CFP Releases COVID Procedures Amid Sports Outbreaks
The Omicron coronavirus variant is spreading around the sports world faster than Nick Saban's yummy rat poison and leagues are doing everything in their power to continue on without postponements. However, after news hit that the Texas A&M Aggies dropped out of the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl due to COVID-19, the College Football Playoff released the new procedures in case of outbreaks.
- Forfeiture: "If one team(in the Cotton or Orange Bowl) is unavailable to play-- The unavailable team shall forfeit its game and its opponent would advance to the national championship game."
This, unfortunately, might be the case for one team. UGA's backup QB JT Daniels tested positive for coronavirus on Tuesday and WR George Pickens tested positive Wednesday. Although they're not pushing the panic button yet, if they continue to have an outbreak to the point of not being able to play, the Michigan Wolverines automatically advance to the national championship.
- Two-way outbreak: "If two teams are unavailable to play in one semifinal-- the semifinal game would be declared 'no contest.' and the team winning the other semifinal game would be declared the CFP National Champion.
Hypothetically, if Georgia's outbreak continues to the point of the inability to perform and Michigan has an outbreak, the Orange Bowl will not be played and the winner of the Cotton Bowl will be the automatic national champion.
- Multiple outbreaks: "If three teams are unavailable to play- the semifinal game in which two teams are unable to play would be declared as 'no contest.' In the other semifinal game, the team unable to play shall forfeit the game, and its opponent would be declared the CFP National Champion."
For example, if Georgia, Michigan, and Cincinnati all had outbreaks that made them unable to perform, the Orange Bowl would go down as no contest, no winner no loser. Cincinnati, however, would have to forfeit and Alabama would automatically be crowned the CFP National Champions.
- National Championship outbreak: "If the team's unavailability is determined after the Playoff Semifinals have been conducted, the national championship game in Indianapolis may be rescheduled to no later than Friday, January 14. If one team is able to play and the other is not and the game cannot be rescheduled or is rescheduled and cannot be played, then the team unable to play shall forfeit the game and the other team shall be declared CFP National Champion. If both teams are unable to play on either an original or rescheduled date, then the game shall be declared "no contest" and the CFP National Championship shall be vacated for this season."
Similarly, if there is an SEC Championship rematch and Georgia has an outbreak to the point of not being able to play and cannot play prior to January 14th, 2021, Alabama is declared the champions. However, if both teams have outbreaks and neither can play, the 2021 CFP National Champions will, simply, be a blank mark in another season of chaos.
Other notable rules, according to the CFP website, are: media will be conducted virtually, anyone with access to the field has to test negative within the last 72 hours or be fully vaccinated, and teams must arrive at least two days prior to the game.