REPORT: Will CFP crown a national champion despite Power Five splits on playing?

REPORT: Will CFP crown a national champion despite Power Five splits on playing?
LSU head coach Ed Orgeron hoists the College Football Playoff National Championship Trophy after his Tigers defeated Clemson, 42-25, on Jan. 13, 2020. (Source: Josh Auzenne/WAFB-TV)

IRVING, Texas (WAFB) - With three of the Power Five conferences moving forward with plans to play football in the fall and the other two opting to try for having a season in the spring, many are wondering what that means for crowing a College Football Playoff champion.

Dennis Dodd with reported the College Football Playoff Selection Committee met for training Wednesday, August 12.

Dodd pointed out the obvious problem with dividing college football into two seasons - there is only one trophy.

Who gets to play for the national championship with 77 FBS teams playing in the fall and as many as 53 potentially playing in the spring?

“I think it’s OK to ask the logical question whether [a champion crowned in either semester] is an actual champion,” said Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby.

Dodd reported one person close to the CFP suggested a fall champion vs. spring champion game is probably out of the question because that would require the game to be played in the spring, three or four months after the fall winner had completed its portion of the season but awarding a trophy for each “semester” of football would be “fair,” according to that same source.


It would essentially be a split national championship, something the CFP has eliminated and college football fans have not actually seen since 2003 when USC finished No. 1 in the AP Top 25 and LSU won the BCS Championship Game, Dodd noted.

Dodd went on to state the essential challenge for the CFP management committee (FBS commissioners and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick) is deciding to stage a playoff for one set of conferences at the exclusion of the other.

“If they decide at some point to push back in the spring, that would make it exciting to have a CFP,” said Ohio State coach Ryan Day, whose Big Ten is aiming to play in spring 2021. “I still think we can do that.”

Dodd reported the CFP Selection Committee started Wednesday a two-day virtual meeting that focused on acquainting the rookies on the selection committee. He added the 13-member committee is usually charged with judging the worth of the 130 FBS teams but those have been cleaved not only by years but by philosophies.

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