The College Football Playoff selection committee will wait until after the Army-Navy game is played to complete the New Year’s Six bowl lineup if it determines the outcome of that game should be factored into the pairings.
College Football Playoff Executive Director Bill Hancock told The Associated Press that only the bowl spots impacted by the Army-Navy game will be left open until after the game.
The playoff management committee, made up of the FBS conference commissioners, decided Tuesday during a meeting of the Collegiate Commissioners Association in Asheville, North Carolina, to recommend to the university presidents and chancellors that the bowl selections be finalized after the Army-Navy game.
Army and Navy play the Saturday after the selection committee picks the teams to play in the national semifinals and helps fill open spots in four other marquee bowl games.
While the service academies being selected for the final four is a long shot, Hancock said that if either is in the contention for a playoff spot, the committee will wait to seed the field.
“Army-Navy is a great tradition. It is unique and the commissioners are proud of our future servicemen that will be participating in the game and in these two great institutions,” Hancock said. “We’re pleased we were able to find a way to accommodate the people that make us so proud.”
Holding the selections will affect other non-New Year’s Six bowls, but it will be up to the conferences to determine which of those games will have to wait a week to set a matchup.
Navy is joining the American Athletic Conference this season, which means the Midshipmen could earn a spot in a New Year’s Six game by virtue of being the highest ranked league champion from the AAC, Mountain West, Sun Belt, Mid-American Conference and Conference USA.
That forced the commissioners to make a decision on whether the bowl selections would be held until after Army-Navy is played.
American Athletic Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco pushed hard for the selection committee to wait and for the conferences to set up contingency plans in other bowl games if Navy was in the running for a New Year’s Six game. But some of the other commissioners, most notably Craig Thompson of the Mountain West, were apprehensive to make a special exception for Army and Navy.
Army is an independent and eligible for a spot in the playoff or another New Year’s Six game, though it does not qualify for the spot reserved for members of the Group of Five conferences.
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