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Alabama coach Nick Saban has won seven national championships, including one this past season, but that doesn’t mean he has to like the College Football Playoff format.
“Way back when we decided to have two teams, pick the best two teams and let the play in a championship game, and everybody wanted to expand to four teams, it was my comment then that if we expand to four teams and have a playoff, everything is going to be about the playoff,” Saban said on the Rich Eisen Show. “All the media interest, everything is going to be about the playoff. The shows they do all year, the shows like who gets into the NCAA Basketball Tournament, that’s what it’s going to be.
“All the other bowl games and teams that had good seasons but didn’t quite get there, the interest in what they do in the offseason is going to be diminished. And that is exactly what’s happened.”
Twenty-two of the 28 bids for the four-team playoff have gone to just five teams — Alabama (6), Clemson (6), Oklahoma (4), Ohio State (4) and Notre Dame (2). Alabama and Clemson have combined for five of the seven titles. So it’s safe to say that the CFP has been lacking in the parity department.
“So I just wonder sometimes if having a Playoff and bowl games — and that was the unique thing about bowl games in college football, a lot of players got self-gratification for having good seasons,” Saban said. “They got to go to a bowl game, their families, the program, everything sort of got some positive self-gratification of what they were able to accomplish, even though they weren’t national championship caliber or Playoff caliber.
“Now that’s all been diminished a little bit. You just wonder to yourself, ‘Can Playoff and bowl games co-exist, or should we just have more teams in the Playoff?’ I’m not saying I’m for it or against it. I think that’s the question people need to answer.”