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Calling on the CFP Committee for an Explanation

So the Seminoles got snubbed by the College Football Playoff Selection Committee after finishing the season undefeated and hoisting up the ACC Championship trophy. They did so with their third string in true freshman Brock Glenn who had help from Lawrance Toafili and Trey Benson running the ball and an outstanding defense that stepped up. The team has gone out and done what was asked of them and what they had to Yes, they had a great quarterback and true teammate in Jordan Travis suffer a season-ending injury in their game against North Alabama (game 11 of 12 of the regular season). But football has always been a team sport and this group of young men has epitomized what it is to be a team.

Florida State Seminoles
'ACC Championship' Photo Credit Dominic Ambrose via CFD

For the Seminoles, they did schedule LSU to open the season and won on a neutral site. They went 3-0 overall against ranked opponents (when the teams played). Also, three of their opponents are in the top 25 of the final Playoff Rankings. They also rank sixth in the nation in points per game with the only team ahead of them that is in the final four being Michigan. For the offense, yes they are a different team without Travis and they should be. Tate Rodemaker filling in for Travis in the North Alabama game put up 58 points and followed that up with 24 points against their in-state rival Florida. Rivalries in general and especially in-state rivals are always hard fought. The players have known and played with and against each other since high school if not longer. To think that the game would have been lopsided, while fan bases expect it, the likelihood of it happening is not high.

The next argument levied against the Seminoles is the perception that the ACC is "weak". Just looking at this season, the ACC conference led all Power Five conferences with 11 of its 14 members earning bowl berths and seven of those teams have winning records (above .500). The SEC as a comparison, only had one more team above .500 with eight total. That's not a huge difference. They also gained more yards in the conference championship against a higher-ranked team in Louisville than Michigan had against Iowa. While the offense did look different with Rodemaker, looking at the top five teams, the Seminoles were third in point differential behind Michigan and Texas. So questioning the perceived "weakness" of the ACC as well as the Seminoles team is an understatement. Also, with the extended time between the Conference Championship and Rodemaker returning, the coaches at Florida State will be well prepared for their opponent.

The next argument specifically for Texas, was that they won a head-to-head matchup with Alabama, the eventual SEC Champion. While it was impressive for the Longhorns to go to Alabama and win, it was in week two of the season, and the Crimson Tide team is much improved from that contest. If that win is so valuable, why is there a perceived undervalue of the Seminoles' win over LSU a week before Texas' victory? Also, that same LSU team that lost to the Seminoles by 21 on a neutral site, lost to Alabama by 14 in Tuscaloosa.

While the CFP Committee's subjective decision to leave Florida State, the undefeated conference champions from the ACC has been made, it has created an uproar in college football. The game is determined on the field and great teams overcome obstacles and find ways to win. The committee regardless of the teams should never create a sense that games and wins and losses don't matter. By leaving the Seminoles on the outside looking in, that is exactly what the Playoff Committee did. With the playoffs expanding next season to 12 teams, the committee should explain why there are different standards for teams to be held to.


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