Happy Tuesday, everyone. Things were a bit slow yesterday outside of Nick Saban’s sit-down with Joel Klatt. His take on parity and specifically the 2022 CFP selection made waves.
“So but the problem with the way the whole system is, there’s no accounting for that, right,” Saban said of parity. “So, all we do is take the teams that win the most games at the end of the year, put them in the playoffs. But do you really get the best teams? When they told me that we would be favored against three out of the four teams that got in the playoff, I’m like, why aren’t we in the playoffs?”
The thought is the Tide would have been favored over Michigan, TCU and Ohio State and an underdog to Georgia.
“Does that mean they have a better team,” Saban said. “Or does it mean that those people don’t know what they’re talking about? I really don’t know that. But I’m not being critical of anybody. But if you’re going to have parity, you have to have a better way of figuring out who has the best teams, not just because you lose two games on the last play of the game.
“That knocks you out when you may be better than somebody else who didn’t have the same circumstances that they had played.”
Thus far the various CFP committees have always had the option to leave out all two loss teams, and they have done just that. Saban’s point that the “four best” teams aren’t necessarily the ones with the best records is, of course, correct. Coincidentally, Tom Fornelli mentions TCU as a team likely to fall off this year, and check out his reasoning.
TCU lost a ton of production from last year’s team. ESPN.com’s Bill Connelly has a returning production metric he publishes yearly, and TCU ranks 118th nationally. The Frogs also lost offensive coordinator Garrett Riley to Clemson, though the fact Sonny Dykes is still in Fort Worth and the hire of Kendall Briles leads me to believe this team will still score points.
But as good as the Frogs were last year, we can’t overlook some of the luck. Other than Troy, no team in the country had as many one-score victories as TCU’s six, and the Frogs went 6-1 in those games. Nine of their 13 wins came by 10 points or fewer. Their only wins by at least three scores came against Tarleton State, Oklahoma and Iowa State. Tarleton State was the only one of those three to finish last season with a winning record.
So, a team that played a relatively weak schedule, and didn’t beat a winning FBS school by double digits all year, was deemed one of the “four best” because they won all of their regular season games. It was deemed “unfair” that TCU had to play in a conference championship game while Alabama sat at home that weekend, but it wasn’t “unfair” that Alabama traveled to Knoxville and Baton Rouge.
If there’s one constant in college football, it’s that the narratives ebb and flow. All of this will become moot, of course, with playoff expansion. There’s really no reason for Nick to be looking backward at this stage. What’s done is done.
Nick also spoke on the issues surrounding NIL and the portal.
“We’re giving people scholarships, we’re creating NIL opportunities, but what is their commitment?” Saban said. “There is no place in the world where you don’t have a contract. If you’re going to receive benefits, you have a contract and obligation to do a certain job. So, when you can opt out, transfer, do whatever you want, whenever you want, wherever you want, I’m not sure the balance is quite right.
“At the end of the day, when you create an atmosphere where somebody is tentatively committed to what they’re trying to accomplish, you have to evaluate if that is really a good thing because we all need to be totally committed to whatever our goals and aspirations are and the sense of purpose that we have, if we’re going to have a chance to be successful.”
You can watch the whole interview below.
Yeah, that’s about it for now. Told you it was slow. Have a great day.