One thing was for sure when the College Football Playoff rankings were released on Sunday, of the three teams in contention for the final two spots, one would feel devasted and robbed.
That one team was Florida State who completed its undefeated regular season on Saturday extending its record to 13-0 with a win over Louisville in the ACC Championship Game.
Shortly after the announcement the criticism of the committee’s decision to leave out the Seminoles began and it came from the very top of its program.
Florida State athletic director Michael Alford released a statement following the decision, where he went scorched earth on the committee.
“The consequences of giving into a narrative of the moment are destructive, far reaching, and permanent,” said Alford. “Not just for Florida State, but college football as a whole.
“The argument of whether a team is the ‘most deserving or best’ is a false equivalence. It renders the season up to yesterday irrelevant and significantly damages the legitimacy of the College Football Playoff. The 2023 Florida State Seminoles are the epitome of a total TEAM. To eliminate them from a chance to compete for a national championship is an unwarranted injustice that shows complete disregard and disrespect for their performance and accomplishments. It is unforgivable.
“The fact that this team has continued to close out victories in dominant fashion facing our current quarterback situation should have ENHANCED our case to get a playoff birth EARNED on the field. Instead, the committee decided to elevate themselves and ‘make history’ today by departing from what makes this sport great by excluding an undefeated Power 5 conference champion for the first time since the advent of the BCS/CFP era that began 25 years ago. This ridiculous decision is a departure from the competitive expectations that have stood the test of time in college football.
“Wins matter. Losses matter. Those that compete in the arena know this. Those on the committee who also competed in the sport and should have known this have forgotten it. Today, they changed the way success is assessed in college football, from a tangible metric – winning on the field – to an intangible, subjective one. Evidently, predicting the future matters more.
“For many of us, today’s decision by the committee has forever damaged the credibility of the institution that is the College Football Playoff. And, saddest of all, it was self-inflicted. They chose predictive competitiveness over proven performance; subjectivity over fact. They have become a committee of prognosticators. They have abandoned their responsibility by discarding their purpose – to evaluate performance on the field.
“Our players, coaches, and fans – as well as those who love this sport – deserve better. The committee failed college football today.”
One of the primary reasons the Seminoles were omitted from the playoff was the loss of its starting quarterback Jordan Travis. Without Travis at the helm, the offensive production from the team took a noticeable hit in its final two games against Florida and Louisville which was enough for the committee to keep it out of the top four.
And despite the unbeaten record, the committee’s protocol does state that the unavailability of key players does impact the rankings.
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Patrick Dowd is a Reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via Pat_Dowd77