When the new College Football Playoff was announced, Alabama head coach Nick Saban had one fear — it would minimize all the other bowl games. After the first installment of the playoff, won by Ohio State, Saban says his fear has been realized.
“I learned what I feared the most would happen,” Saban told AL.com. “All the attention, all the interest would be about the four teams in the playoffs, which is exactly what happened, which was great to be a part of.
“But what I was most fearful of is college football is unique. 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.”
Attendance for returning bowl games dropped four percent compared to the year before. In fact, it was lowest average bowl attendance in more than three decades.
What is a potential solution? It may be a dramatic shift in college football’s postseason landscape.
“Maybe we need to go one way or the other,” Saban said. “Either have bowl games or have playoffs but not try to have both.”