The timing of Navy's annual game against Army could pose an issue for the College Football Playoff management committee as Navy joins the American Athletic Conference this year, ESPN's Brett McMurphy reports.
Navy and Army play each season on the second Saturday of December, the only game played in college football that weekend. The College Football Playoff field will be set on Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015 while the Navy-Army game is scheduled for Dec. 12. If Navy earned a spot in one of the New Year's Six bowls, it could lose to Army and still play in the bowl under the current rules.
McMurphy reports that Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson and Sun Belt commissioner Karl Benson each believe any team that plays after the selections are made would be ineligible. The management committee will discuss the issue during its meeting in April, according to McMurphy.
Navy's contract with CBS calls for the game to be played on the second Saturday of December through 2018. Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk told McMurphy the game can't be rescheduled and "needs to be a stand-alone game."
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said the management committee is undecided on how to handle the potential situation.
"Given the rich history of the Army-Navy game, its patriotic significance, and pageantry, I can appreciate the desire of the academies to play on a stand-alone date with the eyes of the nation able to watch," Bowlsby said. "However at this juncture, I'm not sure how best to address the impact of the game's outcome on the CFP given Navy's move into the American Athletic Conference, and the potential for it to secure a spot in the structure as a conference champion, or highly ranked non-champion.
"I will want to discuss this possibility and viable options with my FBS commissioner colleagues before formulating a recommended course."
Last season, Navy beat Army 17-10 to extend its winning streak in the series to 13 games. Navy finished 8-5 last season, including a win over San Diego State in the Poinsettia Bowl.
The 2015 game will be played at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.
- Paul Palladino