humblesooner wrote: That link to the Oklahoman is a pay-site.
Want to give us an idea what Saban's thoughts were?
I do not want to see any further expansion.
There are too many blowouts in the playoffs with just 4 teams. You add 4 more and you get another 3-4 blowout games.
No thanks.Nick Saban is right about expanded College Football Playoff
by Berry Tramel
Nick Saban had to be bleary-eyed when he popped in for a Zoom conference early Tuesday morning. His Alabama Crimson Tide were at Hard Rock Stadium until well past midnight just a few hours earlier, waxing Ohio State 52-24 to win Bama’s sixth national championship of the Saban era.
So Saban had to be tired. But his thought process remained strong. Saban was asked about expanding the playoff, and Saban gave a great answer.
“I have mixed emotions about expansion,” Saban said “I always said way back when, when we started this whole playoff thing, even when we started just having a two-team national championship game, that this would reflect poorly on players' interest in playing in bowl games. I think that's come to fruition with the number of guys that opt out and don't play.”
Well, I don’t remember Saban saying that, but he absolutely could have. I don’t monitor his every word.
Now, the two-team playoff thing actually is about a quarter century old, going back to the old Bowl Coalition, which began in 1992 and eventually begat the Bowl Championship Series. BCS. That’s right. BCS.
So we had two decades of a two-team playoff, without players rejecting bowl games. The recent opt-out trend, with players quitting teams before the bowl game, has been in vogue really just since 2016. But maybe Saban saw it coming.
“One of the great things about college football is that a lot of players got rewarded, got a lot of positive self-gratification for having a good season by being able to go to a bowl game,” Saban said. “There was a lot of interest in all those games, there were some great matchups. We have some great bowl partners in college football.”
Interest has waned.
“Now that we have a playoff, even though it's four teams, all the attention goes to the playoff,” Saban said, “and the importance of bowl games has been minimized with fans, players.
“I don't know if that's good or bad. If we expand, that's going to further diminish the importance of bowl games. Maybe those two things can't coexist. If they can't coexist, then having a bigger playoff would probably be a good thing.”
And that’s the truth. Saban hit it on the core. A bowl system is interesting, even if somewhat quaint. A playoff system is the standard method in most all sports. Some kind of combined system is doomed to fail.
That’s what we have, and it’s not working. At least on the bowl side. And the bigger the playoff, the less the bowls mean.
I suppose you could work out a method by which the playoff is incorporated into the bowls, which means six or seven bowls every year would matter greatly. But the other bowls would decrease in importance.
The truth is, most of the bowls now are kept alive or even owned by ESPN. If the network ever tires of the Boca Raton Bowl and its ilk, those games are gone. Saban is right. Expanding the playoff would hasten that process.
I’m with Saban. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. But it is so.
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