Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide might have made a strong push into the first-ever College Football Playoffs last season, but the head coach focused more on the teams left out than the four that made it in Thursday.
While speaking at a football coaches conference, Saban said it was a “great experience” for those involved, but expressed concern about the effects it left on the other bowl games, via Ledger-Enquirer.
“I don’t know if we’re going to be able to coexist with a bowl system and a playoff system,” he said. “I think you’ve got to have one or the other. You know, if we’re going to have an eight-team playoff, 16-team playoff, I don’t think you’re going to have bowl games. I’m not advocating either one. I’m just saying it’s going to be difficult for those two things to coexist.”
He noted the lack of attendance and interest in some of the smaller bowl games. While plenty of interest was created for the CFP, he said, it subtracted from the attention given to the other games. In his estimation, it’s a problem because it takes away the opportunities for “positive self-gratification” for a number of players on teams that do not have as much success at the end of the year.”
Saban has a point though.
According to sportsmediawatch.com, the three CFP games did incredible numbers, while the other standard bowl games struggled to keep pace and trended down from 2013.
Ohio State-Alabama did a 15.2 rating, with 28.27 million viewers; Oregon-Florida State did a 14.8, with 28.16 million viewers and Ohio State-Oregon did an 18.6, with 34.15 million viewers.
Out of the other 36 bowl games, only seven drew more than six million viewers (not including the CFP games), none had more than nine millions viewers and just four had a rating of 4.0 or higher.
In 2013, nine bowl games had more than six million viewers, including five in the double-digits. Eight bowl games also had a rating over 4.0.
With more interest in the CFP, that trend is likely to continue, with the casual viewer less interested in standard bowl games and more in the playoff system.