College Football Playoff Trophy

This Monday, July 14, 2014 photo shows the College Football Playoff National Championship Trophy in Irving, Texas. A rising gold football-shaped trophy will be the prize for the national champion in the new College Football Playoff. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

The College Football Playoff has positioned itself as the only collegiate-level postseason event still in play this fall.

The Playoff selection committee met this week and is prepared to crown a champion, it announced Thursday.

Fall sports with NCAA-sponsored postseasons — essentially every sport except for the NCAA’s Football Bowl Subdivision — do not enjoy the same fortune.

The likes of cross country, soccer and volleyball will not compete for a championship this year, NCAA President Mark Emmert said during an interview with the NCAA Social Series.

“We can not now at this point have fall NCAA championships because there are not enough schools participating,” Emmert said. “The Board of Governors [established] if you don't have half of the schools playing a sport, you can't have a legitimate NCAA championship. ... Tragically, that's going to be the case this fall. Full stop.”

The Big 12, Southeastern Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference are moving forward in a watered-down college football landscape, which is expected to include the American Athletic Conference, Conference USA and Sun Belt Conference at the FBS level.

The Big Ten, Pac-12, Mid-American Conference and Mountain West Conference have opted out of football, as well as competition in all fall sports because of the pandemic.

Emmert said the NCAA will explore shifting its fall athletic championships to the spring. Although, the organization’s top priority is to ensure winter and spring sports have their postseason after losing last season’s events to COVID-19, Emmert said.

The potentially crowded spring will place an even larger spotlight on college football, which the NCAA has no role in awarding a champion at the FBS level. It is up to the CFP on whether or not it wants to cancel.

“We don’t know right now what the season will bring, but as a committee, we are ready to use the protocol and the expertise of the 13 people who have been charged with selecting the teams,” said Gary Barta, Iowa athletics director and Playoff committee chair, in a statement.

“The committee’s task is to rank the teams based on what happens on the field. This week gave us a great chance to catch up with the familiar faces and welcome our three new members to the process. If the board and management committee say we are having a CFP, we will be ready.”

The final CFP rankings are scheduled to be released Dec. 20, the selection committee announced earlier this month.

The CFP semifinals will be hosted at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, and the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans on Jan. 1, 2021. The national championship game is scheduled for Jan. 11 in Miami Gardens, Florida.

Barring any future cancellations, of course.

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