Florida: Here Is Why Florida State Did Not Make The Playoff
In a league where there is a “power five” conference layout, and yet four spots for playoff teams, logistically, one team will always be left out. However, this year, with undefeated Florida State not making the college football playoff, some fans are a bit confused.
Yesterday, we learned that undefeated Michigan is the number one seed and will face Alabama (one loss) in the first semi-final game. Then, Washington, also undefeated, will play Texas (one loss). Upon this announcement by the NCAA college football committee, the immediate reaction was surprise… and outrage if are you a Florida State (or Georgia) fan. It’s a fair knee-jerk reaction. But why did this happen, and how did we get here?
Let’s lay out the facts. The NCAA college football process (until next year when the playoff formula changes) is that four of the best team will be decided by 13 NCAA committee members.
What Did The Committee Consider When Leaving Out Florida State?
There are three points to consider here. First, Mike Greenberg of ESPN’s Get Up, made a great analogy this morning. Greenberg compared the current college football layout to figure skating. “You know what happened yesterday? Football became figure skating,” Greenberg exclaimed. He was saying that “the process” of selecting the four teams is somewhat subjective. There are opinions behind the 13-person committee. They are evaluating the team’s performances and trying to project how they might perform in the playoffs. Now, here are two of the main points they considered when opting to leave out an undefeated team that just won their conference championship the night before.
Texas Christian University went 5-7 this year. Last year, TCU was undefeated and was selected to go to the college football playoff. They beat a powerhouse in Michigan, and it made it to the championship game vs. Georgia. Then, they lost 65-7. Yes, a fellow-undefeated team that finished #2 lost in the nationally televised championship game by 58 points. The NCAA does not want that to happen ever again. Therefore, they are sensitive to voting in teams that are currently not playing as well as other contenders. This demonstrates, the NCAA cares about what will give us the best matchup.
Florida State losing quarterback Jordan Travis to a season-ending leg injury in November was an important point here. Also on Get Up this morning, analyst Dan Orlovsky talked about the impact of the Cincinnati Bengals losing Joe Burrow for the season. He explained that he and other analysts were adamant that the Bengals were a high favorite to win the AFC this season. The quarterback play of Burrow was incredible. Unfortunately, he then went down for the season and so did the talk of the Bengals having a chance this year. This leads to a question as to whether or not the NCAA tournament is a quarterback-driven tournament or a team tournament? It’s a fair question. The point here is that the Seminoles not having Travis or stability at the quarterback position (with Tate Rodemaker also injured) worked against them.
The 2024/2025 college football season will see this debate go away. Next year, college football moves to a 12-team playoff. For now, we are left with Florida State being left out of the college football playoff because the 13-person committee evaluated their performance and expected performance less than the four teams who were voted in. As a heavyweight consultation, Florida State will play Georgia (who won the last two championships, and was also left out) in the Orange Bowl.