You mean ESPN is worried about players missing class?

Alabama coach Nick Saban complained after his team manhandled Clemson in the Sugar Bowl that there’s not enough time for the Crimson Tide to rest and prepare for Georgia in the national championship game scheduled for this Monday night.

Well, how does he think the Bulldogs feel after the long trip back from the Rose Bowl after they defeated Oklahoma in the other semifinal game? Who is responsible for the tight scheduling this year, anyway?

Even if it is about TV, what is the hurry? The second college semifinal was in the Monday Night Football slot a week after the last televised NFL game. Who came up with the statistic that so many fans are used to watching football on Monday night that the viewing audience will seemingly stay tuned for a game the next week, even if it’s college compared to the NFL?

Last I heard, there are pro football fans and college football fans and most prefer one or the other. But not ESPN, of course, which had Monday Night Football since September and just so happens to be televising the College Football Playoffs. So, let’s capitalize on the viewing habits of some fans, get the most advertising revenue possible and the heck with the teams that are playing in the final college football games of the season.

“Someone has to think about the players and not what’s convenient for the media and TV,” Saban said after the Tide’s 24-6 beat down of overrated Clemson.

The last two years, the semifinals were played on New Year’s Eve, and ESPN was disappointed with the audience that did not keep an eye on both games all the way through Auld Lang Syne. In 2015, the championship game was 12 days later; last year, it was 11 days after the semifinals.

This year, ESPN got its wish and the games were moved to New Year’s Day, while most of America was passed out on the couch recovering from New Year’s Eve. Just because New Year’s Day fell on a Monday night, does that mean the championship has to follow suit one week later? Guess so.

The second SEC championship game in Atlanta will have a spotty audience outside the southeastern United States. But at least the two teams will be able to pack up and bus right back to campus and be in class Wednesday morning. Right?