The College Football Playoff Committee announced the playoffs situation on Sunday evening. Predictably, the undefeated Florida State Seminoles were furious after finding out that they had been left out of the four-team field. Being left out means they will not have a shot at becoming the national champion for the NCAA’s Division I Football Bowl Subdivision, a bitter blow after a terrific season.
That exclusion set off Florida State football coach Mike Norvell and athletics director Michael Alford, who argued that the CFP Selection Commitee made a very bad decision in cutting out FSU, particularly if it’s true that the decision came down to the Seminoles’ loss of Jordan Travis.
As background, Travis suffered a shoulder injury a few weeks ago, but the Seminoles managed to remain undefeated despite the injury, even winning the ACC Championship when they played against Louisville. However, that evidently was not enough for CFP Selection Committee Chair Boo Corrigan. Corrigan said that the Seminoles were a “different team” than they were through 11 weeks of the season, indicating that the Travis injury is why the Seminoles were cut out of the playoffs.
Coach Norvell, commenting on the matter, said, “I am disgusted and infuriated with the committee’s decision today to have what was earned on the field taken away because a small group of people decided they knew better than the results of the games. What is the point of playing games? Do you tell players it is OK to quit if someone goes down? Do you not play a senior on Senior Day for fear of injury? Where is the motivation to schedule challenging nonconference games?”
Continuing, Norvell added, “We are not only an undefeated P5 conference champion, but we also played two P5 non-conference games away from home and won both of them. I don’t understand how we are supposed to think this is an acceptable way to evaluate a team. … What happened today goes against everything that is true and right in college football.”
Alford was furious as well. In his comments on the matter, he argued that the decision will cause problems not just in the here and now but far into the future, saying, “The consequences of giving in to a narrative of the moment are destructive, far-reaching and permanent. Not just for Florida State, but college football as a whole.”
He then added that it was utter injustice to eliminate FSU despite its undefeated season, saying, “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 unforgievable (sic).”
Alford then added that it should be on-field performance that matters, not subjective disagreements from the committee, and that not having a tangible metric by which their performance could be judged would be bad for the teams. He said, “Wins matter. Losses matter. Those that compete in the arena know this,” he continued. “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.”
Concluding, Alford said, “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 all those who love this sport – deserve better. The committee failed college football today.”
Joining in was former Florida State athlete and current Florida state senator Corey Smith, who wrote a post on X about the matter on Sunday, saying, “The corruption of college football rears its ugly head again. ESPN and Disney have a vested interest in the SEC participating in the CFP. Lawsuits should be filed tomorrow.’’
Featured image credit: By Shaynedwyer – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=97212138
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