football. Just don’t care that much.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Just don’t care that much.”

      Those 5 words encapsulate my interest in college football Georgia and otherwise right now. When we got an email from the UGAAA mentioning they hadn’t gotten our postseason ticket order and we could get Sugar Bowl tickets, I just laughed and told my wife to delete it.

      The season has been an absolute slog since the South Carolina game. I have to give it to our guys. They kept chopping wood playing for their postseason lives every week.

      I’ll be interested in what changes are afoot on the staff and what happens next Wednesday. Otherwise, I’ll probably DVR the bowl game and watch it if I have any interest on the 2nd.

      2019 started out with a whimper in New Orleans and went out with a collapse in Atlanta. Good riddance from a CFB perspective, 2019.

      Liked by 2 people

      • soccerdawg

        “The season has been an absolute slog since the South Carolina game” I couldn’t agree more. We drive 110 miles to the games. We stayed in AirBnBs for ND and ATM. Drove to UGA v FL. Gave my 2 sons tickets to SEC Championship. It is expensive and its no vacation. We will be in the Sonoran desert for the Sugar Bowl with no reception. Looking forward to getting away.


      • Gaskilldawg

        I understand, ee, but I did REALLY enjoy those 11 wins, especially the ND, UT, UF and AU ones along the way. The SEC CG doesn’t make my UF experience any less fun.


      • “The season has been an absolute slog since the South Carolina game.”


        The smartest thing I changed about my football watching a few years ago:

        1) I record all games.
        2) 4+ hours after, I see if we won.
        3) If we lost, I delete.
        4) If we won, I watch and skip commercials.

        Far less miserable. Less guilt about wasting 4 hours of my life watching shit.

        Exception: In 2017 I started watching games live because our team was so good and we just destroyed people. I miss that feeling of confidence watching games and knowing we were going to play great.


  5. Mayor

    The proposal to expand the playoff in the linked article is all wrong. It shouldn’t be 16 teams. It should be 128 teams! Everybody should be in the playoff! After all, that would only add 7 more games for the teams that made it to the championship game. So, play the regular season, play the conference championship games and then start the playoff. 20 games. That’ll do it! And pass a rule that players don’t have to go to class or take those pesky exams.


  6. Uglydawg

    $$$ ruin everything.
    It’s television money that gave us the CFP.
    It’s money that makes us watch four hours to see one hour of play.
    And it’s that same money that is injected right into the veins of football schools to keep them focused on that one prize. They’re addicted.
    And it’s NFL money (or the potential loss of it) that is convincing players to sit out bowl games.
    And we’re going to see kids getting paid to play. Pros and cons to that, but what we’re seeing is the blooming of professional college football and all the impurity that comes with that. It’s really already here. Sitting out is effectively admitting it’s mostly about money. And with that kind of money at stake, who can blame the players?
    Now, when the hosting bowl cities begin to realize that they’re not getting what they are paying for, bowls will begin to bite the dust.

    Players sit out? So will fans. Who wants to watch a shit show like last year’s Sugar?
    The fix for that? More playoff games to make those bowls pertinent again. What a deal…and TV gets richer and so do the schools.
    But it may be the only salvation for the bowls. And while they’re at it, just make it 8 games (16 teams) to save more bowls. (Just think, we’d still be in, even without a smidgen of an offense. So would Auburn and Florida and Alabama! Very fair to LSU,… sure..but there’s $$ to be made.)
    Fans’ attitudes have adapted. “Screw my team and fire the coaches because we’re not National Champs. 11 wins don’t mean shit if you lose the big one.”
    What’s next? If your team doesn’t repeat or three-peat as national champs you turn on the players and the coach (here’s looking at you, gumps)
    Yeah, I’m an oldster that can look back and appreciate a purer and happier time as a college football fan. Bowls mattered because the AP and UPI National Champions would be declared after the Jan.1 games. We would eat our traditional NYD food and watch the big games on TV. It was great!
    Almost every game had implications. It was exciting and fun. It’s gone, but it really wasn’t that long ago.
    Pardon me for this Pawsian Rant.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Good post, Ugly. Sometimes telling folks to get off my lawn is exactly what they need to hear.

    Not a single game outside the Peach and Fiesta Bowls mean a damn thing this year.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Faltering Memory

    If NY day games do not achieve at least minimum TV ratings, will Mickey have to refund sponsor’s money. And, ee, I was told in my email from UGAAA, I could order 10 tickets.


  9. FlyingPeakDawg

    Posted this elsewhere, but fits better here. In yesteryear we would have: LSU to the Sugar Bowl to play Baylor, tOSU in the Rose to play Oregon, Clemson in the Orange to play Wisconsin, and OU in the Cotton to play UGA. Best 3 teams avoid each other. No clear NC whether or not favorites win or there are upsets. Is this better or worse for fans? Players? Or the makings of an 8 team playoff? Could a committee pick just two of the winners from these bowls for the MNC game in the Fiesta?

    I know the dumbest argument is “every other sport can figure this out, why can’t CFB?!” CFB…thank God…is different. Embrace that rather than try to eliminate it.


    • That would have sucked and thank god that isn’t what we have.

      The 4 team playoff is great. All 3 undefeated teams have a shot.

      8 team playoff would be better so all P5 champs are included. This isn’t a sustainable system with multiple P5 champs getting dissed and the SEC often getting 2.

      Then let all the other bowl games be irrelevant show piece content for ESPN.