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Nick Saban: 'I'm for five conferences'

By Tom Fornelli | Staff Writer

Alabama and Virginia Tech will play for the
Nick Saban sees a world with only five conferences. (USATSI)

Could the future of college football consist of major programs playing nobody but major programs?

It's an idea that Alabama coach Nick Saban seems to be behind given his answer to a question about the Big Ten, saying it's no longer going to schedule FCS opponents. Saban not only likes the idea, but he'd take it a step further.

"I'm for five conferences -- everybody playing everybody in those five conferences," Saban told "That's what I'm for, so it might be 70 teams, and everybody's got to play 'em."

Saban also went on to say that he's in favor of the SEC adding a ninth conference game for the fans.

"Don't they want to see good games and all that?"

Getting back to his idea about the conferences, though, it's not all that different than the idea that I've had for years. I've felt that the power schools of college football should break off into four conferences of 16 schools apiece. The length of the regular season is up for debate, but each conference only plays schools from within its own conference and, at the end of the regular seasons, the top four teams in each conference move on to the postseason.

Then, each conference has its own four-team playoff with the winner advancing to a four-team playoff of the conference winners. It's a 16-team playoff that doesn't involve a selection committee with clearly-defined qualification standards.

I've always felt it was a pipe-dream but, then again, I used to think a four-team playoff was as well.

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