Florida State has legitimate beef

In its final year before it expands to a 12-team field, the College Football Playoff delivered plenty of controversy when it ommitted Florida State University from the playoff field despite the team finishing its season with a perfect 13-0 record, becoming the first undefeated “Power 5” conference champion to ever be excluded from the playoff. With four teams included in the playoff and five large conferences, it’s kind of surprising it took this long for something like this to come about.
There is no doubt about it, Florida State got the shaft. Heading into championship weekend, the Seminoles were ranked fourth in the playoff standings. When the smoke cleared after championship weekend, the Seminoles were in fifth place, despite having won their conference championship over Louisville, albeit in less than impressive fashion. The Seminoles were leapfrogged by both Texas and Alabama, who also won their conference title games.
Playoff committee representatives explained Florida State being left out of the playoff by saying the Seminoles were no longer the same team after their quarterback, Jordan Travis, was injured in the team’s third-to-last game of the season. It’s true, they weren’t nearly as explosive on offense. Who cares?
The object of the game is to win. Florida State did that all season. These 13 committee members made a decision that these players, who did everything they could do, because one of them got hurt, didn’t deserve a chance to play for the championship. That is not right. At some point, wins and losses have to matter. Florida State did not lose a game, period. If we are going to judge everything with the eye test as opposed to wins and losses, what is the point of even playing the game?
Moreover, what about the other 99 players on Florida State’s team? They don’t get the chance to compete for a national championship because one player on the team got injured? Is this not a team sport? Why does an injury to one player negate all the work the rest of the team put into the season? If you watched Florida State all season, you know that defense is absolutely championship-caliber.
This decision feels like it had some political aspects to it, since Alabama is coached by Nick Saban. This isn’t to say Alabama didn’t have a fantastic season, becuase it did. The bottom line, however, is that Alabama lost a game, on its home field, during the course of the season. Florida State did not. Any system that is deteremind by people’s opinions is just not a good deal. Especially when there is an alternative—look at the results on the field.
The good news is that next year the playoff field expands to 12 teams, and we won’t have to put up with this extreme of controversy. It can’t get here soon enough. That does nothing to assuage the pain of Florida State players though, who truly got a raw deal.

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