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The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia

The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia

FSU gets robbed despite undefeated season

Melizabethi123 / Wikipedia

As many of you probably already know, on Sunday, Dec. 3,  the College Football Playoff Selection Committee selected the four teams that will play in the College Football Playoff. The four teams selected and their rankings were: No. 1 Michigan (13-0), No.2 Washington (13-0), No. 3 Texas (12-1) and No. 4. Alabama (12-1).

All of these teams managed to win their respective conference championships. Alabama’s 27-24 win over Georgia in the SEC Championship kept the Bulldogs on the outside looking in, finishing at No. 6 in the final CFP ranking, and falling shy of the CFP despite their perfect regular season record. 

The most interesting story around the committe’s chosen playoff field is not about who is in it but, rather, who is not. On Sunday, the committee made the announcement that they would be leaving the undefeated ACC champion Florida State (13-0) out in the cold at the No. 5 spot. 

After an undefeated regular season, which included decisive victories over AP Top 25-ranked No. 5 LSU and No. 16 Duke, FSU earned a hard-fought 16-6 victory over Louisville in the ACC Championship. 

Due to both a disheartening season injury suffered by Heisman-hopeful quarterback Jordan Travis and a concussion suffered by second string QB Tate Rodemaker, they were forced to play their third-string QB, Brock Glenn. Glenn was seeing his first meaningful minutes in a college football game at a critical moment for his team. Despite the considerable adversity, the team endured and managed to defeat Louisville in a gritty defensive battle. 

The decision to leave FSU out of the playoff was unprecedented. An undefeated Power 5 conference champion had not been excluded from the championship games since the BCS’ inception in 1998. 

“I don’t think there is a conversation,” said Mike Norvell, FSU’s head coach, when asked after his team’s ACC Championship victory whether he felt as if his team would be included in the CFP selection. 

“Since the BCS was created and the history of this, there’s never been an undefeated Power 5 team that was denied an opportunity to play for a national championship over a one-loss team,” Norvell said. 

This decision came as a shock to many, a profound disappointment to sports analysts, commentators and coaches alike and devastated the entire FSU community. Amidst the shock and awe, one question haunts the minds of all those outraged by the CFP’s decision: How can you punish a team for winning?

The decision to weigh subjective measures, like the “eye test,” and fearing adding FSU to the playoff due to their bad QB situation shows the shortsightedness of the CFP committee, as winning is the most important measure of a team’s value, especially considering Alabama’s only loss came to Texas, a team in the field. In a well-crafted and sharp-cutting letter to the CFP committee, FSU Athletic Director Michael Alford lamented the committee’s decision to choose Alabama over FSU. 

“The argument of whether a team is the ‘most deserving OR best’ is a false equivalence,” Alford said in his official press release.

 “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 unforgiveable.” 

There is a reason record is the main criteria that is used to compare teams when deciding rank order: because winning, above all else, is the most important criteria in measuring where a sports team should be placed in the standings. It would be much different if both Alabama and FSU had lost one game. Then, the arguments for differences in strength of schedule, quality wins and the “eye test” to determine who deserves to win more would be important, and the CFP committee would be correct in their decision.

However, when both teams play comparable competition, one has lost and played extremely sketchy games against Auburn, North Alabama and lost in embarrassing fashion on their home field to a Texas team that outplayed them in every possible way. The other is undefeated despite encountering major adversity at the QB position, and managed to win due to their incredible defense, there really is no argument against putting FSU in over Alabama.

At the end of the day, not prioritizing winning violates the integrity of college football and is a sad moment for the sport that should not be forgiven by the FSU fanbase for a long, long time. Seminoles fans are angry — and rightfully so. 

FSU will instead face UGA in the Orange Bowl on Dec. 30 at 4:00 p.m. EST. If they do manage to beat the Dawgs, the absurdity of the committee’s decision will only be further illuminated. 

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