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NCAA won’t move title game from Monday night


As the NFL continues to consider expanding the playoff field from 12 to 14 teams and, in turn, placing two extra wild-card games into a weekend that already has four playoff contests, the league likely has one less viable slot in prime time.

Via our corporate cousins at CFT, the college football title game won’t be moved from a Monday night in early January.

“The college football national championship game will continue to be on Monday night,” CFP executive director Bill Hanock said in a statement issued to CFT. “If the NFL were also to play Monday night, it would create a significant conflict for the fans. . . . It is just not in the interest of fans for both games to take place at the same time.”

Commissioner Roger Goodell said last month that the NFL intends to be “respectful” of college football, a free farm system for which the league routinely walks on eggshells. If the NFL angers college football, it suddenly could become a lot harder to get access to practice sessions and game film. Which in turn will make it harder to scout incoming draft picks.

So at a time when the NFL bows to no one, the NFL may indeed kiss the ring of the entity that grooms and weeds out the hundred of football players who make their way through the college football machine.

The NFL can still generate a gigantic audience for two extra wild-card games, by making both Saturday and Sunday into a Thanksgiving-style tripleheader, with games at 1:00 p.m. ET, 4:30 p.m. ET, and 8:00 p.m. ET. (In lieu of playing an early Saturday game, the NFL could drop a prime-time game into Friday night.)

There’s another way to play a wild-card game on Monday night: Expand the regular season to 18 games, which would ensure that the wild-card games would be played well after the college football championship has been resolved.