Navy and Army won a big battle on Tuesday with their game staying put the week after conference championship weekends. The College Football Playoff is giving accommodation to both service academies in case either is in the running for a spot in a New Year's Six bowl game, or even the national semifinals.
.@CFBPlayoff selection committee will hold final ranking until after Navy-Army game if Navy or Army in running for semifinals or NY6 bowl— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) June 16, 2015
If Navy is highest-ranked Group of 5 champ & loses to Army it would be replaced by next highest-ranked G5 champ in NY6 bowl— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) June 16, 2015
This move is mostly done because Navy is moving to the American Athletic Conference, and that allows the Midshipman an easier path to a big time bowl game.
For those yelling from the roof tops that this game is full of tradition, they are right, but the game having its own showcase after the regular season goes back to only 2009.
This directly impacts the Mountain West because the champion will more often than not be in the mix for one of the major bowl games. Commissioner Craig Thompson was correct in how it impacts the conference, just ignore the way he said it.
Where this causes a potential big headache for the Mountain West is because the Army and Navy game is one week before bowl season begins. Historically there have been three Mountain West bowl games that weekend, and if Navy and a Mountain West team are in the mix for a New Year's Bowl game then proper preparation is missing for the Mountain West teams and also their opponents, so this news has an impact toward many schools.
Imagine if Navy or Army do have a special season and are on the brink of earning a spot in the playoffs, because in this scenario it would have an impact on pretty much every team in college football. This would then bring in the Power Five schools who also would not like the idea of not knowing their playoff or New Year Six opponent.
Tradition is nice to have but there will be plenty of coaches from various conferences that have an issue for losing their precious prep time cut back by a week because their bowl opponent is unknown.
However, to earn a spot as the Group of Five team one must be a conference champion, so this only could become an issue if Navy wins the American title, which is a real possibility most years. This very well may be a moot point if Navy does not win their conference, but as soon as they are in the mix this issue will come up once again.