The College Football Playoff unveiled a revised schedule Monday for its weekly rankings, with the first set pushed back two weeks to Nov. 17 and the final list now on tap for Dec. 20.
The pandemic has caused the 10 major college football conferences to rearrange their schedules, with some delaying the start 1-3 weeks. Leagues are also preparing to push back their championship games to as late as Dec. 19. Four conferences – including the Big Ten and Pac-12 – have postponed the fall season altogether.
CFP Executive Director Bill Hancock said originally planned playoff dates and sites remain in place.
The semifinals are scheduled to be held Jan. 1 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, and Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. The championship game is slated for Jan. 11 in Miami Gardens, Florida.
Hancock said the CFP selection committee still plans to rank its top 25 teams for six weeks, but everything is open for tweaking if necessary.
“The six conferences have announced their intention to play, so the committee just established its meeting schedule to be prepared,” Hancock said. “This is another way we’re planning for a College Football Playoff to happen with a championship in Miami.”
The Atlantic Coast Conference, Big 12, Southeastern Conference, American Athletic Conference, Conference USA and Sun Belt are moving toward playing in the fall. The Mid-American Conference and Mountain West, along with the Big Ten and Pac-12, are aiming to play football in the second semester.
The playoff management committee, which consists of the 10 FBS conference commissioners and Notre Dame’s athletic director, met last week, Hancock said. He called the meeting “pro forma,” with discussions about the selection committee’s schedule and finances.
The College Football Playoff selection committee also sets the matchups for the four other New Year’s Six games that take turns hosting the semifinals once every three years. This year, the non-playoff games will be the Orange, Peach, Cotton and Fiesta bowls.
Hancock said there has been no discussion yet about cutting down on the number of teams ranked with only 60% of FBS teams scheduled to play in the fall. Nor has their been any consideration about ensuring a spot in the New Year’s Six for all the champions from the remaining FBS conferences.
“The management committee has told the selection committee to stick with its protocol,” he said.