Playoff committee could wait for Army-Navy if necessary

The College Football Playoff management committee has recommended that the CFP semifinals and/or New Year's Six bowls be held open until after the Army-Navy game is played if either school is in the running for the games.

If Army or Navy is in the running for a top-four ranking, the College Football Playoff selection committee will wait until after the teams play to seed the field.

If Navy is the highest-rated Group of 5 champion entering the Army game, the selection committee would not fill one of the New Year's Six bowls until the completion of that game, CFP executive director Bill Hancock said.

If Navy is the highest-ranked Group of 5 champion and loses to Army, it would be replaced by the next highest-ranked Group of 5 champion in a New Year's Six bowl.

"It would only impact Army or Navy's placement and not all bowls," Hancock said.

The recommendation by the management committee must be approved by the CFP board of managers, which consists of one president representing each of the Football Bowl Subdivision conferences.

"We are pleased with this recommended outcome and we thank the CFP Management Committee for this recommendation," AAC commissioner Mike Aresco said. "Army-Navy is a great season-ending American tradition."

"I'm very relieved," Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk said. "I'm very, very grateful and appreciative of the conference commissioners. After a healthy debate, they decided to keep it how it is. Bill Hancock and Mike Aresco got the ball across the goal line for us."

Hancock said there is no timetable for the board of managers to vote on the recommendation but hopes the vote is "as quickly as possible."

In January, ESPN first reported the conference commissioners would discuss Navy's unique situation. With the Midshipmen joining the American Athletic Conference this season, there is the potential Navy could be the highest-ranked Group of 5 champion -- which receives an automatic bid to a New Year's Six bowl -- but still would have the Army game six days after the selection committee's final ranking.

Gladchuk told ESPN the school would not move the Army-Navy game from the second Saturday in December.

The CFP's current policy states "the rankings compiled by the committee on selection day [the first Sunday in December] will be the final version for purposes of identifying the teams in the playoff."

Under the current policy, it wouldn't take the Army-Navy game into consideration and Navy would not be penalized for losing to Army. That prompted the discussion between the commissioners and Tuesday's recommendation.