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The College Football Playoff and ESPN Are Reportedly Trying To Fuck With Army-Navy

Yahoo — In the renewal of one of the oldest rivalries in American history, the Army Cadets and Navy Midshipmen meet in a usually sold-out stadium in front of a captivated television audience.

But there’s something else that makes Army-Navy different than any other: The game holds an unencumbered window on a Saturday in the fall as the only Football Bowl Subdivision game scheduled for that day and the final major college football game before the bowl and postseason arrives.

Soon, that could very well change.

The expanded College Football Playoff puts at risk the Army-Navy game’s future as a standalone event and its relevance in the CFP’s selection of the 12-team field — issues that concern the game’s stakeholders enough for one to have penned a letter to CFP leaders earlier this month.

The CFP’s expansion from four to 12 teams starting this fall has triggered two conversations, both of which could impact Army-Navy:

• Bowl Season officials and their TV partner, ESPN, are exploring moving up the start of bowl games to the second weekend of December to free up television windows for the four first-round playoff games scheduled for the third weekend of December.

• CFP leaders are examining how to consider a game (Army-Navy) that kicks off six days after CFP selections are made when the new format allots an automatic spot for the highest-ranked Group of Five champion.

“It’s tricky. I don’t envy the decision-makers,” said Mike Buddie, the Army athletic director who on Feb. 16 sent a letter to the CFP Management Committee about the situation. “I’m a realist. I understand there’s a lot of money and a lot of games to be played, but I still think Army-Navy transcends the sport of college football and has for decades.”

Given CFP expansion, questions about the game’s future loom.

Should it move dates? Should it share its date? And how, if the date is not moving, should it be considered in CFP selections?

Moving the game is a non-starter, said Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk. The contract with CBS requires the game to be played on that date. There are obligations to corporate sponsors, host cities and the military itself.

“We are not moving the game,” Gladchuk said. “It’s staying there.”

How do all you 12-team College Football Playoff cheerleaders feel now that you're fucking over the troops, huh? You still feel good about giving Tulane and 9-3 LSU a shot to win the national title at the expense of America's Game?

This is just the latest example of what we're sacrificing in college football for the sake of making everything about the CFP. Sure, you'll lose dozens of annual matchups that have been played for 100 years — and make others relatively meaningless. And yeah, maybe we have to ruin the greatest tradition in the sport that's one of the best celebrations of the United States and its military. But we get MORE PLAYOFFS, BABY! WOO!

Now obviously, Army-Navy would still be the biggest game of the day if it were to be forced to share the second Saturday in December with the likes of the Avocados From Mexico Cure Bowl — I swear that's real — but it shouldn't have to. If you really want to make everything about the CFP so badly, then just get rid of all those games entirely. You either make the Playoff or you get nothing. At least that would be ideologically consistent with diluting everything else in the sport to accommodate as large of a CFP field as possible.

The way I see it, you can now be on the side of the 12-team Playoff or the troops of the greatest country to ever exist, but not both. I know which one I'm taking every time.

Giphy Images.