/Saban still opposed to expanding playoff field

Saban still opposed to expanding playoff field

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Alabama coach Nick Saban remains steadfastly opposed to expanding the College Football Playoff.

Saban, who reminded everyone that he wasn’t in favor of going from two to four teams, said he feels expanding the field leads to an undercutting of the “self-gratification” for players that comes with going to bowl games not associated with the national championship.

“I think the playoff … continues to expand to minimize the importance of those games, maybe to the point where those game won’t even exist,” Saban said. “I’m not sure that is the best thing, overall, for college football.”

The College Football Playoff is in the fifth year of a 12-year contract.

Saban argued that if the playoff were to expand, then more players would skip bowl games to prepare for their NFL futures and fewer fans would attend the games.

The importance of the non-playoff bowl games, Saban said, would continue to “sort of disintegrate.”

“Which I’m not sure is good for college football,” Saban said. “I’m not really for going eight teams in a playoff. It’s a hypothetical question, that I have enough issues and problems to solve without thinking about something that may or may not happen.”

On Thursday, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said he didn’t see “any momentum for change” in terms of expanding the playoff to eight teams.

“I think it’s working very well,” Swarbrick said. “Having said that, I think every business should look at every aspect of its business. But being open to a conversation is not the same as being an advocate for particular change. I think we should talk about anything members think are relevant, but I don’t see any momentum for change.”

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