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Don’t misunderstand, Nick Saban is just fine with Alabama continuing to play for national championships. But he reiterated his stance that he’s not a big fan of the College Football Playoff format, as currently arranged.
“I’ve always been one that bowl games and playoffs are going to have a tough time coexisting together,” Saban told Bryant McFadden and Patrick Petersen on the All Things Covered podcast. “Bowl games have always been a positive thing for college football players because a lot of people get a lot of self-gratification for having a good season.
“Maybe you didn’t win a championship or whatever, but you get a chance to go to a good bowl game and have some fun. It’s a really good, positive reinforcement for college football players.”
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.
Saban’s most recent comments echoed something he said about the CFP last month on the Rich Eisen Show.
“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 in February. “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.”
Eventually, you would think the CFP would begin exploring the idea of expanding beyond just four teams.
“You don’t even hear about the other games and all that stuff,” Saban said on All Things Covered. “That’s always been my issue with the playoff is that bowl games sort of get put on the back shelf. If we want to expand the playoffs, that’s OK. I don’t think you can have bowl games and do that as well. I’ve always been one that, if we are going to have playoffs, why don’t we make the bowl games a part of that.”