Florida State players, coaches, and fans have a major bone to pick with the college football selection committee
As one of, if not the, biggest college football fans at the Peanut Gallery, it is only right that I give my thoughts on leaving out an undefeated, Power 5 conference champion from the College Football Playoff. You may be asking why this article is being written and released a week plus after the committee made their selections, and the only real answer is that I had to sleep and think about it because, in the moment, the more I thought about it the madder I would get.
Before I get into my argument, I want to start with the basics; I am an Oklahoma fan, I was high on Florida State after seeing them in the bowl game last bowl season, I thought Jordan Travis would be a Heisman front-runner, and he was a big part of the team and how it functioned. However, I want to put emphasis on me being an Oklahoma fan, because as an Oklahoma fan, it bears no weight on my own shoulders that Florida State will not get a shot at a National Championship.
I also want to make sure it is understood that I am about to bash a committee and concept that will no longer truly be a factor after this year, when the College Football expands to a 12-team format. I’m sure the 13/14 teams will always have a complaint, but this will/should be the final time we see a situation this dire in this environment. I am going to take my final opportunity to truly bitch about this awful format in which a bunch of dudes who do not watch all the games throughout the season, or in the case of some, do not even have a football connection, sit down weekly and throw darts at a board to decide which group of kids gets to compete for a National Championship.
What Should Have Been
Pretty easy for me. Michigan was an obvious number 1, Washington gets the edge at number 2 with the strength of schedule, Florida State at number 3 after completing an undefeated Power 5 conference (ACC) championship season. Then there are arguments for both Texas and Alabama, depending on if you value a Week 2 head-to-head victory or an SEC champion that just took down the defending back-to-back National Title winners who have not lost in nearly two calendar years.
Listen, nobody hates the University of Texas (Austin) more than myself, but they had the résumé and right to be in the CFP. In fact, the only thing that should have been working against them is the fact that they did not get the opportunity to redeem their only loss to Oklahoma on their path to the Big 12 title. On the other hand, they have the head-to-head win over Alabama, and even though it was Week 2 of the season and Alabama and Jalen Milroe grew into something much greater as the year went on, it was still in Tuscaloosa and you can’t take that away from Texas. You can even give them a discount on the loss to Oklahoma, who went on to be a 10-win team and barely missed out on the rematch in Arlington.
In the same way you can’t take away Texas winning in Tuscaloosa, you can’t take Alabama holding the most impressive win of the season, of any team. Not only did they go out and get the job done after their loss to Texas, but they did something that no team has done since Alabama themselves handed Georgia their last loss on December 4th, 2021. This means they hold the trophy of undoubtedly the best conference in the country.
That’s where the real question should have been asked: Do we value a head-to-head matchup or an SEC championship more?
Florida State’s Argument
Let me start off with the most obvious point I can make; FSU went 13-0 on their way to winning the ACC, which, I will remind you, is a Power 5 conference. That alone should have secured them one of the four spots, with two of the conferences having 1-loss conference winners.
The Non-Obvious Debates…
The most common argument I have heard from fans and even the committee themselves is that one of the criteria for the CFP selections is that a significant injury can impact whether a team makes it. This is an acceptable argument in most cases. However, Jordan Travis was hurt for nearly two entire games that Florida State won prior to championship weekend, and that same committee continued to put Florida State in the #4 spot up until the selection show. They won both, one of which was a rivalry game that was played in Gainesville against Florida. I’m not saying the Gators were a top tier team, but if you are a college football fan you should know that those games are always going to be a tough different environment. Ask Texas.
To continue, if Jordan Travis was the only reason FSU finished 13-0, where is his Heisman trophy? How could someone who clearly meant so much to his undefeated team not win the Heisman? How could this person not even get an invite to New York for the Heisman trophy ceremony? Just feels like journalists and Heisman voters see Jordan Travis as just a good quarterback on a good team, which is true, but obviously not the sole reason FSU fought their way to a 13-0 season.
Even Travis himself had thoughts after the selection show, posting on X (formally Twitter):
“Devasted. heartbroken. In so much disbelief rn, I wish my leg broke earlier in the season so y’all could see this team is much more than the quarterback. I thought results matter. 13-0 and this roster matches up across any team in those top 4 rankings. I am so sorry. Go Noles!”
Now that we’ve debunked that poor excuse of an argument, let me get into the numbers and facts.
Going into the ACC championship game, the committee had Florida State at number 4, going up against number 16 Louisville, in a game the Noles end up winning. Meanwhile, number 7 Texas faces off against number 18 Oklahoma state, and number 8 Alabama plays number 1 Georgia. This is what the true problem is with the committee. All college football fans see it, but the committee cannot come out and admit it. The math should be easy.
Texas can, in no way, jump an undefeated FSU after beating a lesser opponent, but you also can’t have Alabama jump Texas because of the head-to-head problem. Bigger than both, an SEC team cannot get left out of the CFP. So the simplest solution was come up with the BS Jordan Travis excuse that seemed to be no problem for the weeks leading into the ultimate decision. You’ll be able to get the best ratings possible by putting Texas and Alabama over FSU. That’s all it’s about for these committee members: ratings and numbers.
The Bottom Line
FSU earned the opportunity to play for a National Championship, and the committee elected to cheat the players who earned that chance for the sake of ratings and profit. That’s it. Their number one argument any time there has been a close call in the CFP has been “win against the teams on your schedule and you will get in,” but now they went in and decided that’s not the answer. All because one guy on a 126+ man roster had a life altering injury? It is corrupt and unfair, and I feel for every FSU player, coach, parent, and fan who is mourning their chance at history. They, in fact, did everything right from start to finish.