‘Friday Night Lights’ is much more than a story in the state of Texas, it’s a way of life for many in the fall when it comes to football. The College Football Playoff apparently wants to get in on that action.
The Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic announced this week that the game’s 2017 edition would be moving up a day later this year to Friday, Dec. 29th. The move is similar to one enacted last year that moved the Orange Bowl up, which mostly allows the game to have its own primetime window on television.
“This opportunity enables the Classic to stand alone and kick off the holiday weekend as the only bowl game on Friday night,” Jay McAuley, chairman of the Cotton Bowl Classic, said in a statement. “We couldn’t be more excited about the move presented to us by the College Football Playoff and ESPN. Our new date gives local fans and those from out of state the best opportunity to come to North Texas and enjoy what will most likely be a battle of Top 10 teams.”
The 82nd edition will be the earliest kickoff in the game’s history, which dates all the way back to 1937. The Cotton Bowl will not be a semifinal game this season so it makes plenty of sense to shift things around to allow the two teams involved get a bit more attention than they normally would have on December 30th.
Surprisingly, this is only the third time ever that the bowl has been played in the month of December.
Here’s the updated New Year’s Six/College Football Playoff schedule:
Friday, December 29th: Cotton Bowl
Saturday, December 30th: Orange Bowl, Fiesta Bowl
Monday, January 1st: Peach Bowl, Rose Bowl (semifinal), Sugar Bowl (semifinal)
Monday, January 8th: National Championship Game (Atlanta, GA)