Florida State’s denial is a disgrace for the College Football Playoff

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Florida State’s denial is a disgrace for the College Football Playoff

When the College Football Playoff was created, it was intended for the top teams who go undefeated and win their conference to get a shot at winning the national championship. The goal of going undefeated in a Power Five conference was meant to have the ending reward of having a shot at the national championship.

In the final year of the four-team playoff, the CFP committee decided that none of those things matter at all.

The committee selected Michigan, Washington, Texas and Alabama as their four teams in the College Football Playoff, leaving out Florida State, who went undefeated in the ACC and won the ACC championship while playing their third string QB. The grim history that the committee has made is simple: FSU is the first team in the CFP era to go undefeated in a Power Five conference, win their conference and then miss the playoff. It’s simply a disgrace and a disservice to what the four team playoff actually was for.

What does playing the games even mean anyway? Florida State did everything the committee asked of them. Big win over ranked opponents? They took down LSU (and the potential Heisman winner Jayden Daniels), beat Clemson on the road and then held a Louisville team that was averaging over 30 points a game to six in the ACC Championship Game, dominating defensively in a way that reflects one of the four best teams in football.

And yet they find themselves on the outside looking in because criteria from a committee that changes on every whim. Like what does this even mean?

CFP chair Boo Corrigan on the Bama-FSU debate: “The questions we do ask from a coaching stand point is who do you want to play and who do you not want to play.”

Oh my

— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) December 3, 2023

It shouldn’t matter who you want or don’t want to play in a hypothetical. Alabama did win the SEC, yes, but lost—handily—to Texas at home in Week 3. What’s the point of playing the games if you can just decide at any point that being undefeated in a Power Five conference doesn’t actually matter. As long as teams “don’t want to play you hypothetically” you should make the playoff. It’s not even like there’s no precedent for an undefeated team, or a team on their third string QB making the playoff! In 2014 third-string QB Cardale Jones and Ohio State made the playoffs and won the whole thing!

Florida State coach Mike Norvell released a perfect statement after the Noles got left out:

I get wanting the four best teams in the playoff, but Florida State was one of the four best teams, and not losing a game is their proof of concept. At some point being undefeated has to matter, and with this decision they made it null and void. We reward hypotheticals and Vegas lines over actual concrete results, and the results say that the Seminoles should be in the playoff.

At the end of the day, the committee should just cut out the middleman and make the playoff what they wanted it to be the whole time: a Big Ten-SEC Invitational.

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