Why wasn’t Clemson-LSU title game played last night?

Last night seemingly would have been a fine time for college football’s national championship game.

But Clemson and LSU won’t meet until next Monday night, Jan. 13.

You might be wondering: Why such a long wait? Why is the championship game in New Orleans being played 16 days after the Dec. 28 semifinals in Atlanta and Glendale, Ariz.?

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Such a long layoff wasn’t the intention.

When the College Football Playoff was created in 2013, the plan was to play this season’s semifinals on New Year’s Eve, a Tuesday. Under that plan, Monday Jan. 6 wasn’t an option for the championship game because that wouldn’t have provided the teams a full week between games. So the championship game was set for the following Monday, Jan. 13. (The CFP title games always are played on Monday nights.)

But after very disappointing TV ratings for the 2015 semifinals, the CFP management committee quickly abandoned its attempt to make the semis a New Year's Eve tradition. The CFP changed the dates of four sets of semifinals that had been scheduled for New Year's Eve, including this season's, to the preceding Saturday. That shifted this season's semis to Dec. 28, further lengthening the layoff before the title game.

At that point, the ideal corresponding move would have been to shift this season’s championship game to Jan. 6. The CFP looked at that possibility. But by then, it was too late to re-book all of the hotels and other venues that had been lined up in New Orleans based on the Jan. 13 date.

So the wait for LSU vs. Clemson continues.