REPORT: Turf War Is Brewing As NFL Is “Not Happy” With NCAA’s Schedule For The 2024 College Football Playoff

The NFL league office is reportedly discontent with the new NCAA College Football Playoff schedule.

Earlier this week, the CFP unanimously approved a new 12-team postseason format that is similar to the previous NFL 12-team playoff tournament structure. The four highest-ranked conference champions will get a first-round bye, with the No. 5 to No. 12 ranked teams squaring off in the opening round.

According to a report from John Ourand of Puck News (h/t Andrew Bucholtz of Awful Announcing), NFL officials “were not happy” when they learned about the new CFP schedule.

This is because the NFL traditionally likes to schedule regular season games on Saturday late in the year, and the expanded CFP playoff format means that Roger Goodell and company will now face immense ratings competition:

“Those opening-round games are scheduled for December 20 and 21 this year. The latter date, as you surely know from consulting your Farmer’s Almanac, falls on a Saturday—and the NFL historically schedules games on that day, which is set up to be Week 16 this year. (Last season, the NFL scheduled two games on its Week 16 Saturday: the Bengals-Steelers on NBC and the Bills-Chargers on Peacock.) It’s the same deal the following year, too: The C.F.P.’s opening-round games are on Friday and Saturday.

Multiple sources have told me that executives in the league office were not happy about C.F.P.’s chutzpah in scheduling games that day, and they have been left scratching their heads as to why C.F.P. would encroach on their veritable turf.“

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell looking on at press conference.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – FEBRUARY 05: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell listens to a question during a news conference ahead of Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium on February 05, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Ourand added that executives believe this won’t stop the NFL from scheduling games on Saturday, Dec. 21 anyway. Ourand also heard from a source that the NFL was confused by the CFP’s decision since they have, “worked with college football on scheduling issues for decades, and the two organizations have an age-old détente in place that lets them carve up fall weekends.”

The old College Football Playoff format had the top four ranked teams (1 to 4 and 2 vs. 3) square off in the postseason. After years of backlash, the NCAA is finally expanding the format that will ensure the top-of-the-top teams all get their shot at a championship.

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