If Nick Saban had his way, AJ McCarron might’ve been under center this weekend in the Senior Bowl.

The Alabama head coach appeared on SiriusXM NFL Radio’s Movin’ the Chains Tuesday to give his thoughts on the game.

I’ve always encouraged our guys to play in the Senior Bowl, and I’m disappointed that we had a couple that decided not to play. And I know there’s a business decision involved and all this, especially if a guy is a really high draft pick, or maybe a top 10 pick, what can he gain by doing it? I think the reason and what separates this game is the NFL coaches coach it. And I coached this game in 1991 when I was at the Cleveland Browns with Bill Belichick, and it helped a lot of players, because everybody in the NFL is here, everybody sees you practice, everybody sees you play football first-hand … I think everybody gets a much better feel for the player when they play in a game like this.

Saban also suggested that the NCAA work on a divisional system to ensure similarly-skilled programs face one another more often, a la the NFL.

“I think one of the things we need to do in college is we all need to play each other,” Saban said. “We don’t need to be playing Western Carolina and teams like that. We oughta have 60-70 teams in a division, and we all oughta play them like there’s 32 teams in the NFL and they all play each other. And you don’t have to go undefeated to get in the championship game, you can lose a game or two. But there’s gonna be more good games for people to watch.”

Movin’ the Chains with Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan airs weekdays at 3 pm ET on SiriusXM NFL Radio, channel 88.

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