College Football Playoff sets COVID-19 rescheduling policy
COVID-19 continues to make this college football season a messy one, with the impact on the College Football Playoff a potentially huge headache for schedulers.
Amidst the news this week of more games cancelled due to the coronavirus, Stadium’s Brett McMurphy reports that any team in the College Football Playoff would not forfeit but merely would wait until both teams are able to compete.
If any teams selected for 4-team @CFBPlayoff not able to play Jan. 1 because of COVID, those teams will not be replaced, sources told @Stadium. Most likely that @CFBPlayoff game would be moved to later date until it could be played. “Last thing we want is a forfeit,” source said
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) November 19, 2020
Now if multiple teams were affected, a logistical nightmare would ensue.
It is unclear what would happen if this took place in the semifinals of the playoff. Were one of the four teams to be affected by COVID-19 and unable to play, then according to McMurphy’s report the game would be delayed. What were to happen then to the other game?
The winner of the other semifinal game, were it still to be held on the originally scheduled date, would potentially wait two to three weeks before playing their opponent. This is an unnatural layoff that would affect sharpness, surely.
It is a difficult situation but one that seems messy and unnatural.
It is far from ideal, especially since there is usually a multi-week layoff between the end of the regular season and the beginning of the playoff. Adding more weeks to that is only going to further muddle the performance on the field.
Already this week, a slew of games have been cancelled or rescheduled due to COVID-19, including the most recent report that Maryland against Michigan State has been cancelled. An outbreak of the pandemic within the Maryland program has affected 22 individuals including 15 players and head coach Mike Locksley.
Last week, four SEC games were cancelled as well.