Alabama head coach Nick Saban is in favor of scheduling only schools from the Power Five, but says he will let the powers-to-be decide what is best for the game.
Alabama has a break from the rigors of the SEC schedule this weekend as it hosts FCS opponent Chattanooga in Tuscaloosa. If head coach Nick Saban were to get his way, this blowout-to-be would never happen.
“Through the years I’ve been an advocate of playing all Power Five schools and more conference games. I know it’s a more difficult schedule, but I think it would be better for the fans.”
The practice of playing FCS schools, who mostly serve as fodder for more powerful schools while collecting a handsome paycheck along with the way, is often criticized for watering down the quality of the game, especially for fans in attendance who pay top price to be in the stadium.
Saban’s idea to only play Power Five schools isn’t necessarily perfect, as regular Top 25 residents Houston, Boise State, and BYU would be out of the picture given their status as Group of Five and Independents. Alabama’s schedule, in Saban’s estimation, should resemble one that a NFL team plays – in other words, it should be more competitively balanced.
“I think if we played more like the NFL [it would be beneficial]. The New York Giants won the Super Bowl a few years ago and lost six games. So you play quality opponents every week, and probably end up losing more games, but I think at the end of the day it would be more competitive for everyone involved relative to the fans, players, selection committee and everything that goes into it.”
While playing these sort of games isn’t exactly Saban’s prerogative, he does see how it benefits not only his team, but the schools that sign up to get routed just so their athletic department can have a payday.
“First of all, we have a total amount of respect for their players, coaches, program and the work that they do. We understand it does help their schools, and it certainly helps our team play a game and try to improve.”
Saban is one of the most powerful men in college football, but when it comes to making a change, he will leave it up to those above him to do whatever they think is beneficial for the sport.
“We have administrators, conference commissioners, athletic directors and college presidents that are all in a position to make those kinds of decisions. We’ll just do whatever they decide is best for college football.”
The coach putting his thoughts into the powers-to-be’s minds would go a long way in a possible change.