The SEC and Big 12 will resist any attempt to move the Sugar Bowl from its New Year's Day position in order to hold the College Football Playoff semifinals on Jan. 1, according to Sports Illustrated's Stewart Mandel:
Sankey: The SEC Big 12 prime time Sugar Bowl is important to them. "We will protect that." No talk of moving it so playoff not on NYE.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) January 10, 2016
The 2015 College Football Playoff semifinals were played on New Year's Eve because the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl refused to give up their New Year's Day slots. The results were disastrous: Television ratings were down 36 percent from last year's games played on Jan. 1, and ESPN was forced to give back $20 million in credits to advertisers. Nevertheless, the Playoff will again be played on New Year's Eve next season, according to director Bill Hancock. Under the current schedule, the Playoff semifinals will be played on New Year's Day just once every three seasons.
There is little chance of the Rose Bowl giving up its Jan. 1 spot, given the bowl's clout in college football and its insistence on a New Year's Day slot. In the aftermath of this season's semifinals, some had suggested that the Sugar Bowl would move, so that the semifinals could be played in New Year's Day's other two time slots. That appears to be unlikely, if the SEC and Big 12 have their way.