Two days after his team won its College Football Playoff semifinal and advanced to the national title game for the third straight year, Alabama head coach Nick Saban groused that there was only one week between semifinals and the championship. This has more or less been the case since the College Football Playoff started three years ago, with teams ordinarily getting slightly more than one week but always less than two between games—it was nine days last year, 11 the year before that. From ESPN:
Saban said that it wasn’t until after 1 a.m. that Alabama began packing up to leave the Allstate Sugar Bowl after beating Clemson 24-6, which meant that the team needed to spend the night in New Orleans and return to Tuscaloosa in the morning.
If anything, Saban said he would like an extra travel day between the semis and the title game to account for the lost time.
“Someone has to think about the players and not what’s convenient for the media or TV,” Saban said, while thinking only of his players’ wellbeing and definitely not about securing his $400,000 national title bonus.
Extra time before the title game could give several Alabama linebackers—who all missed several games before returning for the end of regular season—more time to recuperate before the big game, although if they’re not 100 percent, they shouldn’t be playing anyway. After all, someone has to think of the players.
In the national championship game, Alabama will play Georgia, who will also have had one week to recover and prepare for the game.
Correction (2:55 p.m. ET): The post originally suggested that a one-week break between the semifinals and championship was the norm.