The College Football Playoff model has been criticized over the years for a number of different reasons. Many have asked for more teams to be involved in the playoff. However, legendary Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban is certainly not one of them.
When asked about a possible expansion, Saban said that he believes that it would further diminish bowl games for teams that don’t make it into the playoff.
Nick Saban believes expansion of the #CFBPlayoff will further diminish bowl games. He believed that as well when the BCS was abandoned and the field expanded from two to four teams. He says it has "come to fruition."
— Brandon Marcello (@bmarcello) January 3, 2022
Nick Saban asked if CFP expansion could help avoid semifinal blowouts: "If this is the best four teams and they played each other, I don’t see the logic that if we had more teams, they would be better games. I don’t see how that adds up."
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) January 3, 2022
Saban has a point. None of the big bowl games outside of the playoff this year has felt special outside of the Rose Bowl between Ohio State and Utah, and that was only because it was a shootout in a competitive game.
The current playoff model that is in place truthfully hasn’t been all that competitive either. Alabama blew out an undefeated Cincinnati team and Georgia did the same to Michigan, so the idea of competitive playoff games may just not be in the cards most of the time.
The average margin of victory in the 14 national semifinal matchups is 21.1 points per game, and only four of the games since it began have been decided by 14 points or less.
To Saban’s point, NFL-bound players are sitting out of big college bowl games because they don’t want to get injured in what they feel are meaningless games. The players clearly don’t view these bowl games as all that important, so why would fans? You can argue either way whether or not an expansion would help or hurt that at all.
For what it’s worth Saban is actually helped a lot by the current playoff system from a recruiting standpoint. Bama is pretty much the only program that can pencil in a spot every year.
He has no incentive to advocate for it to change. I would feel the same way if I were him. https://t.co/ggIzMA62b5
— Brett Kollmann (@BrettKollmann) January 3, 2022
Whether or not Saban wants an expansion going forward, it seems like the likely outcome in the future. The committee desperately needs to come to a decision this month to decide a possible future expansion if the goal is to have a new model in place by 2024.
The College Football Playoff Committee is set to meet on January 10 to discuss what is now an uncertain College Football Playoff model going forward. In the meantime, fans can enjoy another SEC vs. SEC showdown.