Alabama was elevated from eighth to fourth in the final College Football Playoff rankings, screwing undefeated Florida State and the ACC out of a spot in the final four-team CFP.
If you want to know why college football is the dumbest American sport, this is your reminder.
“It’s unfathomable that Florida State, an undefeated Power Five conference champion, was left out of the College Football Playoff. Their exclusion calls into question the selection process and whether the Committee’s own guidelines were followed, including the significant importance of being an undefeated Power Five conference champion,” ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips said in a statement released after the four-team field was revealed on Sunday.
The two other undefeated Power 5 conference champs, Michigan and Washington, are in, along with Texas (12-1), the champs of the Big 12, and ‘Bama (12-1), which won the SEC.
Texas, at least, beat Alabama, and pretty handily at that, in a head-to-head matchup in September.
Alabama is in on the strength of one win, its 27-24 upset of the previous #1 team in the worthless CFP in-season rankings, Georgia, on Saturday in the SEC title game.
This same Alabama team that the CFP elevated into the playoff because of that win needed a fourth-and-31 miracle to beat a 6-6 Auburn team a week earlier.
But FSU (13-0), which defeated #14 Louisville, 16-6, with its third-string QB, true freshman Brock Glenn, because of injuries to the starter, Jordan Travis, and his backup, Tate Rodemaker, is a “different team than it was the first 11 weeks,” in the words of Boo Corrigan, the CFP selection committee chair, and the AD at NC State.
“As you look at who they are as a team right now, without Jordan Travis, without the offensive dynamic he brings, they are a different team, and the committee voted Alabama four and Florida State five,” Corrigan said.
The flaw in this logic is probably obvious.
“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,” Florida State AD Michael Alford said in a statement. “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.
“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 berth 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,” Alford said.
This is an obvious screwjob engineered by the powers-that-be to make sure the SEC, which went 4-6 head-to-head with the ACC in 2023, gets its precious, apparently automatic, spot in the playoff field.
“Wins matter. Losses matter. Those that compete in the arena know this,” Alford said. “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,” Alford said
“Our players, coaches, and fans – as well as all those who love this sport – deserve better. The committee failed college football today,” Alford said.
More fighting words were offered up by FSU coach Mike Norvell.
“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,” Norvell said. “What is the point of playing games? Do you tell players it is okay 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 non-conference games? 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.
“I’m hurting for our players who have displayed a tremendous amount of resilience and response this season. What happened today goes against everything that is true and right in college football. A team that overcame tremendous adversity and found a way to win doing whatever it took on the field was cheated today. It’s a sad day for college football,” Norvell said.
“I’m proud of the work we have put in and the players I have the privilege to coach. We have one more opportunity to define this 2023 team in the Orange Bowl, and I believe in how our team will respond,” Norvell said.