College Football Playoff Announces Plans to Move Semifinal Games From New Year's Eve

By Tim Shoemaker on July 28, 2016 at 12:17 pm
Urban Meyer and the CFP trophy.

The College Football Playoff announced Thursday a shift in scheduling for future national semifinal games. The move ensures all semifinal games will be played either on Saturdays or holidays and not on New Year's Eve.

“We had healthy discussions with a lot of people who love college football and we concluded that making these changes would be the right thing to do for our fans," Executive Director of the College Football Playoff, Bill Hancock, said in a press release. “We tried to do something special with New Year’s Eve, even when it fell on a weekday. But after studying this to see if it worked, we think we can do better.  These adjustments will allow more people to experience the games they enjoy so much.  For these four years, our previous call is reversed.”

The first shift begins in Year 5 of the CFP — the 2018 season — with the new semifinal date being Saturday, Dec. 29. In Year 6, the semifinal will be played Saturday, Dec. 28; in Year 11 it will be Saturday, Dec. 28 and in Year 12 the semifinal games will be played on Saturday, Dec. 27.

The 2016 semifinal games will still be played Saturday, Dec. 31. 

Hancock did note semifinals do remain on one weekday New Year's Eve — in 2021 — but that will be the federally observed New Year's holiday. Also, during the 2022 season, the national semifinals will be played on New Year's Eve as it falls on a Saturday.

Below are the dates of future national semifinals:

2016-17 Saturday, Dec. 31 Fiesta, Peach
2017-18 Monday, Jan. 1 Rose, Sugar
2018-19* Saturday, Dec. 29 Cotton, Orange
2019-20* Saturday, Dec. 28 Fiesta, Peach
2020-21 Friday, Jan. 1 Rose, Sugar
2021-22 Friday, Dec. 31 Orange, TBD
2022-23 Saturday, Dec. 31 TBD
2023-24 Monday, Jan. 1 Rose, Sugar
2024-25* Saturday, Dec. 28 Orange, TBD
2025-26* Saturday, Dec. 27 TBD

*Indicates a year in which the scheduled date has been changed.

It's about damn time.

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