As the discussion continues about whether or not the NFL should add to its current 12-team playoff field, that league’s commissioner has assured us that he’s respectful of college football and that the sport will be a consideration if/when it comes time to add another postseason game.
Where it concerns college football is the day of a future playoff game. One thought being bandied about is that, with six games on Wildcard weekend in an expanded field, two of the games would be played on a Saturday, three on Sunday and the last Monday night. As the College Football Playoff has been steadfast in wanting its showcase title game on a Monday night, some years there could be a conflict between the CFP championship game and an NFL playoff game if the 2-3-1 route is taken.
“You could,” commissioner Roger Goodell told Peter King last month when asked about playing a wildcard game on a Monday night. “Potential conflict that comes in there is the national championship game, because that would interfere in some years with that. We’re respectful of college football.”
How respectful of college football the NFL would continue to be would likely be commensurate with the amount of money involved.
For its part, the CFP is determined to keep its showcase matchup on a Monday night. In a statement sent to CFT, CFP executive director Bill Hancock (pictured) was resolute that his sport won’t budge if/when the time comes and a conflict with an NFL playoff game arises.
“The college football national championship game will continue to be on Monday night,” Hancock’s statement began. “If the NFL were also to play Monday night, it would create a significant conflict for the fans.
“College championship games have been scheduled for Monday nights since June, 2012. It is just not in the interest of fans for both games to take place at the same time.”
Just how resolute the CFP — and its television partner — would remain if push actually came to shove and a scheduling conflict with the NFL surfaced is the great unknown. Hopefully it won’t come to that and each side can work with the other to prevent an unnecessary conflict.
The good news is that any potential issues are still a couple of years down the road.
A Monday night NFL playoff game wouldn’t have had an impact on the title game played after the 2014 season — that game was played Jan. 12, while the opening round of the NFL playoffs was the weekend before — nor would it have an impact on the 2015 game (Jan. 11), but it potentially could have an effect on the title games following the 2016 (Jan. 9), 2017 (Jan. 8) and 2018 (Jan. 7) seasons. Further on down the road, the title games for the 2022 (Jan. 9) and 2023 (Jan. 8) seasons could be impacted as well.
The NFL could easily avoid any conflict — and continue to be “respectful” of the sport — by playing an additional playoff game on a Friday night, or playing three games Saturday and three on Sunday. Again, though, the almighty dollar will determine which direction the NFL postseason will head — and in turn determine the future of the CFP title game date.