Florida State AD: 'Committee failed college football' by leaving out undefeated Seminoles
Despite a perfect 13-0 season, Florida State was on the outside looking in when the College Football Playoff semifinal participants were announced Sunday.
The Seminoles had to settle for the fifth spot in the rankings, watching Michigan, Washington, Texas, and Alabama get the coveted positions instead.
Florida State athletic director Michael Alford didn't mince words while offering his disappointment with the selection committee's decision.
"The consequences of giving in to a narrative of the moment are destructive, far-reaching, and permanent," Alford said in a statement. "Not just for Florida State, but college football as a whole."
Florida State became the first Power 5 conference champion to go undefeated and yet still be left out of the top four since the College Football Playoff was instituted in 2014. Texas and Alabama were selected ahead of the Seminoles despite both suffering losses, which Alford believes to be a travesty.
"The argument of whether a team is the 'most deserving or best' is a false equivalence," Alford said. "It renders the season up to yesterday irrelevant and significantly damages the legitimacy of the College Football Playoff."
Florida State head coach Mike Norvell was equally incensed by the decision, questioning the committee's process and what the selection will ultimately mean for college football.
"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?"
"What happened today goes against everything that is true and right in college football," he added. "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."
The decision by the selection committee was made in large part due to the quarterback situation for FSU. Star QB Jordan Travis sustained a devastating injury against North Alabama, and backup Tate Rodemaker missed the ACC Championship Game against Louisville, leaving the Seminoles down to their third-stringer at the most important position. This adversity should have fueled Florida State's candidacy rather than hurt it, according to Alford.
"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," Alford said.
Travis echoed Alford's thoughts, lamenting his injury coming so late in the season and unfairly, in his mind, taking the opportunity away from his teammates.
"Our players, coaches, and fans - as well as those who love this sport - deserve better. The committee failed college football today," Alford added.
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