The SEC spring meetings kicked off this week with fireworks from Nick Saban who managed to tackle the most pressing issues facing college football including transfers, a nine game SEC football schedule and, surprisingly, his problem with the College Football Playoff.
All in a day’s work for Saban.
The SEC spring meetings, held in Destin, FL, bring coaches, school administrators and conference brass together to express their feelings on numerous topics facing college athletics. Most of the topics are the ones we see discussed in articles such as this or on radio throughout the off-season.
How to handle transfers, and whether coaches should be allowed to restrict where they go or not, is one of the biggest topics facing the sport considering its potential to bring all-out free agency to college football. Saban, like many other coaches, are against allowing underclassmen to transfer to the school of their choiceand be immediately eligible. Unless, of course, you’re talking about a player choosing their school, as was the case when Jake Coker decided to leave Florida State and join Alabama. Then, of course, it’s okay.
Saban did his usual Saban thing when addressing the media at SEC spring meetings, dropping memorable one liners that consisted of rat manure and elephant doo-doo, maybe his greatest line to date, while giving his reasoning on how a nine game SEC schedule would be beneficial to the conference as a whole.
Then, Saban dropped a quote that seemed to go in another direction. A direction that caught me off-guard considering the recent history of Alabama football and the College Football Playoff.
While a guest on “The Paul Finebaum Show,” Saban critiqued the Playoff format.
“My issue with the Playoff is that if you lose late in the season, it has a much greater impact than if you lose early in the season” Saban told Finebaum.
Just in case you forgot, Alabama’s only loss of the season in 2017 came on November 25th, the last week of regular season. In fact, in the short history of the College Football Playoff, five of the 13 playoff teams that suffered a regular season loss, lost in November. The other eight teams that suffered a loss during the season suffered losses after the month of September.
So, what is Saban’s point here? Why does Saban believe that a late season loss has a greater impact when clearly it doesn’t?
Since 2014, Alabama hasn’t lost a regular season game earlier than week three of the season (2015 loss to Ole Miss at home) and the losses had no bearing whatsoever on the Tide’s ability to get into the Playoff.
Fast forward to 2017, Alabama’s lone loss of the season happened later than both of Ohio State’s losses, the first in week two, the second on November 4th. The Buckeyes still had four games left to prove to the Selection Committee that they were Playoff-worthy and won all four with a Big Ten championship cherry to top it off. Yet, it still wasn’t enough to convince the Committee that a season-ending loss to Auburn and no SEC championship appearance should keep the Tide from its fourth appearance in the CFP.
What, then, is Saban’s issue?
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