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…