College Football Playoff committee moves back selection date two weeks

The College Football Playoff selection committee will change the release date of its final rankings to match the altered regular-season schedules created by Bowl Subdivision conferences due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The committee will now release the rankings on Sunday, Dec. 20, two weeks later than originally planned. Power Five leagues such as the SEC have already moved their conference championships back to Dec. 19.

The semifinal games are scheduled to be played Jan. 1 at the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl. The College Football Playoff championship game is set for Jan. 11 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. 

LSU wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase avoids the tackle attempt by Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons during the College Football Playoff national championship game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. (Photo: Derick E. Hingle, USA TODAY Sports)

"With recent schedule changes for the regular season, it makes sense for the committee to make its final rankings after the conference championship games, when it can get a complete picture of the season,” playoff executive director Bill Hancock said in a statement.

"The selection committee members understand the need to be flexible as we all navigate uncharted waters this season, and this move will allow them to evaluate all the available information.”

In addition, the playoff eliminated media day for this season's national championship game, which is typically held the Saturday before the game,. 

The selection committee will be tasked with choosing the four teams for the national semifinals during a regular season that will see teams play fewer games and in several cases no games outside of the conference schedule. Marquee non-conference games have previously played a significant role in determining the makeup of the playoff..

Even with fewer data points at hand, the playoff selection committee will use the same protocols to determine the national semifinals and New Year’s Six bowls even in the face of a different sort of regular season, Hancock said last month.

"This is why the committee has 13 football experts," he said. "Their duty, their task, is to select the best four teams based on the play on the field and the schedules the conferences establish."

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