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Nick Saban not interested in playing a cupcake schedule; prefers more ‘Power 5’ matchups

Nick Saban focused

Tuscaloosa, AL — The Alabama Crimson Tide are gearing up for their season opener in just under three weeks when they take on the Duke Blue Devils of the Atlantic Coast Conference, August 31st.

Preseason conversations have suggested the Tide’s strength of schedule leaves much to be desired when looking at its non-conference schedule in particular. While the Blue Devils leave much to be desired themselves after posting a 8-5 2018 record (3-5 conference), they’re projected to finish this year’s regular season a respectable 8-4 per ESPN’s FPI projections.

With three more non-conference games against New Mexico State (3-9), Southern Miss (6-5), and Western Carolina (3-8) — all of each who give Alabama no real meaningful threat — Saban is all in favor of having his team, as well as all Power 5 teams, play each other throughout the regular season for years to come.

While speaking with ESPN’s Chris Low recently, Saban had this to say:

“I’ve always said, ‘Let’s play all Power 5 games,'” said Saban. “I was in the NFL where we played all the games against NFL teams. But let’s play at least 10 Power 5 games. It would be better for the players, better for the fans, and I think you wouldn’t have to worry that if you lost a game that you wouldn’t have as much of a chance to still be in [the College Football Playoff]. They talk about strength of schedule now, but how do you really evaluate that?”

According to Low, Saban said the model Alabama is discussing would be to play one non-conference Power 5 game annually as part of a home-and-home series and another at a neutral site.

For years now, Saban has shown to be a trendsetter for how to move the needle. More Power 5 games for Alabama prevents complacency for not just the players, but fans as well.

“We have to have a good show if we want people to come,” Saban said.

Leave it to Nick Saban to put words into action.

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