When the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision conferences started discussing a playoff format in earnest, fans and folks within the industry generally fell into two camps. The first group valued crowning a true national champion every year with an undisputed championship that would be earned on the field, many gazing longingly at the FCS-level playoff bracket. Firmly entrenched in the second camp were the purists who would have rather seen college football return to the days of conference bowl tie-ins and a purely mythical national champion before taking the drastic step toward a playoff, though most in that group would have also accepted maintaining the status quo that was the BCS. This second group was more concerned about preserving the integrity of the regular season and maintaining the tradition that is the college football bowl season. In the end we were left with a four-team event as a reasonable compromise, and the inaugural season was seemingly a rousing success.
On Wednesday, just before enjoying a beautiful day on the golf course, Nick Saban told reporters that while the playoff had generated plenty of attention, much of that attention had come at the expense of the other bowls - a development that Saban isn't particularly fond of. The money quote:
"A lot of young men get a lot of positive self gratification from being able to go to a bowl game and that's always been a special thing. That by having a playoff we would minimize the interest in other bowl games, which I think is sort of what happened and I hate to see that for college football."
He then went on to offer a suggestion:
"Maybe we need to go one way or the other," he said. "Either have bowl games or have playoffs but not try to have both."
For my money, the BCS was fairly successful most years in choosing the two best teams to play for the national title, but it was an unmitigated disaster in terms of creating competitive matchups in the other major bowls. It's somewhat difficult to ascertain what Saban is looking for here. There is far too much money in the bowls for those to go away entirely, and expanding the playoff would only exacerbate the shrinking relevance and popularity of the non-playoff bowls. Even still, this is an interesting topic for discussion. Where would you like to see college football go from here? Should the playoffs expand? Should they go away entirely? Are things perfect just how they are? What are your thoughts on Saban's suggestion?
Answer the poll then put your thoughts in the comments.