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Scott German: Florida State got the shaft, because the ACC plays too nice

Scott German
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The final season of the College Football Playoff field of four didn’t end quietly.

In fact, it ends in controversy, never seen in its 10-year existence, as unbeaten ACC champion Florida State gets kicked to the curb like a bag of trash.

Michigan, Washington, Texas and Alabama are in while FSU became the first unbeaten Power Five conference champion to get hosed, excluded from the field.

Is the ACC that bad in football?

If so, then those seven or eight schools that were exploring ways to escape the conference’s grant of rights earlier this year may want to think about getting the band together again.

So, what do the Seminoles receive instead of a CFP bid?

They head to South Beach for a meaningless exhibition game with Georgia in the Orange Bowl.

No disrespect to the Orange Bowl, but since the creation of the CFP, all 2,456 of the other bowls are just that – exhibitions.

In fact, many of the top players will opt out of those meaningless bowl games, instead, preparing for the April NFL draft.

Seems like those guys may be using that college education, as that’s a good business decision.

FSU was fourth in the latest CFP rankings.

And all that the Seminoles did Saturday evening in Charlotte was suffocate a good Louisville offensive team in a 16-6 win to complete a perfect season.

Perfect, as in 13-0.

FSU lost star quarterback Jordan Travis to a broken leg in a game last month.

And the idiots on the CFP selection committee decided that was enough to end any hopes that the Seminoles had of playing for a national championship.

Ignoring the fact that good teams find ways to win games, even when adversity strikes.

For Florida State, it struck twice.

Backup signal-caller Tate Rodemaker, who led the Seminoles to a season-ending win over rival Florida, was unable to play Saturday because of a late-game head injury.

So, down to their third-string QB, Brock Glenn, who was, as expected, mostly ineffective, FSU turned to its defense to completely shut down a highly explosive Louisville offense.

Seems as though in the eyes of the committee, style counts.

A 16-6 final score in a championship game just could not measure up to the finish in the Alabama-Georgia SEC title game played ahead of the ACC championship.

And it should not have had to.

Now, before anyone goes down the conspiracy trail, which admittedly I started to, consider this quote from a CFP committee member: “Florida State is a different team than they were through the first 11 weeks, and incredible season, but if you look at who they are as a team right now, without Jordan Travis, without an offensive dynamic that he brings to it, they are a different team.”

That came from Boo Corrigan, committee chair and AD at North Carolina State.

So much for looking out for one of your own, Boo.

The reality is that Corrigan isn’t wrong, but the final four should not come down to an eye-test mentality.

Remember what now seems like the Stone Age when the ACC and the Pac 12 created The Alliance?

The Alliance that was created to prevent such things.

That was a joke from Day 1.

Within months, conferences began bludgeoning other conferences for teams. The Big 10 effectively destroyed the Pac 12 by taking USC and UCLA. Then later the Pac 12 was pronounced  DOA when Washington and Oregon followed the Southern California schools to the Big 10.

Meanwhile, the ACC played nice.

The result?

FSU, despite a challenging schedule, finishes perfect at 13-0 and gets screwed.

So yes, the CFP committee has some blood on their hands, but the highly paid suits of the ACC in their shiny new league headquarters in Charlotte provided the weapon of destruction by doing nothing.

So, in a few years, if those suits are presiding over a conference that looks nothing like the one that is now firmly on its deathbed, then good for them.

Enjoy that Boston College vs. Georgia State ACC Championship Game.

Scott German

Scott German

Scott German covers UVA Athletics for AFP, and is the co-host of “Street Knowledge” podcasts focusing on UVA Athletics with AFP editor Chris Graham. Scott has been around the ‘Hoos his whole life. As a reporter, he was on site for UVA basketball’s Final Fours, in 1981 and 1984, and has covered UVA football in bowl games dating back to its first, the 1984 Peach Bowl.