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Army, Navy won't reschedule annual game for College Football Playoff

With Navy joining the American this season, those in charge of the College Football Playoff wanted to see the Army-Navy game moved to appease the system's scheduling, but the two service academies won't have any of it.

The Army-Navy game and its flybys will remain on the second Saturday of December.
The Army-Navy game and its flybys will remain on the second Saturday of December.
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Army-Navy game is one of college football's greatest traditions and with the College Football Playoff powers that be trying to tamper with it, the service academies will not relent on which day the game is played.

The CFP wanted to see the two service academies move their traditional game away from its second Saturday of December spot to accommodate the scheduling process of the playoff. The CFP committee announces the playoff teams and bowls after the conference championship weekend.

This all came about due to the hypothetical situation that now arises with Navy joining the American Conference. If Navy goes 12-0 (winning their 11 regular season games and the American Conference Championship game) they'd still have Army left after the bowl games and college playoff spots are announced. What if Navy were to lose to Army while being in contention for the Group of Five major bowl bid or, even more disastrous, a CFP spot?

These are the reasons the CFP wanted Army and Navy to reschedule their rivalry game. But Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk told Paul Myerberg of the USA Today that won't happen.

"We have no intention of moving it. None."

"It would show that we've realigned our priorities in a way that doesn't compliment our mission. We can't do it. It's something that's that special."

"If it means we have to sacrifice the opportunity to participate in the playoff system, then that's something we'll have to deal with."

Those are some heavy words from Navy's AD. Navy potentially being in contention for a CFP bid is nothing to sneeze at, but Gladchuk won't cave to a hypothetical situation.

Army hasn't remained silent on the matter either. Despite not having any conference alignment, Army West Point's AD Boo Corrigan stands by the second Saturday of December date and believes it should remain a stand-alone game.

Another factor in the academies remaining diligent on keeping the game by itself, Army and Navy are in the middle of a 10-year deal with CBS to air the game. The deal expires after the 2018 game.

This news shouldn't dismiss the idea that Navy and the CFP have a work around should Navy go undefeated up until the Army game. One possible course of action could involve Navy's bowl bid being contingent on their victory over the Black Knights and should they lose, they would drop to a back-up bowl game.

The same could easily be done with a playoff bid. Should the Midshipmen miraculously find themselves in the race for the top four, the committee could just simply wait until the end of the Army-Navy game to announce where Navy would fall should they lose to Army.

Army doesn't have to worry about any of the politicking. As an independent, Army has the unenviable task of needing to climb into the top four all on their own. However at this point, the Black Knights are just looking for an above .500 record. Their schedule won't get them into the CFP discussion, but Army's priorities lie with rebuilding their football program. Anything dealing with the CFP would be delusions of grandeur for Army.

But for fans of the Army-Navy game, the date remains December 12 for this season as the game returns to Philadelphia's Lincoln Financial Field after being played in Baltimore's M&T Stadium last season. Baltimore will host the game again on Dec. 10, 2016 and Philadelphia will do the same on Dec. 9, 2017. The last game of the 10-year deal with CBS will be played on Dec. 8, 2018 at a site to be determined.