Believe it or not, there apparently will be quite a few people rooting against No. 19 Navy on Saturday.
Of course Temple fans will be, as the two teams will face off in the American Championship Game. But they reportedly won’t be alone.
“I don’t want to be un-American,” a bowl official told ESPN.com’s Brett McMurphy, “but nearly everyone in the bowl industry, quite frankly, is rooting against Navy.”
The problem with the Midshipmen is they are in contention for the Group of 5 automatic berth into one of the New Year’s Six bowls, but their season won’t be over when the usual last College Football Playoff ranking comes out Sunday following all the weekend’s conference championship games.
So, if they beat Temple on Saturday, the committee could wait to declare the highest-ranked Group of 5 school until after Navy faces Army the following weekend, which could create chaos in the bowl system.
That means the American and MAC bowl lineups, as well as the Cotton Bowl — the New Year’s Six bowl getting the Group of 5 automatic berth — might have to wait longer, which would delay the buying of tickets, flights, hotels, etc. And that’s not a good thing for the bowls.
“The bottom line is if the rankings are delayed, it would be a disaster to the bowl system,” another bowl official told ESPN.com.
Right now the Group of 5 team would be No. 17 Western Michigan, who’s having a dream season and could finish undefeated with a win Friday night over Ohio in the MAC Championship Game. But the Midshipmen aren’t far behind.
“If the committee believes the result of the Army-Navy game could affect Navy’s ranking and therefore its place in the playoff or its selection as the Group of 5 representative, only the pairings that affect Army and Navy would be delayed until after the Army-Navy game,” College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock said, via ESPN.com.
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