Nick Saban has a couple ideas on how to improve college football's bowl selection process. Speaking before the Montgomery stop of the Crimson Caravan on Tuesday, the Alabama coach offered up some suggestions on how the NCAA could make its bowl season more refined.
">May 14, 2014
Saban, mostly, wants a change in the selection process. He would like it to be more like the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, which uses a committee.
"I think we have to change the whole system," Saban said. "I understand everybody's point of view on this. Everybody wants to be bowl eligible, they look at it like if we have another conference game, that's seven more losses of everyone which would minimize the number of teams that could get in bowl games.
"Well I think on the other end of it, the committee that's going to pick the top four teams for the playoff are really picking the top 12 teams for all six sort of championship bowl games, whatever they call it now. Well, why don't we do it like basketball and let them pick all the teams for all the bowl games. Then it doesn't matter what your record is."
Currently, in order to make a bowl game, a team must have at least a .500 record. Saban thinks that should change, too.
"I mean, who's to say having six wins and having a 6-6 season is what qualifies to go to a bowl game. If you play in the tough league and you play a tough schedule and you win a couple big games — RPI or whatever you want to call it — and even though you may lose to some very good teams, you should still have an opportunity to go to a bowl game because your team may be better than another team who played a lesser schedule.
"If we do that, then more people would not be so concerned about the type of schedule they played and the number of wins that they got. Which, my whole thing is, improve the number of good games for the fans. So I was for having nine conference games, plus another game in the big five or whatever they're calling it now, the big five conferences, which we're going to play eight games in the SEC and everybody's going to play one of those games as well, which we've always done."
Saban used the NFL to help make his point.
"Being in the NFL, you have 32 teams," said Saban, the Miami Dolphins head coach from 2005-06. "You played all 32 teams and you rotated the schedule, aight, so there was more of a competitive balance.
"The Giants (in 2011) lost six games and won the Super Bowl, so rather than if you lost a game in college football, now you're out, well if you played a more difficult schedule and you really looked at strength of schedule, you could lose a game or maybe two and still have a chance to get in the playoff and you'd have more quality games for the fans."
Saban's Alabama program has benefited greatly from the current bowl system, winning three national titles over the last five years. That system is changing, though, with the inclusion of the College Football Playoff this year.