Nick Saban after 52-point win over New Mexico State: 'We’re playing the best teams that we can get to play us'

Alabama head coach Nick Saban talks with ESPN after a win over New Mexico State in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)
Alabama head coach Nick Saban talks with ESPN after a win over New Mexico State in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

Nick Saban doesn’t want to hear you criticize the quality of opponents that Alabama has on its schedule.

The Crimson Tide beat New Mexico State 62-10 on Saturday. The game was a week after New Mexico State, an independent team after parting ways with the Sun Belt, lost 58-7 at Washington State.

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Following the blowout, which wasn’t a contest at the end of the first quarter, Saban was asked what his team could learn from playing a team at the bottom of the FBS ranks. That led to an intriguing answer from Saban, who flatly said at one point that “we’re playing the best teams that we can get to play us.”

“Why don’t you start calling around and see if you can get somebody else to play us and we’ll play them,” Saban said. “We’ll play anybody you can get to play us.”

Saban’s thoughts on college football scheduling are well-known at this point and he expressed them in the video above. He would love to play a schedule full of Power Five opponents.

But he also realizes that isn’t possible. And besides, games like Saturday’s are a great way for New Mexico State to help its athletic department. Alabama paid $1.7 million to the Aggies for the game. That money goes a long way for a school that doesn’t get tens of millions in television dollars for being part of a power conference.

Alabama has shifted its scheduling philosophy from major neutral-site games to home-and-home games in the near future. But power programs also like to have seven home games — or more — for their season ticket holders. And those teams get to have more home than road games by paying smaller teams to travel.

It’s the way college football scheduling works. It’s far from perfect. But Saban has a legitimate point. Alabama beating New Mexico State by over 50 points may not be that entertaining. But it’s a necessary evil.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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