Army-Navy Game Will Not Impact College Football Playoff Selection Process

Army-Navy Game Will Not Impact College Football Playoff Selection Process

The Army-Navy Game will not impact the 12-team College Football Playoff selection process that takes place six days earlier, a change in policy from the four-team format. The matchup has historically been held on the second Saturday of December, after the CFP releases its final rankings. Academy officials did not want to move the annual rivalry to earlier in the schedule to accommodate the final rankings in the 12-team Playoff era.

Army and Navy had hoped the CFP would consider the idea of seeding 11 of 12 teams and holding out for the Group of 5’s automatic spot if either academy were in the mix as the American Athletic Conference champion. But CFP officials determined this week at their annual spring meetings they couldn’t ask another CFP participant to wait a full week to learn their opponent with a shorter turnaround before the 12-team Playoff began. First-round games on campus will take place one week after Army-Navy.

The new policy does open a scenario where Army or Navy could win the AAC and qualify for the CFP as the top G5 champion, then lose to the other academy six days later and still go on to the CFP. Army will join the AAC this year as a football-only member, but its annual Navy matchup will remain a nonconference game.

Hancock also said the CFP will not move its three first-round games off the third Saturday in December. The NFL is annoyed that the CFP will hold games on that day. Washington athletic director Pat Chun has stepped down from the CFP selection committee, and the CFP also increased its travel budget for team family members.

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