Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail


Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail


Article excerpt

DALLAS - Alabama coach Nick Saban says the downside of the College Football Playoff is that it is taking attention away from bowl games that used to be a big deal. Saban and Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said Wednesday morning during the final Cotton Bowl news conference before their teams play Thursday night at AT&T Stadium that playoff is a good way to determine a national champion.

Both coaches said that they would be against expanding the playoff if it meant adding games to the college season.

Saban said he feared a playoff-or-bust mindset would develop in college football and in year two he is seeing it already.

"But one of the unique things about college football was always that a lot of positive reinforcement was given to a lot of teams who had the opportunity to go to bowl games. And there were some pretty significant trips involved for families and fans and teams and players, Saban said. "And my concern was if we had a playoff, all the attention would go to the playoff and we would minimize the importance of those games for all those other players. And I think that's probably happened to some degree.

The emphasis on the playoff and how it has moved the bar on what constitutes a successful season can be seen in some of the coaching moves made this year, Saban said.


The worst road trip for Oklahoma this season, without question, was the one to Kansas State.

Or maybe it was the best trip.

To explain: Because of mechanical problems with three different planes back on Oct. 16, the Sooners were delayed more than eight hours at the airport in Oklahoma City before taking off for Manhattan, Kansas and an afternoon game the following day. They spent the delay watching film, then even some playoff baseball to kill even more time.

"Everybody was close, Sooners wide receiver Sterling Shepard said. "And we didn't whine about it, we didn't stress about it, everybody just had a good time with it.

But here was perhaps the big key: The Sooners got some fast food out of the deal, because the staff couldn't find anything else for them to eat during that delay that dragged on for hours. So Sooners coach Bob Stoops sent anyone with a car out to come back with 10 bags of whatever fast food they could find. …

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