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Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Saban supports plus-one, bowl system

By Edward Aschoff

There’s no question how Alabama coach Nick Saban feels about any sort of postseason changes. He’d like to see the best four teams compete for a shot at a national championship at the end of the season and he’s against just using conference winners.

That means a plus-one is something he’s all for.

But Saban would also like to keep the bowl system intact as much as possible because he believes it is “healthy for college football.”

Lost in a lot of playoff talk is the potential of schools -- and more importantly players -- losing out on the bowl week experience. It provides players with time to unwind and actually enjoy all of the buildup leading to the final game of the season.

It’s a reward that players absolutely deserve after the regular season.

Saban said during Tuesday’s coaches call that he’d like to see the “playoff” bowl games played in early January. The championship would come a week later at another bowl site. The use of regular Jan. 1 bowls would be an option and could rotate like the BCS bowls do now.

Whatever the playoff would be, Saban just wants the true bowl experience kept.

“I haven’t done enough research in it to know what the other proposals are how, they’d work and what the consequences of all those circumstances would be to our current bowl system,” Saban said.

Another idea brought up to Saban was the thought of playing home first-round playoff games, something the Big Ten favors. Saban said he hadn’t thought about that idea, but wondered if having two fan bases travel, instead of all four, would be fair.

“Fans get up and go to a bowl game to support their team but it’s only one time,“ Saban said. “For two teams, it’d actually be two opportunities for fans to travel and that might not be the most convenient thing for your fan base and I understand that.”

Playoff talk will continue to be a hot topic in college football and Saban has shown that he isn’t afraid to be outspoken about his thoughts on the matter.