Alabama head coach Nick Saban wants more teams in the College Football Playoff. In this week's SEC coaches conference call, he advocated for tougher regular season scheduling for Power 5 teams, and a move toward something similar to the NFL Playoffs where one or two losses won't necessarily knock a team out of contention.
Leading up to Alabama's game against FCS Chattanooga, Saban acknowledged how important these games can be for lower-division programs, financially, but also said he thinks fans and teams themselves would benefit more from additional conference games or matchups against equally competitive squads.
"Through the years I've been an advocate of playing all Power 5 schools and playing more conference games," said on Wednesday. "I know it's a more difficult schedule, but I think it would be better for the fans. In the Playoff right now, if you want to talk about that system, you lose a game and you're on thin ice. If you lose two, it's almost impossible. If we played more like the NFL, I mean, the New York Giants won the Super Bowl a few years ago and lost six games, so you would play quality opponents every week and probably end up losing more games, I think at the end of the day, it would be more competitive for everyone involved."
Let's dive into this quote just a bit. He doesn't come out and say it, but what Saban really wants is an expanded College Football Playoff format. Instead of scheduling games against Kent State, Western Kentucky and Chattanooga, why not throw in a couple other Power Five opponents and limit the "cupcake game" to just one per season? This way there's still room for epic Appalachian State over Michigan upsets, but fans get more entertaining, nail-biting contests and further competition between true Power 5 contenders.
Saban has a point, and an expanded Playoff doesn't seem too far off. Everyone loves the little guy, but these smaller programs aren't ever going to hang with the big boys on a regular basis. If a tougher regular season schedule will lead to a six, eight or 10-team College Football Playoff, we're all for it.