I've touched on this before, but it bears repeating, especially in the wake of how problematic this year's early Oscar nominations deadline has been.
In 2013, the Oscars are on Feb. 24. When will they be in 2014? The calendar is already filling up, and February is practically off the table …
Jan. 5: Golden Globes*
Jan. 19: NFL conference championships
Jan. 26: Grammys*
Feb. 2: Super Bowl
Feb. 7-23: Winter Olympics
As you can see, the return of the Winter Olympics in 13 1/2 months will roil the awards calendar, and likely push the 2014 Grammys (Feb. 10 in 2013) into January. The Golden Globes also could be earlier in 2014 if only because their host network, NBC, might be televising an NFL divisional playoff game on Jan. 12. (The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. will also be trying to keep the Globes ahead of the Academy Awards.)
Where does that leave the 2014 Oscars?
If it's smart, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences will get out of the way of all this and move to March 2, thus creating more breathing room to fully evaluate the films of 2013. (The year of the last Winter Olympics, which took place Feb. 12-28, 2010, the Oscars were March 7.)
However, if the Academy is hell-bent on staying out of March, that would mean either moving the ceremony into January — or off of Sunday. Sundays in February 2014 are not an option, because the Super Bowl has the first Sunday and the Olympics have the other three.
Should AMPAS try to throw its weight around, it could try to push the Grammys off of Jan. 26. Otherwise … breathe deeply … we could really be staring at a Jan. 12 Academy Awards in 2014.