Future College Football Playoff Semifinals Moved From New Year’s Eve

By Ryan Mayer

Anyone who is a college football fan understands the pain that was having the semifinals of the College Football Playoff on New Year’s Eve last year. As soon as it was announced, both fans and media pointed out that it would be a problem, but CFP executive director Bill Hancock insisted everything would be fine and that they would ““change the paradigm of New Year’s Eve”“.

Yeah, that didn’t happen. Ratings were down significantly from Year 1 and immediately the questions about moving the games to another date recirculated. Today, the College Football Playoff committee released a statement that said they have decided to move future semifinals away from the New Year’s Eve holiday if that’s when they were scheduled to be played. From the release:

Bill Hancock, Executive Director of the College Football Playoff (CFP), today announced a shift in scheduling to the semifinal games in years 5, 6, 11 and 12 of the rotation.

With this adjustment, all semifinals games will be played on Saturdays or holidays.

“We had healthy discussions with a lot of people who love college football and we concluded that making these changes would be the right thing to do for our fans.” said Hancock.

“We tried to do something special with New Year’s Eve, even when it fell on a weekday. But after studying this to see if it worked, we think we can do better.  These adjustments will allow more people to experience the games they enjoy so much.  For these four years, our previous call is reversed.”

Now, the good news here is that the committee finally seemed to see sense and have moved future games to either New Year’s Day (when people are used to watching college football) or to the Saturday prior which makes sense. The bad news? The change doesn’t affect this year’s semifinals which will still be played on New Year’s Eve.

It is interesting to note that the games scheduled for 2021-22 and 2022-23 will be played on New Year’s Eve but, the reason being given for that is that the 2021 game falls on Friday January 31st which is the federally recognized holiday for New Year’s Day that year. The following year is when New Year’s Eve falls on a Saturday so the assumption is people have that day off.

Ryan Mayer is an Associate Producer for CBS Local Sports. Ryan lives in NY but comes from Philly and life as a Philly sports fan has made him cynical. Anywhere sports are being discussed, that’s where you’ll find him.

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