Skip to main content

Two years later, the College Football Playoff finally figures its schedule out

Remember when New Year's Eve was going to be a new paradigm in this country? Turns out, for 40 percent of this country, work and, you know, New Year's Eve matters more than college football on New Year's Eve.

After a year in which the College Football Playoff semifinals took a fully submerged bath in the ratings, the CFP's management committee has reversed course and adopted the radical strategy of playing two of its most important games at a time when the maximum amount of fans can see them.

CFP executive director Bill Hancock said earlier this month his organization would explore the idea but framed the discussion as an abstract one. An "in-depth" meeting with ESPN -- where, presumably, the phrase "YOU REALIZE WE PAID YOU SEVEN POINT THREE BILLION DOLLARS FOR THIS, RIGHT?!?!?" was repeatedly shouted -- led the CFP to figure out its future schedule on an expedited basis.

"I heard, ‘I have to work,' or 'I wanted to go to a New Year’s Eve party,' or 'I was at a party but they wouldn’t let me turn the sound on," Hancock, who, before he was paid to run the CFP, was paid to tell everyone why a playoff would never work, told USA Today. "People love college football and they’re very opinionated about it. They’re happy to share their opinions. I enjoy hearing their opinions.

"After the study, we just feel like this is in the best interest of fans. They want to experience these games, and we want them to. And these changes for four years will allow that to happen."

The future schedule operates to loose guidelines of "stick to Saturdays unless the rotation falls on New Year's Day or New Year's Eve happens to be a federal holiday."

"Obviously, Saturday is a traditional college football day," Hancock said. "We feel Saturday works."

In the end, the new-and-improved CFP rotation isn't exactly a schedule you can set your clock by, but at least it should leave you available to actually watch the games.

Future College Football Playoff semifinals rotation

2016 season: Saturday, Dec. 31 (Peach and Fiesta)
2017 season: Monday, Jan. 1 (Rose and Sugar)
2018 season: Saturday, Dec. 29 (Orange and Cotton)
2019 season: Saturday, Dec. 28 (Peach and Fiesta)
2020 season: Friday, Jan. 1 (Rose and Sugar)
2021 season: Friday, Dec. 31 (Orange and Cotton)
2022 season: Saturday, Dec. 31 (Peach and Fiesta)
2023 season: Monday, Jan. 1 (Rose and Sugar)
2024 season: Saturday, Dec. 28 (Orange and Cotton)
2025 season: Saturday, Dec. 27 (Peach and Fiesta)