CFP Outlines Contingency Plan for Playoffs
As Indianapolis gears up for the 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship at Lucas Oil Stadium next month, the CFP has announced a contingency plan in the event teams are impacted by the omicron variant. The CFP says one possibility would be naming a champion without a game being played in Indy.
The contingency plan was recommended in the event that one or more of the participants in the playoffs is unable to field a team due to an insufficient number of student-athletes available to play because of COVID-19.
“As we prepare for the Playoff, it’s wise and necessary to put into place additional precautions to protect those who will play and coach the games,” said Bill Hancock, Executive Director of the CFP. “These policies will better protect our students and staffs while providing clarity in the event worst-case scenarios result.”
The plan right now is for the games to continue as scheduled. The playoff semifinals are scheduled for December 31 with No. 1 Alabama facing No. 4 Cincinnati in the Cotton Bowl and No. 2 Michigan facing No. 3 Georgia in the Orange Bowl.
The CFP says if one team is unavailable to play in one of the semifinal games, that team will forfeit the game and its opponent would advance to the national championship.
If both teams in a semifinal game are unable to play, that game will be deemed a “no contest” and the winner of the other semifinal game would be declared the CFP National Champion.
If three teams in the semifinals are unable to play, the remaining team that is available will be declared the CFP National Champion.
After the semifinal games are concluded, if one of the teams is unavailable for the national championship game in Indy, that game may be rescheduled to no later than January 14. If a team is unable to play and the game cannot be rescheduled, or is rescheduled and cannot be played, then that team will forfeit and its opponent will be declared national champion.
If both teams are unable to play in either an original or rescheduled game, the game will be deemed a “no contest” and the national championship will be vacated for the season.
“We certainly wish we were not in this position,” said Hancock, “but the only responsible thing is to take whatever actions we can reasonably take to better protect those who play and coach the game.”
The four-day event in Indy is expected to attract some 100,000 visitors and generate an estimated $150 million in economic impact. However, officials tell our partners at the Indianapolis Business Journal they expect to host the game as scheduled.
“From a tourism standpoint, hotels are still virtually sold out, a lead indicator fans and visitors are still heading to Indy in less than 19 days,” Chris Gahl, Visit Indy’s senior vice president of marketing and communications, said in an email to the IBJ. “We continue to work daily with city and state health officials, alongside the national and local College Football Playoff event organizers, to ensure all health and safety protocols are in place for this major event.”
You can read more from the IBJ by clicking here.