2020 College Football Playoff Selection Date Pushed Back Amid Pandemic

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 5, 2020

The trophy is displayed before a news conference for the NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in New Orleans. Clemson is scheduled to play LSU on Monday. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip).
David J. Phillip/Associated Press

The College Football Playoff announced Wednesday it has pushed back its selection date to Dec. 20 amid schedule changes due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The final release was initially scheduled to take place on Dec. 6.

Executive director Bill Hancock broke down the reasoning in a statement:

"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. 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."

The CFP games are currently going forward as scheduled, with the Rose Bowl Game and Sugar Bowl serving as the semifinals on Jan. 1, 2021 and the national championship game on Jan. 11.

The changed selection date was necessary with several major conferences adjusting their schedules.

The SEC shifted the start of the season back to Sept. 26, causing the SEC Championship Game to be on Dec. 19 instead of Dec. 5 as originally planned. The Pac-12 Championship Game will be held on Dec. 18 or 19 after its 10-game, conference-only schedule. 

Although the Big Ten Championship Game is still scheduled for Dec. 5, it could be moved to Dec. 19.

These changes would have forced the College Football Playoff committee to pick its top four teams before they all finished their games.

The altered selection date helps solve this issue but provides limited time for preparation before the start of playoff games. Any further setbacks from the coronavirus pandemic could also lead to more changes for the 2020 college football season.