Skip to content

Norvell 'felt grief' after FSU's CFP snub

James Gilbert / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Head coach Mike Norvell revealed the emotional toll of Florida State missing the College Football Playoff.

"We had a great story," Norvell told ESPN's Andrea Adelson. "I still believe, to this day, if we were given an opportunity, it could have been really special to compete for a championship. I just felt grief. It was immediate heartbreak for that team."

The CFP committee ranked the Seminoles No. 5 in its final rankings behind a pair of one-loss teams in Texas and Alabama. Florida State became the first Power 5 conference champion to go undefeated and be left out of the CFP since its inception in 2014.

The committee's decision to exclude Florida State was largely influenced by the Seminoles' quarterback situation late in the season. Starter and Heisman contender Jordan Travis sustained a season-ending leg injury in the team's game against North Alabama. Backup Tate Rodemaker then missed the ACC championship game win against Louisville, which left the team with its third-string QB prior to the final ranking.

Travis agreed with the perception that his teammates were denied the opportunity to compete for a national championship because of his ailment.

"I wish my leg broke earlier in the season so y'all could see this team is much more than the quarterback," Travis posted on X.

Meanwhile, Norvell joined his assistants on the recruiting trail after his team's playoff snub, a decision he admits was difficult.

"I tried to put my feelings out there for the team. I did it all through the week, trying to help connect with guys in some of the things they were feeling because I was feeling them. We tried to do our best, but when you're not here, it's really hard. That's part of the gasoline of what made that time so hard," Norvell said.

Georgia defeated the Seminoles in a 63-3 rout in the Orange Bowl to finish the season. Florida State had nine starters opt out of the bowl game, and 15 other players entered the transfer portal. The Noles entered the matchup with several players lining up out of position to fill in for the game.

Florida State is turning the page on last season's playoff snub as its spring practice schedule ramps up. With 29 early–enrollees, a new-look roster isn't dwelling on a disappointing conclusion to a 13-1 campaign.

"We've got a new team, and we're still trying to set the standard," defensive back Shyheim Brown said. "I made a comment that we've only got three national championships at Florida State. We're trying to go make history."

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox