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BCS exclusion doesn't sit well with Saban

Alabama coach Nick Saban acknowledges fans following the Crimson Tide's win Saturday in the SEC championship game in Atlanta. (Source: RNN/Brian Tynes) Alabama coach Nick Saban acknowledges fans following the Crimson Tide's win Saturday in the SEC championship game in Atlanta. (Source: RNN/Brian Tynes)

(RNN) – No one has benefited more from the Bowl Championship Series than Nick Saban, but don't make the mistake of thinking the Alabama coach is a fan of it.

Moments after beating Georgia to win the SEC championship and earn a spot in the BCS championship game for the second consecutive year, Saban made the case for more inclusion of top teams, regardless of conference affiliation.

"When you have six teams in the top 10, that's 60 percent," Saban said. "Why does only 20 percent get to go to the BCS? I thought the BCS bowl games were supposed to get the best teams in the game."

Ten teams will play in the five BCS bowl games, but no more than two teams from any conference are allowed, regardless of their ranking. Last year, when the SEC championship game featured Alabama and LSU, no other SEC team was allowed to play, despite the conference's automatic tie-in to the Sugar Bowl.

Like with the SEC, champions in other conferences are guaranteed a berth in one of the games regardless of their record. Georgia Tech was a touchdown away from beating Florida State in the ACC championship game Saturday in a game that was completed hours after Saban's comments. Had the Yellow Jackets (6-7, 5-3) won, they would have been headed to a BCS game with a 7-6 record. Wisconsin, which topped Nebraska in the Big Ten championship game, will go to the Rose Bowl with an 8-5 mark.

When the BCS matchups are announced later today, Georgia (11-2) is expected to be excluded in favor of Florida (11-1) for the SEC's Sugar Bowl berth, despite having given the Gators their only loss of the season.

That doesn't sit well with the coach.

"There are teams that are 7-5, and they're talking about going to a BCS game because they won their championship? Something's not right here," Saban said. "I don't think it's fair to the Georgia players, coaches or their institution that they don't get to go to a BCS game. If you got to this game, you should be in a BCS game. Florida should go to a BCS game, too."

For his part, Georgia coach Mark Richt addressed the topic as well, but did not go in depth the way Saban did.

"Do I think we're worthy of a BCS bowl bid? Yes, I do," Richt said.

The BCS has long been decried because of its lack of inclusion, but rarely how Saban broached the subject. Most criticisms are directed at the difficulty of teams in historically inferior conferences not being able to make the jump.

College football will begin a four-team playoff format in 2014, and Saban said he thinks that will correct most of the problems the sport has seen in recent years.

"We're going to have a playoff – we had a playoff today," Saban said. "We had our own playoff, which I love the competitive venue. I think Florida has a dad gum good team. So until we have four teams playing in the playoff, you really won't know. I think in most cases you'll get the four best teams playing in the games, and I think that's going to be good for college football."

Copyright 2012 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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