The first College Football Playoff rankings of the 2020 season will be released on Tuesday, Nov. 24.
The first rankings were initially slated for Nov. 17, but have now been moved back a week. Bill Hancock, the CFP’s executive director, informed ESPN of the change.
Hancock said having conferences locked in with their respective return-to-play dates was the impetus for the decision. All 10 FBS conferences are now in line to play a fall season, with the Big Ten set to begin play on Oct. 24 and the Pac-12 beginning play on Nov. 6. Those conferences originally postponed their seasons due to the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CFP selection committee will organize five rankings in all this season, including the final set of rankings on Dec. 20, a day after several conference title games. It’s the fewest number of rankings in a season since the College Football Playoff was introduced in 2014.
In the CFP’s inaugural season, there were seven sets of rankings, including the final rankings. In the five subsequent seasons, the selection committee revealed six sets of rankings, five in-season and then the final rankings. The first CFP rankings of the 2019 season were unveiled on Nov. 5 after Week 10’s games.
"Now that we know all conferences' starting dates, this change will allow the committee to analyze another week of games," Hancock told ESPN. "There will be four rankings before Selection Day. The committee members have been studying teams and watching video, and I know they're looking forward to rolling up their sleeves and getting together."
The top four teams in the CFP rankings are scheduled to play in the semifinals on Friday, Jan. 1. The two semifinal sites this season are the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl before the national championship game at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Monday, Jan. 11.
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